INBOX INSIGHTS, June 1, 2022: Google Analytics 4 Course, Metrics Going the Wrong Way, Analytics as a Mirror

INBOX INSIGHTS: Google Analytics 4 Course, Metrics Going the Wrong Way, Analytics as a Mirror (6/1) :: View in browser

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Take our new Google Analytics 4 for Marketers Course »

Did you hear? We just launched our Google Analytics 4 course!

You probably got our sales email yesterday. But here I am talking about it again. Can you tell I’m excited? I wanted to take a minute and go a bit more in-depth on our thinking behind the structure of the course. I’ll bet you have a lot of questions. Let me see if I can answer them for you.

Q: What’s included?

A: Aside from our combined expertise, you’re going to get 5+ hours of lessons and material. This includes videos, transcripts, handouts, quizzes, and a final exam. We started working on this as soon as Google made its announcement last March. We knew how important a course like this would be for all of you.

Q: Why is it so long?

A: Well, there are a lot of areas to cover. The issue we find with a lot of courses is that they aren’t comprehensive enough. For example, in Google Analytics 4 you need to understand how Google Tag Manager and Google Data Studio work with Google Analytics. A lot of courses would leave you high and dry by only talking through the new features of Google Analytics 4. But then you wouldn’t know how the other pieces fit into the larger puzzle. We worked hard to make sure you get the full, 360-degree picture.

Q: What else do you cover?

A: Business requirements gathering, auditing your systems, compliance, attribution analysis, how to hire, and what to do with your data.

Q: But what does that have to do with Google Analytics 4? Isn’t it just an upgrade from the old system?

A: Yes and no. The basic idea behind Google Analytics 4 is the same as Universal Analytics. However, introducing a new piece of software into your ecosystem requires change management. This is where we excel. We cover the 5Ps of Change Management – Purpose, People, Process, Platform, and Performance. When you’re introducing new software you want to take a step back and make a plan. There are questions you should be asking. Aside from Google giving us all a deadline, why are you moving to a new system? Is it still the right system? Who should you involve? What are your skills gaps? Are you using the data to make decisions? We cover how to ask and answer all those questions.

Q: You said you cover attribution analysis? Tell me more, please!

A: You’ve got it. Attribution analysis is who gets credit for marketing. In this case, which channels get credit. Google Analytics 4 has done something interesting by breaking out the “source” metrics into three different steps. This effectively creates a mini-attribution analysis. You can see what is driving awareness, what is driving engagement, and what is driving conversions. We have a whole lesson dedicated to helping you get set up for success.

Q: Can I wait until closer to the deadline?

A: Sure. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Why? You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute. At the very least you should have your property up and collecting data before July of 2022. This will give you at least a year’s worth of data to analyze. This is important because (SPOILER) Universal Analytics and GA4 data is not 1-1. Then you factor the time for the other steps with re-evaluating your goals, reconfiguring Tag Manager, and transitioning your dashboards. Needless to say, you should get started soon.

Q: Wow, ok. That’s a lot of information. I should probably get started as soon as possible. Where can I register for the course?

A: You can easily find it at

If you’re not sure and have questions, join our Free Slack Group Analytics for Marketers where you can find me, Chris, and John, along with your peers, to answer all your questions.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss what to do when your metrics and KPIs go the wrong way. How do you diagnose your marketing operations and prioritize what to fix? What things are a waste of time? Tune in to find out!

Watch/listen to this episode of In-Ear Insights here »

Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live show, we looked at UTM code governance in Google Analytics 4. Catch the replay here »

This Thursday at 1 PM Eastern, we’ll be looking at the Amazon AMP platform – what it is, why it matters, and how to use it. Are you following our YouTube channel? If not, click/tap here to follow us!

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s look at an example of putting analytics data into action. One of the challenges of analytics is that it’s inherently rearward-looking; analytics data is like looking in the rear-view mirror of a car while driving. Looking in the rear-view mirror is a practical and sensible thing to do; driving the car entirely by doing only that is not.

So how do we make use of analytics data in a way that lets us keep our eyes on the road ahead? We use it to determine where we’ve been that we might not want to have gone, or where we might want to go again. Here’s an example, using Google Analytics data. Direct traffic is traffic that has no attributable source to it; Google is unsure where it came from and thus assigns it that designation.

If direct traffic has no attribution, then what good is it? How does it help us? One of the things we could do in Google Analytics 4’s Explore Hub is construct an exploration looking at where direct traffic goes on our website:

Direct Traffic

What we see in Explore Hub is that our homepage gets the lion’s share of direct traffic, along with a few other pages.

So what? Here’s the thing about the pages above, particularly lines 3, 5, 7, and 9. Those are landing pages, pages with conversion opportunities on them. The fact that they’re getting traffic without attribution data is problematic, because it means we’re driving traffic to those landing pages but we have no idea where that traffic is coming from.

Is it coming from an email without UTM codes on its links? Is it coming from social media? Is it coming from users who have strict privacy settings turned on? Or worse, could it be coming from an ad campaign where we’re spending money but we don’t have any idea how that ad is performing because there’s a misconfiguration in our tracking? If that’s the case, we need to know as soon as possible so we can fix our advertising and not waste money to generate results blindly – or not generate results at all.

This is where analytics shines. When you’ve made a wrong turn, the easiest way to figure out what to do is to check the rearview mirror, turn around, and take the other turn. The longer you wait, the more you have to backtrack, so you look frequently and you make corrections as soon as you see you’ve gone the wrong way.

Once we’ve discovered something useful in our Explore Hub, it’s relatively easy to reconstruct it in a tool like Google Data Studio so that we have a permanent, easy to find, easy to use view of the valuable insights we’ve gathered. We make our insight part of our analytical rearview mirror, and we check it often to see where we’ve gone wrong.

Take this lesson (which you can unsurprisingly find in our Google Analytics 4 Course) and implement it into your own marketing analytics cadence: the purpose of analytics is not only to know what we’ve done right, but what we’ve done wrong – so we can fix it as quickly as possible.

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