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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
Until now, high-powered Web analytics has only been available to those with serious budgets, and serious IT skills. It's not an overstatement to say that Google Analytics has revolutionized the industry by making an enterprise class analytics package available for free to anyone who wants it. Literally millions of people are now taking the opportunity to understand and evaluate their sites, from the C-suite of the enterprise, all the way down to the hobbyist with a blog. This course is all about getting you comfortable with using the interface, analyzing the reports, and evaluating your marketing campaigns.
While I'll touch on the process of getting an account, and a basic install, we're focusing on the analysis, and using the tool here, and less on the technical details or very advanced concepts, like custom filters. I assume that if you have an enterprise or otherwise complex Web environment, that you have IT resources to assist you with the code changes to your site. I'm certainly not attempting to replace the need for a professional programmer or IT staff here, and I will for the most part be discussing how to use Google Analytics, not the finer details of how to install, implement, or configure it.
If you do find yourself in need of more advanced help, code or otherwise, there's an entire network of Google certified consultants who can help. If you are starting with a fresh account, in order to see these reports, you will need to get some data in there. Depending on how much traffic your site receives, it may mean you need to wait a couple of weeks to get some visitor data in the database and populate the reports enough before you can start to see interesting things. I'll use a couple of different data sources here for my examples throughout the course. I'd love to show you all the great report examples from real clients with brand names you'd recognize and Web sites that you probably visit, but as you can imagine, companies treat their analytics data pretty confidentially.
So instead, I will stick to both my company's Web sites, both cardinal path on our older site with our former name, websharedesign.com, as well as some examples from the Google Store. On our site, you'll see data from visitors to the pages and blog posts in those sites that discuss analytics consulting, training, and the other services we offer, but we don't actually sell anything on the Web, per se. So to get those examples, I'll use the Google Store. Now, this isn't the Google shopping comparison engine, but rather an actual e-commerce store on the Web that sells Google branded T-shirts, backpacks, and the other merchandise.
They were kind enough to share their data with all of you, so we can see real, live data in action. I've tried to structure this course to show you as closely as possible what you will actually see on your screen. But keep in mind that this product is rapidly evolving. Google actually pushes in updates to their interface literally every single month, so things are constantly being updated and improved. Now the good news is that the majority of these essential fundamental concepts that I presented here are unlikely to change too drastically. So while a dropdown may become a link, or move from one side to the other, and a particular report may change the wording or the name, if you focus on the concepts, rather than the actual pixel placement, I'm confident it won't slow you down too much.
Lastly, the topic of Google Analytics and Web analytics as a whole is a massive one. I couldn't possibly cover everything there is to discuss here in one course, so I have worked hard to consolidate the most important fundamental concepts here; the things that are truly essential to getting you well on your way.
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