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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.
When I first started using Google Analytics, there were no books, no training courses, and the help files weren't too helpful. Luckily times have changed. Google Analytics' help files have been markedly improved over the last few years, and you have lots of options beyond that to make sure you get the most out of the tool. Let's say we are taking a look here at the Traffic Sources report, and particularly the Direct Traffic report. As you are looking at this report, you may have some questions, and need a reminder on what some of these things mean. For example, if you don't remember exactly what the Bounce Rate definition is, you can take a look up here at this little question mark. If you click on that, it's going to give you a definition of what each of these metrics are.
You might see these little question marks throughout the Google Analytics reports that can give you a hint about what that particular definition, metric, or dimension might be. In addition to these little question marks, there are also some contextual help all the way down here at the bottom, under the Help heading. We will see here is The Direct Traffic Report. If we click on that, it's going to give us information about the particular report that we are looking at, at this time. If you want more general or a broader context of help, you can click on the Help Center link down here at the bottom. That's going to launch a new window. That's going to give you the ability to take a look at things like how to set up your tracking; how to manage individual accounts, users, and data.
When we click on this, we will see some links that come over here, based on those particular categories on the right-hand side. In addition, we have some topics up here that are dedicated specifically to analyzing your data once you have your accounts set up correctly. For example, if we click on the Analyze one here, we may see the Conversion topic down here. If we click on that, it will take us to articles specifically related to conversions. Goals are a primary way that we measure conversions, so if we click on Goals, we will see articles, such as how to set up goals, and of course, we are going to have an entire section of that dedicated here in this course, but you can never have too many options.
In that respect, let's take a look at a few more options that we've got here. If we go all the way back here to the main one, we come out, and we can just go to google.com/analytics, which is the main page here for Google Analytics, and across the top navigation, we have a few options. First let's click on the Support tab. We have some free support resources that are available to us. You have Setup Checklist here, as well as the Help Center we just took a look at. There is also the Google Code site, which is a bit more of a technical documentation for those looking to do an installation. If we click here, we are going to see things about the APIs, different types of tracking codes, and more to do with the actual code and technical parts of the setup.
Coming back to the site here, we also have the User Forum, which is a forum that is operated by Google, but not necessarily staffed by Google. It's going to have other users who are trying to help each other, and answer questions that may come up. At the bottom here, we have the professional services that are available, if you need that level of help. The next tab we have here is the Education. There's the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test. If you want to get this certified, you can go here to learn more about the online test, and actually take the test itself. There is also some links here for in- person trainings that are available, as well as some videos that have been recorded on the Google Analytics YouTube channel.
And last but not least, there is a Google Analytics blog, which can help to keep you up to date with the many and frequent changes to the interface that can come from time to time, as well as posts by industry experts who can give you tips and tricks to keep your analytics skills sharp. Google Analytics has been designed to make it easy for the novice Web-analyst, and the veteran alike, by providing varying levels of helpful resources to match your stage of expertise, and the size of your analysis challenges.
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