Analytics 101 – Episode 1

Analytics 101 – Episode 1

I’m going to start this off with a simple if, then statement for anyone who owns a business.

If you have a business, then you should have a website.

Else, go get a website.

If you fell under the “else” category, go and get a website built. Now. Go ahead, I will wait.

Okay, are you ready? Good. Now that you all have a website, it’s time to learn about the most important part of any digital marketing program – your Google Analytics account.

If you aren’t already familiar with Google Analytics, let me enlighten you. Google Analytics is a FREE platform provided by, you guessed it, Google, and allows you to measure engagement with your website. What that means is that you, a business owner, have a way to know how your investment (i.e., the website) is paying off.

By the way, let me be clear on that – your website is an investment. It isn’t an expense, it isn’t a burden, and it isn’t a cost of doing business. The whole point of a website is investing in the future of your business and supporting your long-term (and sometimes short-term) goals.

Back to the measurement thing: Google Analytics allows you to see how many users are visiting your website, what those users are viewing, what they are doing, from where they are coming, what actions they took, and myriad other bits and pieces of information that can be valuable to you as you make decisions about your business.

As a digital marketer, Google Analytics and the data it collects acts as a linchpin of any program I roll out. The process of collecting data, analyzing that data, and making informed decisions based on that data, is the difference between a dollar wasted and a dollar well spent. Honestly, any advertising you do online – whether display ads, pay per click, search engine optimization, social media, or otherwise – is arguably worthless without analytics to help you learn from the experience.

Each week, I’m going to touch on some of the fundamentals of Google Analytics. There won’t be any overly confusing or technical musings, just some simple instructions and tips on how you can make sure your website is working for you.

Next week, we’ll start off with the two main types of information Google Analytics deals with – metrics and dimensions. From there, we’ll expand into how to use that information to your advantage.

If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, set one up. Visit analytics.google.com, sign in with a Google account, and get started. Or, have your webmaster set one up for you. If he or she is any good, you probably already have tracking on your site, and just need access to the information.