The Google Marketing Platform for Growth Marketing (Review)

Google Analytics: what

If you play around in the digital world, you’ve probably encountered Google Analytics (GA). I set up GA for the first time when I launched my personal website almost a year ago. I check the main dashboard every week and browse the search console queries to see which search terms bring visitors to the site. I explored other functionalities once, when I noticed I couldn’t distinguish real traffic from my hits when tinkering on the back end and checking my changes in the main view. I Googled how to block internal hits and excluded my IP address without understanding much beyond the step-by-step instructions I followed.

Hands-on component

In the past, I’ve retained little from passively watching tutorials on technical tools. The information is dense and usually lacks a narrative connecting each module, much like a textbook. From the first lesson, though, the CXL instructor for the GA section (Chris Mercer) linked in the Google Analytics Demo Account — a fully functional (view-only) GA account tracking real business data from the Google Merchandise Store. Each video flipped between showing the demo account and Mercer’s measurementmarketing.io account, which encouraged me to follow along, engaging with GA as I learned.

How GA relates to growth marketing

Digital analytics tells you the “how” of a business’s online results — i.e. how you make money online. Behind the numbers lie behaviors, which offer all sorts of insights into the customer experience and journey.

Using GA

Although GA isn’t the most straightforward tool to understand, it’s easy to set up and get started. You can install GA through a tracking ID most site-builders/plug-ins integrate automatically or through Google Tag Manager/code snippet (that GA provides) for custom-built sites. Google also generates a ton of very detailed help pages for troubleshooting and learning specific portions, and each lesson linked to the relevant Google resources to learn more.

GA Reports

The CXL lessons introduced the platform by walking through the categories of reports — each one answers specific questions about users.

Real-time reports

What are users on the site right now doing? Are GA/site changes working?

Audience reports

Who are my users?

Acquisition reports

Where are users coming from?

Behavior reports

What actions are users taking?

Conversion reports

What results are my users driving?

Free and powerful

Each of the report descriptions barely scratches the surface of what GA can do, but I hope the overview previews how versatile the tool is. Understanding GA boosts your data literacy and benefits anyone in the digital space, not just marketers. Unlike newer tools that may be relevant for only a handful of years, I don’t think GA will be replaced anytime soon.

Lesson overview

The Google Marketing Suite modules were very well done. As with any worthwhile class, the instructor explained the why behind each aspect, not just the what; how GA calculates each metric, which metrics show up in multiple reports and how they relate, and the logic behind the numbers GA presents. These are the details that elevate learning from a memorization game (with low retention) to long-term, useful knowledge.

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Sofia Sulikowski

Sofia Sulikowski

Recent undergrad business graduate with a passion for personal growth, professional development, and tech marketing.