19th September 2013

Google Analytics – Our day at NTI

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Google Analytics Training Course

Recently a few of the Creode team spent a day at NTI Leeds to take part in a Google Analytics Training Course to help us brush up on our skills! Here’s a round up of our day…

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a product offered by Google that produces detailed stats about a website’s traffic and traffic sources whilst measuring conversions and sales. Google Analytics is used by digital agencies such as Creode to help analyse the use of any web project. It’s the most used website analytical tool on the web today and is constantly developing to offer more advanced statistics on user behaviour and helps to optimise PPC Campaigns.

Course Content

The course starts out from the very basics of Google Analytics – how to properly implement the tracking code, how to correctly configure for multiple websites/users (essential for agency work) and a little history – it was originally called ‘Urchin Analytics’ and was bought up by Google. Whilst this may seem a little basic for the experienced user, which made up the majority of the attendees, we still found quite a few realising that their tracking code wasn’t in the correct part of their pages.

There’s a thorough overview of each section of the user interface –  dashboards, real time, audience, traffic sources, content, conversions etc. This included a few powerful features that thanks to the user interface are practically hidden. We particularly liked the opportunity at this point to discuss the various reports – the group talked about which items were likely to be useful to their businesses/clients and which weren’t.

We then moved on to AdWords/Analytics integration. A full overview of AdWords is outside the scope of this course, but it is very important if you use both to properly link them to exploit the most powerful features of each.

In the afternoon the course moved on to the more advanced features, including goals, conversions, the correct implementation of goal funnels (you’re unlikely to include the home page as the start of the funnel, for example), advanced segments and custom reports. These reports help our marketing team a great deal with the SEO Services they provide our clients.

One incredibly useful aspect of this course was uncovering several potential ‘gotchas’ that can trip up even experienced users:

  • Custom filtering using regular expressions to track case-match inconsistent URLs
  • Enabling/disabling tracking for subdomains
  • Enabling/disabling tracking on multiple TLDs (top level domains, such as .co.uk, .fr etc)
  • Currency configuration
  • Correctly tracking your default page – done incorrectly this could mean tracking example.com and example.com/index.html as two different pages

Delivery

The tutor, James Ward, was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. The group had mixed abilities, but the expert delivery ensured that everyone was engaged regardless of level.

Examples were clear and concise and to allow people to really get the best of the course everyone was encouraged to look at their own data. Within minutes of starting you could see people making notes of things to check or change for their clients.

The course was broken into sensible sections, with a few breaks to allow the team to take full advantage of the generous free tea/coffee offered in the NTI lounge. 

It is a highly recommended course for all levels and at the moment there is a generous discount offer for Yorkshire/Humber businesses with 10 or less employees – 90% off. Currently that’s £15 per person. It’d be rude not too!

The Creode team would like to thank NTI Leeds for their hospitality – we’re already picking out courses for our next visit – see the NTI course list for more information on how your company can benefit.