If you’re working in digital marketing, and you’ve mastered skills like email marketing, SEO, social media, perhaps even pay-per-click advertising, you’re likely to be doing fairly well and you’re ahead of many of your peers. However, this is no time to settle for your existing skill-set, assuming you know “enough.” In the digital world, there is usually something new to be learned as technology keeps changing and evolving—and consumer expectations right along with it—and you can’t stop learning or you won’t keep up. In addition to keeping up, you must make sure your skill-set is well-rounded, so you’re not only driving interest and sales through digital marketing but tracking your results as well, so you can learn and improve.
And that brings us to analytics. Without analytics, you can’t know what is or isn’t working. If you’re using email marketing, you need analytics to tell you which subject line performed better and what click-through rate you achieved with that new offer. And if you’re using online marketing, you need analytics to see who is going to your website and what they do once they are there, so you can drive more of the right kind of traffic and get the results you want. Without that kind of insight, you’re essentially marketing with a blindfold on, and possibly wasting time, effort and money on the wrong things.
Learning web analytics is also how you get better at your job, and therefore become more valuable to your employer…or your next employer, if you’re in the market for a new opportunity. When you know how to find, identify and interpret the data that drives better, smarter and more cost-effective marketing decisions, you are better at your job. It’s as simple as that.
Not all web analytics are created equal, however, and Google Analytics stands out as the one you should learn if you have a choice. Google Analytics, or GA, is a powerful analytics tool that will serve you well in any digital marketing role—if you know how to use it.
Why Google Analytics Is Key to Digital Marketing Success
GA gives you insight you absolutely must have to succeed with your digital marketing efforts. It tells you who is coming to your website, how they are getting there, which pages they are visiting, how long they stay on a page, which links they click, and much more.
GA tells you which of your marketing channels are most effective. For example, if you’re focused on search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll be able to see whether or not your use of keywords and content is driving traffic to your website. Similarly, if you’re using social media marketing, you’ll be able to see what kind of traffic you’re driving from Facebook, Twitter or another platform. Without this insight, you are unable to make informed decisions about marketing efforts—and marketing budget.
You can see where you need to improve. For example, you’ll also see which pages get the highest numbers of visitors and how long they stay. This can not only tell you what people are interested in but also whether you’re delivering the content they want—or not. For example, if you have a page that gets a lot of traffic but has a high bounce rate because no one stays on that page, you can see what it is that’s getting them to click and then re-evaluate the page to deliver what has been promised so they stick around.
You can also see which pages people land on. Just because you have a home page doesn’t mean people start there. Both SEO and referral traffic can send people to just about any page on your website—whether you like it or not. You can then use this knowledge to improve those pages as necessary based on what people do when they land there.
You’ll be able to determine the genders, age groups and geographical locations of your site visitors as well so you can target your marketing appropriately. This information is also useful for ad planning. For example, if you know you get more site visitors from one particular geographic location, you can target ads to appear only to people in that location.
How Learning Google Analytics Can Boost Your Digital Marketing Career
By now, you can probably see how GA can give you invaluable insight you can use to improve your marketing efforts. But what about your marketing career? GA can help with that too.
Employers want and need savvy marketing professionals who will make the best use of limited marketing budgets as well as drive results in an increasingly competitive and crowded digital landscape. And the only way to drive better results is to have a better understanding of analytics so you can make data-driven marketing decisions. Whether your current employer is asking for that capability now or not, learn the skills and see how your effectiveness at work increases significantly. If you’re in search of a new job, add analytics to your résumé and watch the job opportunities increase.
This kind of knowledge is not only a boon for the employee. If you’re an employer, it’s worth making sure your marketing team knows Google Analytics. If you don’t have someone on staff who brought that skillset to the job, get someone trained on it immediately. Otherwise you can’t be sure your company’s digital marketing efforts are optimized to drive the highest ROI and best results.
How to Learn Google Analytics
Getting yourself or an employee trained in this area is straightforward. Although Google Analytics offers in-depth insight, it is not difficult to learn. Marketers can easily acquire these skills through certification, either on-the-job or on their own time. For example, Simplilearn offers an advanced web analytics course that covers web, social, content and mobile analytics from both a strategic and practical perspective. Students gain an understanding of the concepts of web analytics from ground zero to mastering the analytics domain across digital channels. Through this certification, you’ll learn how to leverage data from various sources to conduct quantitative and qualitative research so you can make actionable, data-driven decisions.
The course advisor is Stéphane Hamel, a Google Product Strategy expert and expert data analyst who has been named the Most Influential Industry Contributor by the Digital Analytics Association. Designed with his input, the course includes 15 hours of eLearning videos, hands-on practice with Google Analytics, 15 mini projects and an end-of-course project. It is one of the best ways to learn Google Analytics and add this invaluable skill to your digital marketing skill-set.
Digital marketing encompasses a lot of different marketing channels and requires a wide range of skill-sets. Make sure Google Analytics is one of your skill-sets, and you’ll give both your job performance and your marketing career a huge boost. To learn more about digital marketing, check out our Post Graduate Digital Marketing Certification Program in association with Purdue University.