Getting Smart on Google Analytics

Alan BelniakGeneral, guidelines, Marketing, technologyLeave a Comment

Google Analytics

I’m a big self-learner, mostly because some of the stuff I want to know more about isn’t necessarily documented in text books.  Plus, I’ve learned that over time, I learn different things in different ways – spoken audio, images, video, or plain ol’ text.


I talk a bit about Google Analytics in my day job, mostly because I believe that we can make lots of decisions more soundly when they are based on data, rather than guessing.  I know a little bit about what Google Analytics can do, but admittedly I’m no pro.  So, I set out to go learn.


I surfed for a bit and captured interesting and potentially useful URLs inside an Evernote note.  I’m part-way through my own lesson plan below, but I thought I’d share.  I’m thankful for those who have put their content up online to let others (like me) learn from it.


I’m also reading Web Analytics in an Hour a Day by Avinash Kauskik.  My hope is that with all this free reading, and one (or two) books by Avinash, I’ll be pretty knowledgeable on the topic.  At least enough to have a thoughtful discussion with anyone on it.  Maybe not expert, but smart enough to go back and forth and not feel lost.


Got any other great Google Analytics tips or reading that you can suggest here?   Let me know in the comments.



  • Getting Started With Google Analytics (recorded webinar ; about 48 minutes – video) –
    • The audio and video are so-so quality, but they are good enough to still learn something.
  • AppSumo’s Google Analytics Primer (70 minutes – video)
    • This is great.  You can watch the whole thing at once, or watch individual segments.  You can also download the transcript and follow along in text, if you like.
  • Google Analytics in 60 Seconds (a YouTube playlist ; 16 minutes – video) –
    • Ten videos, all under two minutes (you’d think one minute, by the title, but oh well…)
  • Applying attribution across multiple channels (54 minutes – video) –
    • Because first touch or last touch doesn’t really cut the mustard.
  • Traffic Sources Report (from the Google Analytics YouTube channel ; 1.5 minutes – video) –
  • Social Reports (from the Google Analytics YouTube channel ; 2 minutes – video) –
  • A Google Analytics guide from Evan Prokop at Top Rank Blog (about 5 minutes – text) –
  • Digging in to and hacking around with SEO, using Google Analytics (a dense read by Justin Cutroni, about 20 minutes – text) –
  • Setting up Google Analytics Advanced Traffic Segments for social media (nice video by Christopher S. Penn ; about 4 minutes – video) –
  • The ongoing blog for the Google Analytics product (text) –
  • The Google Analytics help and support site (text) –
  • The overall Google Analytics playlist on YouTube (some of these are already above, but here’s the master list; video) –
  • Same as above, but instead of the feed view, it is in the playlist view, to get a sense of how Google wants to flow it to you –
  • 5 Google Analytics Reports and Tips You Should Embrace Now (from Ducttape Marketing / John Jantsch, about 10 minutes – text) –
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