Google Analytics Academy – Introduction and Overview
Why use Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for measuring and reporting website traffic and behavior. However, website data lacking context is simply noise. Therefore, the ultimate objective of any data analytics project is to leverage observations to better inform decision-making that supports the primary business objectives of an organization.
Why Google Analytics is FREE!
Google offers its very powerful and full-featured Google Analytics as a free tool since it drives their primary revenue: ads. Here’s the logic:
1. Targeted ads are a win-win
Google’s core theory is that targeted ads are a win-win for everyone. For the site visitor, receiving non-obtrusive ads that are actually relevant to their interests, needs, or a previous search is useful. For the seller, paying only for ads that are shown to your desired target market is both efficient and cost-effective. Contrast this to traditional print marketing or even a billboard! This has always been the core of Google’s business model and is what has made them into the dominant company they are today.
2.Knowing your site visitors helps you market
By using Google Analytics, organizations are able to form more informed conclusions about site content and what strategies to deploy to increase site traffic and engagement. For example, Google Analytics shows where visitors are coming from and what browser they are using. This could help an organization decide whether to translate a page into another language and whether to test the site in an old version of Internet Explorer (yuck!). Google Analytics also shows how visitors are navigating a website. If an organization sees increased traffic around a certain topic, they could choose to create more content to address that demand. This would both increase usefulness and help with search rankings.
3. If you know how to market, you will buy more ads
If an organization is confident that spending $100 in very specifically nuanced ads will lead to $1,000 in revenue, they will buy ads. Economic theory would imply that even ensuring $101 in increased revenue would make investing $100 a prudent decision. Google’s hope, of course, is that organizations will then place ads with them. After all, they are so easy to use.
Free, Online Course with Google Analytics Academy
To increase usage of Google Analytics, they are offering a free online course through the end of October to better familiarize users with the range of features available.
The course includes several “units” consisting of online videos, basic review tests, and a concluding final assessment. There are also live webinars and a forum for additional support and learning.