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Google Analytics is a great tool for digital marketing or any business (online or offline) but many of the organisations I speak to admit to finding it somewhat overwhelming and confusing at times.

If you aren’t using Google Analytics, or if you want to learn how to get more out of the tracking features, this crash course will help. I use Google Analytics a lot, both with my clients and for my own marketing. The feedback I get from it is absolutely invaluable for so many reasons.

I thought I would start with the basics of digital marketing / google analytics and then explore some of the more complex features in the next few blog posts.

What is Google Analytics?

Put very simply, Google Analytics is a platform that displays data from a website. You can add it to just about any website using a tracking code, and it will track the number of visitors you get along with their activity on your site.

Google Analytics also tells you where your visitors have come from, how long they stay on your site and what pages they visit. It can be used for a number of more complex tracking activities including marketing campaigns, conversion rates and more.

What are the benefits of using Google Analytics?

Whatever type of marketing you do, monitoring the results is absolutely essential if you want to be successful. When you don’t know how many people are visiting your site, or where they are coming from, it’s going to be very difficult to know if your marketing is working or not.

Because it lets you track goals and objectives, Google Analytics is a great way to see what is working and what isn’t so you can plan campaigns in the future and improve the performance of your existing marketing. Even if you just use the basic features you will still gain plenty of valuable insight.

How does it work?

Google Analytics follows a four-step process that works as follows:

1. Data collection: The platform collects user data from digital environments including websites, mobile apps and other connected applications. Each time a user views a page this information is collected and kept.

2. Data processing: Once the raw data has been collected it’s transformed into something useful and organised into a format that is easy to understand. The data in Google Analytics is usually displayed as a graph or table. You can customise the user interface to show certain data and exclude other data and this is very useful to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

3. Configuration: Before being displayed, the data will be configured to suit your specific requirements and filters. You can also get data imported from other sources so it appears alongside your Analytics data for a broader comparison.

4. Reporting: Once the data has been collected and configured it will be displayed on your analytics page or on your website dashboard if you have set it up to display there using an API key.

Digital marketing can be greatly enhanced with Google Analytics. It is an essential reporting tool for anyone who has a website and wants to grow their presence online. It’s easy to set up and use and can provide you with excellent insight into how your marketing, and business is performing online.