Google Analytics: A Beginner's Guide
4.1 (220 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,636 students enrolled

Google Analytics: A Beginner's Guide

Get past the dashboard and find actionable data with confidence.
4.1 (220 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,636 students enrolled
Created by Matt Bailey
Last updated 7/2016
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $29.99 Discount: 60% off
2 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand the Google Analytic Dashboard
  • Understand and apply key terminology

  • Find popular pages and how they contribute to revenue (or success)

  • Troubleshoot poorly performing content or pages
  • Track a monetary value for actions, goals and outcomes
  • Learn skills necessary for reading Google Analytics reports
  • Create goals that provide measurable outcomes for your marketing efforts
  • You'll need a website with Google Analytics installed and tracking data
  • You'll need administrative access to the Google Analytics account

I created this course, because too many businesses and businesses owners have told me that they have Google Analytics, but they just don't use it. When asked, the reasons are usually, "too complicated," "not sure what to look for" or "I just don't understand."

That is so unfortunate, because Google Analytics contains information that can make an immediate impact in growing your business! The difficult part is finding information to help you set it up properly, understand the interface and how to read the reports.

In this course, I'm going to use a lecture format, but with dozens of Google Analytics screen captures to help you navigate alongside as I teach you how:

  1. Customize Google Analytics to work specifically for your business. 
  2. Dominate the terminology  
  3. Evaluate reports based on your questions
  4. Segment, contrast and compare
  5. Find easy "wins" to improve your website
  6. Track revenue
  7. Assess the value of your content

I'll also teach you how to think differently about analytics. I'll also teach you the skills necessary to analyze and identify problem areas or opportunities to grow your business. 

In my 20+ years of experience in Digital Marketing, nothing makes as big an impact as utilizing analytics to find problems or drive increased revenue to your business. 


Who this course is for:
  • Small/Medium Business owners strapped for time
  • Website mangers/marketers who need to measure results
  • Bloggers who want to build their business
  • This course is meant for beginners who get stumped from the start. For those who have clicked around, but get frustrated at the lack of directions or obvious insights.
  • If you are at the step of creating customer reports, this may be too simple for you.
  • Anyone who has a website, but has no idea how to navigate Google Analytics
Course content
Expand all 42 lectures 03:26:55
+ Why is Analytics so Difficult?
5 lectures 23:40
Why is Analytics so Difficult?

In this exercise, I'm asking you to work with the date range tool in the dashboard. You'll learn:

  • how to change the date range
  • extend to a full-year view
  • compare to a prior year or quarter
  • see how the data changes. 
Practical Exercise

I'll cover some of the more complicated elements of the interface of Google Analytics. You'll see that you are not alone in your frustration. I'll cover the skills that are necessary to get the most out of analytics and the overall purpose: Know WHAT happened, WHY it happened, and HOW to react.

Course Technical Requirements

In this lesson, I cover the primary obstacles to good analytics. You'll identify practices and actions that prevent a deeper view of the data. Then, I'll cover the benefits of learning Google Analytics and how it results in an investment approach to marketing online, rather than a budget approach. Immediately, you will see a difference in the approach to marketing your business with a data-centric strategy.

Benefits of Knowing Analytics
+ Understanding Google's Terms and their Concepts
6 lectures 32:59
The Terminology of Analytics

The core of Google Analytics measurement centers on users. After this lecture, you'll know:

  •  What a user (visitor) is
  •  How Google Analytics interprets a "user" 
  •  How users apply to other measurements. 
  •  What a session is and how it applies to other data
Visits and Visitors

If people are coming to your website, your primary need is to know what they do - their behavior.  You'll learn the behavioral-based terminology and how it applies to real human interactions with your website.


Knowing how people find your website is critical to measuring the effectiveness of your marketing. You'll see how sources are organized in Google Analytics and the difference between each source. You'll learn that your visitors do not all act the same, as the source of their visit impacts how they behave on your website.


This is the purpose of Google Analytics: measuring the success of your efforts. You'll see that Google Analytics needs to be customized for your specific business, otherwise, the data doesn't make any sense at all! You'll learn the initial methods of tracking value and start developing a tracking strategy.

Goals & Conversions

While this might be a bit more trivial than the other videos, You'll be able to explain to others where the data comes from, how Google Analytics interprets it and the reliability of the data. Get ready to geek out as you learn the "behind the scenes" secrets of analytics data.

Terminology Quiz
10 questions
+ Report the Goal
6 lectures 23:35
Why the Dashboard Doesn't Work

Here's the key that will make analytics work for you! You'll learn how to chart the actions, activities and goals that result in revenue for your business. 

Define Your Goal Value

Not all websites sell products. Some are lead generation, some just need to increase subscribers - so what do you measure, and how do you measure value of these types of things? You'll learn how to assign value to "soft" goals, and still have the benefits of value measurement in your reports.

What is the Value of a Lead?

You'll start making changes that customize Google Analytics to report goals that are specific to your business. You'll learn how to navigate the Administrative Access interface to add your user goals. This is the next step towards customization and better reports! 

Preview 04:28

Once you've added your goals, you'll then learn how to track those goals and how to assign value. You'll define those things that make you money, and transform your view of Google Analytics. 

Implement Value

This is the critical assignment. Now that you've seen me walk you through the process of adding goals, goal tracking and goal value, it's your turn. Your assignment is to add these into your account. The rest of the course won't make much sense without these values added into your reports.

+ Develop Context for Better Understanding
7 lectures 32:31

This is the critical assignment. Now that you've seen me walk you through the process of adding goals, goal tracking and goal value, it's your turn. Your assignment is to add these into your account. The rest of the course won't make much sense without these values added into your reports.

The Importance of Context

Context is everything. Numbers, by themselves, do not communicate much in the way of improvement. In this section, you'll learn which numbers have to be associated in order to provide insight.

Data in Context

The basis of understanding user behavior is to segment users into like categories. You'll see the value of segmentation and how it works. You will learn how to apply segmentation to create better reports. Not only that, you will also learn how context creates reports that are easier to understand. 

Segments in Context

Besides segmenting user behavior, we can also segment pages and categories of our website. Depending upon how your website is structured, you will learn how to run a report that shows you the most popular sections of your website, and the popular pages within those sections.

Structure in Context

The Behavioral reports are a primary part of Google Analytics. When you learn to understand user behavior, you can adjust your website based on their intent. In this lesson, you'll learn how to derive intent from different groups of users. You'll learn to analyze behavior based on:

  • the visitor source
  • The visitor action
  • the visitor session
Behavior in Context

The keywords that users type into search engines are loaded with intent. Despite Google not providing keyword data, you'll learn a few ways to sneak around that and get access to some keyword data. You'll see how keywords provide intent, and learn how to measure that intent on your website.

Keywords in Context

This assignment will test your critical thinking skills based on the data presented up to this point. To get the most out of Google Analytics, you must develop question-asking skills, and analysis of user behavior. These questions will start you on your way to asking questions about your users and their intent.

+ Uncover Basic Reports
6 lectures 36:58

Here's where we really dive in and tackle some primary reports. You'll gain confidence as you see these reports in a whole new light. You'll know the terminology, you'll see your customizations, and the segments will jump out to you as you now see a report with new eyes!

Uncover Basic Reports

Do you want to break out of the typical report of page views, average time on site and users? These three questions set the stage for better analytics and better reports. You'll apply identified segments from earlier lessons to these reports and find new data to grow your business!

3 Questions to Transform Your Reports

You'll learn the answer to the following questions:

  • Where did people come from?
  • What did they see?
  • What did they do?

You'll start with the 'Acquisition by Medium' report and gain immediate insight from this report. You'll see how to access additional details about each medium and how users find you, how they respond to what they see, and what it meant to your business' revenue.

Acquisition by Medium

The 'Behavior by Pages' report shows you the top viewed pages of your website. However, what may have been confusing before is nor clarified by your newly acquired skills of Context, Contrast & Comparison. You'll find that the terminology isn't as complicated and that the rows and columns are much easier to understand. You'll learn how to measure which pages contribute to your overall business value, and which pages are detracting from your value!

Behavior by Pages

More users are using mobile devices to access information online. You may have heard that Google is "demoting" websites that are not mobile-friendly. However, just because your website may have passed the "mobile-friendly" test on Google does not mean that they work! The 'Audience by Device" report will teach you how to troubleshoot your website based on different devices (phones, tablets, desktops). You'll learn how analytics is a much more reliable measure of mobile success than the 'mobile-friendly' test. You'll also learn how user behavior is drastically different based on the device used to access the website.

Audience by Device

Your assignment is to go through each of the reports from this module and answer the questions asked in this video. This will provide you with a framework to follow as you develop analytical skills.  

+ Learn Analytics Skills to Grow your Confidence
6 lectures 32:03

Now that you are able to read and understand the data from a number of reports in Google Analytics, I'll walk you through troubleshooting methods for applying your new knowledge into experience. You'll be able to confidently make decisions about the data as you learn the primary trouble spots of websites.

Get Knowledgeable

This lecture will take you beyond the numbers and into a deeper understanding of the data. You'll be able to blow people away with your brilliance as you dive deeper into analytics measurements and attribution. You'll understand what attribution is, why it is important, how to compare attribution models, and apply that data to your business.

Find Insights

You learned segmentation in an earlier lecture, and now you are going to take that knowledge to the next level. This lecture will teach you how to apply additional levels of segmentation to find particular groups of users. You'll find that the more you drill down segmentation, the better insights you'll have and the more you can apply that knowledge to growing your business. 

Develop Dimensions

You've learned that adding additional dimensions creates a clearer picture of a segmented group of users. Now, You'll explore that even further by building insights about that group and their value to your business. This is where you learn to ask "WHY" and see how the data leads you to better answers. When you have better answers, you'll know HOW to develop opportunities.

Develop Scenarios

For some of us, we don;t own the website we are working on. We have to get permission or approvals to change anything on the website. So, how do you get the buy-off of those in charge to make the change? Here's a surprise - data and charts won't make the case. You get the buy-off by telling a compelling story about a user. How do you some up with the story and relate it? Your analytics knowledge into the data will tell you the story. 

Here's where you learn the skills to see the data, isolate a particular group of people based on intent or need, and tell a story. The story can be about about what blocked them from a successful visit, or how a successful visit is an indicator of a business opportunity! 

Create Stories

For this assignment, complete the following:

  1. Persona Worksheet - Develop a persona about a type of visitor to your site. This is where you generalize a segment and answer what did they want, what did they see and what did they do. If you want to really excel at this, create a persona for every type of segment you can identify. You will clarify your marketing strategy as you write down WHO you are marketing to and WHAT they want.
  2. Tell a Data Story - Take the persona, apply their needs and think about how they would behave on your website. Were their questions answered? What do they need? How can you speak specifically to them? Are they entering on the right page?
+ Apply Knowledge to Improvement
4 lectures 19:32

Here is where I provide some of my favorite methods of analyzing websites to you. These tactics have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, earnings and profitability. When people learn the power of these tactics, they take the next step in their analytics journey and build the confidence necessary to dive deeper.

Apply Knowledge to Improvement

The Bounce Rate is our target measurement. You've already learned the importance and implications of this metric, and now we are going to apply the first of three evaluation criteria. The first is finding the pages with problems and identifying them. You'll learn the questions to ask, data to find, and a framework of evaluation to find problem pages. 

Troubleshoot the Bounce Rate

Staying with the Bounce Rate Measurement, we are going to evaluate it from the second of three evaluation criteria: Evaluating the content and design of the page. It may be the page that people want, but are you presenting the content of the page in the right way? Sometimes, pages are published, but they are unreadable, difficult to navigate, and there is no clear call to action - resulting in poor performance.

Improve Your Pages

The last of the three evaluation criteria for troubleshooting the Bounce Rate is the website's technical performance. This means that you'll learn how to troubleshoot by using different reports for Users by Device and  Users by Browser. You'll learn the main troubleshooting toolset for finding typical website problems. 

Improve Technical Performance