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How to approach Google Analytics and the power of stories | One quick tip

By 31st January 2017 No Comments

One quick tip is a regular column for marketers by Sam Turner, our head of digital, in which he shares what we’ve learned about marketing this month and how you can use it. We may be experts, but there’s always something new! ‘Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there’ - Will Rogers


Google Analytics always reminds me of Star Trek.

Whenever I open it and glance at even part of the vast swathes of data within it, I can practically hear a voiceover beginning.

‘Space… the final frontier’.

Google Analytics is daunting and once you’ve been sucked into the black hole, you can spend far too much time wandering around a data galaxy, occasionally happening upon a friendly (or hostile) community of insight you can use.

Then you look up and it’s not Monday any more, it’s Thursday. And you really need to change your socks.

Formal training isn’t always necessary for new insight, but it just so happens to have been in this case.

I recently started a paid-for online course from Annielytics, which came recommended by Rand Fishkin of Moz, some time ago. We’re good on Google Analytics but, as the byline of this column suggests: good can always be better.

The course is good.

It could be better.

I’ve learned a lot so far. Some things I knew once upon a time and had forgotten. Other things I had no idea about.

What’s missing, though, is some context; a story to the training; a reason why you would open Google Analytics.

Stories give context to training. They help to solve specific problems but they also empower trainees to solve non-specific problems in the future when they come across similar issues.

And they force you to think about why you really need to use Google Analytics. What you can do with its power.

If, like me, you’ve found yourself wandering around Google Analytics, the last frontier, then the next time you open it, really think about what you need to know from it. What insight would make a difference? What problem are you trying to solve?

Not doing that is risking a) wasting precious time and b) turning your mind to mush.

On that very subject - and making for a nice Star Trek tie-in - here’s The Firm to close us out.

 One quick tip: Stop opening Google Analytics to ‘just have a look’. Always have a clear idea about what you need to know.

And another thing: Do you carry out marketing training? To other companies or to individuals within your company? Give your trainees a scenario to follow every time. Create a fake company, with a fake problem and help your trainees to solve it. They’ll thank you for it.

Author Sam Turner

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