Google Analytics is the go-to solution for a majority of website owners who use it to accurately track their website’s visitors. However, many people will only install the Google Analytics code and never use the service to its full potential.

There’s so much more you can to with the data that you receive than seeing how many unique visitors have landed on your website. Using this data, you can refine your website, increase conversion rates, and cater to your visitor’s needs while increasing your revenue.

In this post, we cover some of the best tools and resources that will help you extend the capabilities of your Google Analytics account.

Resources to Master Google Analytics

Since you may be a novice or expert user, we’re going to provide both beginner and advanced user resources that everyone can take advantage of.

Beginner Resources

  1. The Absolute Beginner’s Guide: A great resource by MOZ, you’ll learn a little of everything in this post. From installation to filtering reports, this guide will teach you how to use analytics quickly and easily.
  2. A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics: VerticalResponse published a great post that teaches you how to use analytics within just minutes.
  3. How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress: A helpful guide to help beginners install Google Analytics directly by code or with a WordPress plugin.
  4. How to Use Google Analytics on Your WordPress Site: Since WordPress is the world’s most utilized content management system, it’s important to know how to install it right through your dashboard. You’ll learn tips and tricks to use your website’s data to its full potential.
  5. The Small Business Guide: A very in-depth resource, this guide is broken down into various sections or chapters that allow you to learn everything from installation to goal tracking and even e-commerce tracking.
  6. How to Master SEO with Analytics: SEO is essential for your website’s rankings. Positionly will show you how your website can use this data to boost search engine optimization.
  7. Google Analytics for E-Commerce: Shopify offers insights into making reports, understanding real-time actions of your users, how you acquired users and their behavior. This guide is geared specifically towards e-commerce sites.
  8. Mahalo’s Beginner Guide: What I really like about this resource is that there’s a video that’s about eight minutes long that walks you through the interface of Google Analytics.
  9. Step-by-Step Guide: Conversion Voodoo created an amazing guide that’s old, but still has a wealth of information that will help beginners learn Google Analytics.
  10. A Beginner’s Dictionary of Google Analytics: Learning the lingo is essential to understanding what your data is actually providing. This is a must-read resource because it walks you through the terminology that you’ll see in the Analytics interface, such as bounce, entry page, and sessions.
  11. Google Analytics’ Official YouTube Channel: This channel is still updated today with new and relevant information that teaches you the basic and advanced features of Analytics from the developers themselves.
  12. Google Analytics Blog: The official blog by Google that informs you on all the latest updates and information about the Analytics product.

Once you’ve devoured all of the content on these pages, you’ll know more about Google Analytics than the majority of website owners. And, you’ll be able to start using your website’s data within just an hour or two of reading all the content.

But, this just isn’t enough for somebody that wants to extract more valuable information from their users.

Intermediate and Advanced Google Analytic Resources

  1. 16 Secret Advanced Segments: Search Engine Watch created an article that explains how you can dig through your data using advanced segments. You’ll even learn how to determine if content piracy has taken place and segment your data by your own business hours.
  2. Advanced Segments by Google: Google has an exceptional help page that teaches you everything you need to know about segments. This is where you’ll really learn how to refine your data and determine your visitor’s behavior.
  3. The Ultimate Guide To Google Analytic Profile Filters: A wealth of information provided by Paul Koks that explains how profile filters work, advanced segments and how to use custom variables.
  4. 6 Advanced Tricks That All Site Owners Should Know: Neil Patel walks you through six tricks that you can use today to gain more control of your data.
  5. Measure Your Online Marketing Efforts: A complete guide that teaches you about advanced segments and goals to better understand your marketing efforts. This is used when you’re conducting marketing campaigns and want to determine which campaign is producing the best results.
  6. Decoding Google’s Referral String: Hacking your way to information. This guide is your true answer to Google referral strings. After reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding of the “not provided” information listed in your analytics.
  7. Multi-Channel Funnels: An older article by Distilled that walks you through creating multiple channel funnels in Google Analytics. The best part is that there’s a video included that helps you along the way.
  8. Measuring And Increasing The ROI Of Your Content Resources: How to use Google Analytics to measure and increase the ROI of the content your site produces. This is vital for anyone who uses content marketing in their website’s marketing strategy.
  9. Regular Expression Google Analytics: One the most powerful tools provided is also one of the most complex: regular expressions. This will allow you to find information faster and easier, but learning regular expressions is very difficult. This post clears things up and makes it easy to understand how to use this tool.
  10. Google Analytics Academy: Free courses that come directly from Google. These courses are led by experts who will teach you how to use Analytics using quizzes and practice exercises. This is a great resource for anyone who’s just beginning and wants to start from the bottom up with their data.

By the time you get through all of these resources, you’ll be an advanced Google Analytics user. You’ll master the data that’s provided and know how to make the platform work for you. This makes reporting much easier. You’ll be able to see all of the information that’s most pertinent to website’s success; information that will save you time, help you increase your profits, and enhance your users’ experience.

Invaluable Google Analytics Tools

If you’re like me, you want to use all of your available resources to make your life easier. These are tools and plug-ins that will help you take control of Google Analytics in a different way.

We’ll cover plugins that make it easy to view Analytics right on your WordPress dashboard, and more advanced tools that professionals use to extend the information that Google Analytics provides.

  1. Custom Report Sharing: A forum that provides custom reports through templates. Social media dashboards, SEO dashboards, and several other templates are provided. A one click download, these take the work out of creating advanced reports.
  2. Google Analytics | Solutions Gallery: A magnitude of different tools are provided that allow you to import dashboards directly from a Google-owned property. This is great for users that want an advanced dashboard, but don’t have the time to create one on their own.
  3. Quill Engage: Quill offers a paid and free solution to users for Analytics by connecting directly to your account. This makes information easy to understand and provides reports that are dispatched weekly or monthly. This makes understanding your data much easier and faster.
  4. N2K: Similar to Quill Engage, this tool provides a one-page view for all your Google Analytics’ data. This tool allows you to make complicated data easy to understand and formats everything into columns.
  5. G Analytics (Android): Available directly on Google Play, you’ll be able to view all of your website’s information on the go. Plus, the interface is easy to use and understand. This app is available in nine languages and offers a plethora of features.
  6. GAget (OS X): You can use this advanced app either on your Mac or iPhone. This provides you with all the Analytics information that you would find in your dashboard, but you can use it on your mobile device.

Google Analytics Tools for Google Chrome

It’s not necessary to log into your dashboard to see all of your site’s information. Browser plug-ins and extensions will allow you to view all of your data without leaving your browser. A few of the extensions and plug-ins that we recommend are:

  1. Stats Checker for Google Analytics: A quick overview of your sites information and stats provided on one page. Updates are done every five minutes, so your information is always up-to-date.
  2. Page Analytics (by Google): Google created this extension to allow you to see how customers interact with your web pages.
  3. Google Analytics Debugger: This extension loads the debugged version of Analytics for all sites on Chrome browser. And creates a list of error messages with the Analytics link and tips to correct them.

Note: We haven’t included any Firefox add-ons because they haven’t been updated in so long and are unreliable for current versions of the browser.

Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress

If you’re using WordPress, there are several plugins that will make retrieving your Analytics data easier:

  1. Google Analytics by Yoast: The developers offer a simple plug-in that will track all of your blog’s activity, and provide easy installation and viewing of your data.
  2. Better Google Analytics: Quickly track all of your data from heat maps to charts, events, site issue tracking and even A/B tests straight through this plug-in.
  3. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP: Another option, this plug-in displays real-time information right on your dashboard.

Did we miss one of your favorite resources or tools? Let us know in the comments below.