On day one of DGM Camp, we will create our web property and configure all of the necessary WordPress plug-ins to manage the web property. On day two we will learn Google analytics.

All. Day. Google Analytics.

This day will be the same class that we teach for Google Analytics Certification (GAIQ) preparation once or twice a month at General Assembly. We teach this class because it is vital to the marketer to understand who is coming to their web property, where they’re coming from, what they’re doing, and why. If you don’t know this information, you’re just guessing with every marketing effort.

The Google analytics certification training day is not a fun day. Creating a new web property in word press can be a lot of fun. Creating content like we will do on Wednesday is a tremendous amount of fun. But Google Analytics is not fun. Especially the first half of the day.  We start off not by diving into reporting and all of the other really cool stuff that Google Analytics provides, but by learning the foundations of Google Analytics and how it works. The first half of the day is not fun at all. In fact, it’s quite painful. Death by PowerPoint with a few fun analogies tossed in the grave.

But a thorough understanding of how to set up your web property in Google Analytics is critical. Far too many organizations do not have a good grasp of how to set up Google Analytics for each of their web properties, and therefore don’t get the right data from Google Analytics to make intelligent marketing decisions.

Once we have created a solid understanding of how analytics work and how to properly set up your web property, then we make sure that all students have a thorough understanding of the user interface of Google Analytics. I recently read an article that said that the Google Analytics interface was user-friendly. That is a lie from the pit of hell. It’s complicated, overwhelming, and not intuitive or user-friendly. Apple did not design Google Analytics.

But once you understand where the right buttons are and what to do and when, you can have confidence in diving into Google Analytics to set up goals, filters, reports, dashboards, and other custom settings. It’s not hard. It’s just software, for which any user needs to have a good learning curve and a solid understanding of what to do and when.

Day 2 of DGM Camp will be by far the least fun, but likely the most learning. We’ve arranged a fun surprise in the middle of our day to combat the pain that is Google Analytics, and my former student Lawrence O’Connor will provide some much needed relief in the afternoon session on Reporting.

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