Google Analytics has always been the cornerstone of working your SEO magic on the world’s biggest search engine. Many SEO has done great work through the platform and the customization and in-depth analytics available make it invaluable in managing a successful campaign.
What hasn’t been so great is the lack of a demo account. This has long been asked for as a way to try out the tool before investing further and also to be able to use it to test out SEO theories and practices.
The good news is that Google has granted this long-standing wish and recently rolled out their Google Analytics demo account which is available to all with no strings attached. We’ll be going over in further detail today how you and other marketers or SEOs can benefit from its use.
Why it’s great news
A particular reason to get excited about the rollout of this demo account is that it includes a range of integrations and different reports that are extremely difficult to simulate in your own personal sandbox.
A lot of people don’t want to put the time into creating a dummy e-commerce store for this purpose. While it would help them develop all the necessary skills for managing a real one, it can be too time-consuming. Therefore, having this feature available allows everyone to learn to wisely use data.
The detail that makes this such exciting news is that the data that’s contained within the demo account just rolled out actually comes from a real source – Google’s very own merchandise store. This means that the data included and the reports available are genuine and can be manipulated and experimented on with the understanding that you have real-world information being worked on.
How to Get You Learn On
It’s easy to get started with the default installation of the demo account. It contains a range of solid reports that you can get stuck in with and some sound implementation will help you hone your reporting skills.
It’s a good idea to get focussed on the reports first. You can see on the left side of the page that there is a menu available that lets you navigate through the various reports available to you. It’s a good place to get started on learning what information GA contains. Once you get your head around how this information is sorted you’ll find it much easier to look up different details.
Get your head around the metrics and dimensions
Learning the basics of dimensions and metrics will help pay dividends in that you will know better what information you can derive from these. A great selection to start from would usually include pageviews, bounce rates, session duration averages, and users.
Once you understand these core concepts you can look to decide for yourself which metrics are most relevant to your website – this does vary. It can be easy to get focussed on the most important sounding details like pageviews but you’ll be losing out if you don’t keep a level head and consider the others.
Be aware of the setup
The demo account comes with quite a range of features already arranged for your use. For a newbie, it’s best to check out how the data is organized into different sections like views and properties. Keep in mind that your data will be collected together at the property level and that you can then use different views to make it easier to organize and clean through this data.
Pull some reports
Once that’s all in your noggin you can use the demo account to get some reporting going. Woo, reporting! You’ll want to consider what information is most critical to you and the growth of your website. You can then play with the demo account to find out how to find this information quickly.
You’ll want to think carefully about what you will do with this data once you’ve pulled it – it’s a big decision to make in the real world.
So who can benefit from this?
Teachers and professional trainers
This release is great news for these two categories of people. The ability to train on different integrations that previously weren’t available without making use of personal or company data is a big deal. It makes working on specific scenarios much easier and this opens up the available training significantly.
Details such as the enhanced eCommerce and search console mean that reports will have actual data flowing into them making them of immense use. Scenarios that are created for training purposes won’t need to have screenshots and examples with data blurred out or omitted and client confidentiality is no longer a concern.
Marketers and analysts
Those focused on analytics or using it as part of their role will see benefits from the use of the new demo account. There is a range of Google Analytics features that some people have never made use of. Experimentation on these is made easier through this new release.
The chance to get more up-to-date and comfortable with different customization options without messing up your active Analytics account is a big deal. SEO is constantly in flux and the option to experiment freely without concern will help marketers stay on top of the game without risk.
Moreover, the ability to reference the data in the GA demo account is also a big deal when it comes to analysis. It’s often the case that if a marketer is in the house they won’t have a range of client data available to them with which to make comparisons and draw trends.
This isn’t a problem if you are an SEO or marketer who manages or consults with several companies, but if you are employed with a single organization it limits your capability to a degree. The fact that this new platform means many marketers have a second source of data they can play with freely is a big deal.
Students and amateurs
This is a feel-good point that nevertheless has great potential for the future of marketing and SEO. The availability of demo accounts puts the power of GA in the hands of the brightest and youngest. There’s a lot that can be done in the education sector to push the presence of SEO and marketing into the minds of students.
Making them aware of the exciting career path that is this area is only good news for the future of the industry as a whole and has the potential to increase entrepreneurship.
We touched on this one above – no more need to blur out details. For those who blog on GA and its functions, this release is a welcome way to use the sample data without needing to omit and blur out important information. Neat.
And many more
It’s a great release that can touch a huge number of people. We’re happy to see Google roll out such a well-requested feature. We’re sure it will be a big aid in bringing more people into the world of analytics and SEO. Great stuff Google!