Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | 8:52 PM
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that allows you to understand how current trends may affect the way people find and interact with information on your website. Google Analytics provides a powerful set of features and benefits. One of its best features is the Help Center, which has over 30,000 pages of useful information that you can search or browse through to get started.
Once you are comfortable with the basics and reading the reports, it's time to take your analyses and insights to the next level. There are a number of handy resources that will help you take full advantage of Google Analytics. Let's get started.
First things first
If you don't already have a Google Analytics account, sign up for one here.
Google Analytics Help Centre. The official help centre provides useful overviews and answers frequently asked questions. Use the search bar to get fast answers not only from FAQs, but also from relevant blogs, community forum posts, and partner sites.
Analytics Help Forum. Use the forum to ask your questions, provide answers, and participate in discussions. Forum participants include Googlers and power users.
Google Analytics code site. The code side documentation is targeted towards developers who want to learn how to customise the tracking code or people just curious about the technical aspects of Google Analytics. Learn how the tracking code works and how data is calculated, how to implement event tracking, how to track Flash sites, what cookies are set, and more.
Google Analytics Authorised Consultants (GAACs). Make use of these certified partners to assist you with Google Analytics installation, consultation, and training. If you are experienced in Google Analytics implementation and report analysis, you should consider becoming a GAAC.
Google Analytics channel on YouTube. Learn more about using Google Analytics by watching this series of short (1 - 5 minutes) videos. Here is the latest video on using Site Search.
Google Conversion University videos. Watch the videos from previous Google Conversion University events. Find out about building optimal AdWords campaigns using Analytics data, advanced techniques, and more.
The Official Google Analytics Blog. Keep up-to-date with the latest news, tips, and resources straight from the Google Analytics team.
Occam's Razor. Written by Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist for Google, this blog contains rich and insightful articles on leveraging web analytics for improving the performance of your website.
Other useful blogs. Analytics Talk, Measuring Success, Web Analytics World, Web Analytics Demystified, and more.
Conversion University. Learn how to increase conversions and ROI on your website using Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Website Optimiser, and Google Webmaster Tools.
Do more with less. Read through this list of recommended strategies and Google tools that can help you reveal opportunities and achieve your goals.
For those of you who like the feel of paper, the following books are recommended reading for getting up to speed on web analytics and Google Analytics.
Web Analytics: An Hour a Day (Avinash Kaushik)
Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (Brian Clifton)
Google Analytics Short Cuts (e-book, Justin Cutroni)
This is an ever growing list of Google Analytics and web analytics resources to help you start making useful actionable insights based on your analytics data. Have you come across useful resources that are not on this list? Please share them with us in the comments below.
Update (March 2009): Discover 2 new resources in our latest article: the Getting Started Guide and the Google Analytics Individual Qualification program.