On a Tuesday morning earlier in September, I, alongside a room full of eager professionals
with varying levels of Google Analytics experience, stepped in to ClickInsight’s Toronto office to delve into GA.
We each were there for our own specific reasons, but all wanted to learn more about the programs capabilities and enhance our own skills to help us make better, smarter decisions with our digital data.
Over the 2 day course, instructed by June Li, Managing Director at ClickInsight, we covered a wide variety of topics including web analytics fundamentals, standard and custom reports, sampling and UTM tagging.
I have been working regularly in Google Analytics for about 2 months, and am the first to admit that I still have a lot to learn about its capability and its interface, which is seemingly ever-changing. Just over a week has passed since I took the course, and already I am finding my skills enhanced and my confidence growing as I put what I learned into practice and good use. So far I have:
- Quickly maneuvered through standard reports with ease while preparing a marketing report for a client.
- Created regular expressions to help drill down and extract specific data for a select campaigns I was analyzing.
- Built new custom reports and dashboards for a key GA account, which now allows me to easily access data I review on a regular basis.
- Used June’s advice on creating a measurement plan when kicking off a new project.
The 3 most important takeaways for me (and I hope others who took the course) were:
1. Create a Measurement Plan
- There is no secret recipe for success when it comes to GA – it is just a tool.
- Start by defining the business goals you are hoping to achieve, and corresponding KPIs for each.
- Not all metrics are KPIs, so it is important to define these, research, and create internal benchmarks.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
- Within a week of taking a course, start trying to apply what you have learned. If you do not, you will forget and your time & efforts will be wasted.
- A fun and effective way to learn is through courses. Check out 5 Reasons for Continuous training.
- Google Analytics constantly evolves and will continue to do so.
- It is important to still be critical of the data you are viewing:
- Ensure your sampling is set to “higher precision”.
- Check that your data is properly flowing upon making changes to help keep your metrics as accurate as possible.
- Ask questions if something doesn’t seem right.
- GA is a great, free resource, but it does not do the ‘thinking’ for you.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, more information can be found on our course overview page.