Is Google Analytics Hard to Learn?

Your questions about learning Google’s web analytics tool, Google Analytics, answered.

Published Categorized as Analytics

Many people are intimidated by Google Analytics because they think it’s statistics and data science. But Google’s web analytics tool is really about process. Everything is done for you; you just have to learn how to use it.

This leads us to the question you came here to find out: How hard is Google Analytics to learn?

Exactly how difficult it will be for you to learn Google Analytics depends on your background and experience. If you have never worked with digital data before, your learning curve will be steep. If you have worked with Google Analytics or similar tools before, you will probably find learning the tool a little easier.

Another question is how familiar you are with advertising and marketing as a whole. Having a certain degree of familiarity in the domain will obviously help.

At the end of the day, Google Analytics is about identifying where visitors are coming from on your site and understanding which pages entice them to stay and which ones cause them to leave.

There are, of course, other and more extensive uses. But in most cases, it boils down to these two. So if you have experience buying ads, building websites, or creating landing pages, Google Analytics will be easier for you to learn.

How to Learn Google Analytics Without a Website

The best way to learn Google Analytics if you don’t have a website is to take Google’s free Google Analytics 4 courses. These courses are:

The first three courses will teach you the basics of the latest generation of Google Analytics, called Google Analytics 4, and prepare you with the knowledge you need to start using it when you gain access to a GA4 property.

In the fourth and final course on this list, you will learn how to control the data you collect in Google Analytics 4, combine it with data from other sources for additional insight, and learn about some of the features of the enterprise version of the tool.

Remember, you can create a Google Analytics property and play around with it even if you don’t have a website. Sure, there won’t be any data in it—but many of the features you will learn about in the courses will still be available for you to try out.

Considering that Google Analytics is free to use, you have no reason not to create a GA account and property of your own.

Is Google Analytics Worth Learning?

Whether you want to start work in an agency or marketing team, or you’re a solopreneur who wants to create an online store or website, there’s no doubt that Google Analytics is an indispensable tool you need to learn how to use.

By mastering Google Analytics, you will be able to:

  • Create, configure, and manage access to your Google Analytics account and properties
  • Collect data about your website’s traffic sources as well as users’ behavior on it
  • Use Google Analytics, default collections, topics, and reports
  • Create custom reports and explorations of your own

Should You Learn GA UA or GA4?

Currently, Google is in the midst of transitioning from the old version of Google Analytics, called Universal Analytics, to the next generation of the tool, called Google Analytics 4.

The two versions are similar, yet different in appearance and features. So don’t be surprised when, in every help article you read or YouTube video you watch, you notice people pointing out whether the information relates to GA UA or GA4.

Which one should you learn?

If you’re just getting started with Google Analytics, it makes no sense to learn Universal Analytics unless you have to. All GA UA properties will stop collecting data on July 1, 2023, and Google is actively encouraging all property owners to move to GA4.

To put it simply, don’t waste your time learning GA UA and learn the next generation of Google Analytics, GA4, instead. In less than a year, GA UA will no longer be in use.

In Conclusion

Is Google Analytics hard to learn? It’s certainly not easy.

If you’ve never worked with Google Analytics before and you have no background in advertising or marketing, you will need to take a few weeks to be able to learn the ropes and master this tool.

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

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