Is Google Analytics hard to learn?

April 19, 2022
9 min read

The straight-up answer

Yes, Google Analytics is rather hard to learn. It’s not the type of platform you just sign up for and instinctively know how to use.

The difficulty will depend on

  • Previous experience 
  • How familiar you are with SEO strategies
  • Which method you choose to learn

Let’s take a closer look.

Factors influencing how difficult it will be to learn GA:

  • Previous Experience

Do you have prior experience in traditional marketing?

Do you spend your free time watching the latest keyword research videos on YouTube?

Have you designed websites for friends and family as a hobby? 

All these interests and skills will make it easier for you to understand Google Analytics jargon and concepts. The better your foundation, the easier it will be to build on.

Source: Pexels

  • Knowledge of Digital Marketing and SEO

General knowledge of SEO strategies will give you a running start in learning Google Analytics. It’s one thing to know how a program works, but quite another to understand how to use that data to make better decisions.

You’ll also be more familiar with GA terms like metrics, KPIs, and Funnel conversions. All this means less time Googling terms and more time learning the tricks of the trade.

  • Which method you choose to learn

Can you learn Google Analytics on your own? 

If there’s one takeaway from this article, it's this: DON’T!

Trying to learn GA by simply watching a few YouTube videos and reading blog articles will take weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, there are MANY quality articles and videos out there and you should absolutely take advantage of them to supplement your learning. 

But the best way to learn is to sign up for an actual Google Analytics course. This way, you know it will take X hours and can plan accordingly.

Best Google Analytics training

  • Google Analytics Academy: Google Analytics for Beginners

Google designed this course for absolute beginners. It is best for startups, blogs and small business owners who are not ready to hire a digital marketer.

Course duration: 4 - 6 hours

Cost: Free

Google Analytics for beginners includes all the analytics essentials:

  • How to set up Google Analytics, as well as views and filters
  • Understanding and sharing reports
  • Basic reports: Audience, Acquisition & Behaviour
  • Basic campaign and conversion tracking

And once you’re done learning the basics, you can move on to the Advanced Google Analytics course.  To supplement your learning, there’s also the Google Analytics YouTube channel.

Source: Pexels

  • Reliablesoft Academy: Google Analytics Course

As part of the Digital Marketing course bundle, this course is ideal for beginners and those with prior knowledge of GA.

If you want to learn how the platform works and get a well-rounded knowledge of SEO, this is the course for you. Recommended for small business owners and aspiring digital marketers.

Course duration: 8 hours

Cost: $119

Reliablesoft’s course includes:

  • How to use Google Analytics for SEO purposes
  • Advanced analytics, including creating goals and sales funnels
  • Google Analytics 4 basics
  • Google Analytics reports

  • CXL: Google Analytics Intermediate

This course is designed for those with a good foundation in Google Analytics. It can be described as a masterclass that helps you level up your GA skills.

Course duration: 6 hours

Cost: 7 day free trial, then +/- $140/month

Google Analytics Intermediate includes:

  • How to measure the customer journey funnel step-by-step
  • How to create custom reports
  • How to minimize spam in your data
  • How to customize your marketing channels

Can I get a Google Analytics certification?

Yes - To do so, you’ll need to pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (QAIQ) exam. The exam should take approximately 1 hour to complete, and it's recommended you first complete both the beginner and advanced GA academy courses before you do so.

Note there are now 2 certifications - Universal and GA4. 

Should I learn Univeral GA or GA4?

Google has announced that starting July 2023, they will no longer process data in UA.

Although many principles and terms will remain the same, there are also considerable differences between the two platforms. 

So if you choose to learn how to use UA first, make sure to supplement your learning with content focused on GA4 as well. 

What makes learning Google Analytics a challenge?

Source: Pexels

Google Analytics gathers an enormous quantity of information and compiles reports for just about anything you can imagine.

Even if you want only basic data, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the information provided. The program also uses a lot of technical jargon, familiar only to those in the industry.

This complexity means there is a steep learning curve. And the more complex the data you need, the more difficult it becomes to learn. 

Is Google Analytics worth learning?

It depends. 

If you want a career as a digital marketer, you’ll have very little choice but to learn how the world’s most popular analytics platform works.

And knowing your way around GA will give you a very valuable skill that could land you some pretty cool jobs. In fact, the demand for people with web analytics skills will only increase going forward.

On the other hand, if you are self-employed or a personal blog writer, it may not be worth the trouble.

Also, as a small business owner, you probably won’t have much time to learn how an analytics tool works. Your focus will be on developing your product or service, hiring new staff or choosing the perfect office space for your company. 

Even though Google Analytics might be free, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option. There are other alternatives that deliver data reports for just a small monthly fee - minus the steep learning curve.

So instead of spending hours wrapping your head around event tagging, you can devote this time to writing a new blog or adding more products to your online store.

Source: Pexels

For a simpler alternative to Google Analytics, consider Abralytics.

Google Analytics vs. Abralytics 

The team at Abralytics works hard behind the scenes to take complex data and turn it into simple but powerful reports. Here are some ways we do just that.


We use real words instead of marketing jargon. We’ve put the dimensions and mediums aside and bring you easy-to-understand reporting instead.


Get all the insights you need in less than a minute. One simple page with tables, graphs and tables. Although the information we process is complex, we work hard to bring it to you in the simplest way possible.


We know you have a long to-do list on a Monday morning. To help you out, we deliver a weekly analytics report straight to your inbox. All you have to do is sit back with a cup of coffee and see how great your website is doing.

Setting it up

Installation is quick and easy, and our team is ready to assist you should you encounter any challenges.

You also won't need to configure rules, reports or events before you get started. Our platform uses advanced technology to understand your website automatically. 

For a further comparison of how Google Analytics compares with Abralytics, see our article here.

In Summary

Source: Pexels

We love Google Analytics as much as the next guy.

But as the needs of people and businesses evolve - as the need increases for companies to have a solid online presence and to be able to compete in search rankings - Google Analytics no longer meets the needs of the masses.

Most of us aren’t digital marketers.

We just want a clear, easy and cost-effective way to know how our website performs. To understand who our online customers are so we can create the best possible experience for them. 

Is Google Analytics hard to learn? Yes, but not impossible. And for the foreseeable future, it will be a valuable skill to have.

Whether you decide to put the effort in depends largely on your own reasons for doing so, as we discussed above. 

But if you decide to use a simpler alternative, why not start your free 30-day trial with Abralytics today?

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