Learn how Google can help your business with our new Help Desk Hangouts on Air series

Monday, March 19, 2012 | 1:11 PM

You’re looking to grow your business, and we offer a ton of tools to help you do just that. But sometimes, you need a little help learning all the options and getting started. That’s why this week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’ve launched a new series of Help Desk Hangouts On Air to put you in touch with teams who can help you get the most out of our products and features.

What’s a Hangout On Air? Well, Hangouts are a video group chat with a limit of 10 participants. Hangouts On Air are special Hangouts that allow you to broadcast that 10-person Hangout to many people and record it for future viewing.

To kick things off, we asked Justin Cutroni of the Google Analytics team (and author of the blog Analytics Talk) to show us how business owners can use Analytics to track their advertising campaigns, website performance and see how users are getting to their site (e-mail, social media, referrals). If you missed it, you can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel:



Here’s how the video breaks down:
  • Intros - Hi, Mom! (2 mins)
  • The basics (25 mins)
    • What is Analytics?
    • Why, as a business owner, should I use Analytics?
    • How do I get started?
    • How do I read the reporting information? (Here Justin walks us through the features of an active account.)
  • Q&A (25 mins)
  • Wrapup (2 mins)
Earlier in the week, we asked you to share with us your Analytics questions — and you had plenty! Here are just some of the questions Justin addressed in the Hangout:

Kenneth: Is there a threat in respect to data privacy?
We take privacy very seriously at Google. The only person that has access to your Google Analytics data is you. You can also grant other people access to your Analytics data, but that’s up to you.

Martynas: Is there a plan to update the administration part of GA? We need more levels: creator, administrator, manager, reader.
Excellent feature request, and it relates to the question above. We get this question often and know that the current model is limiting. We are working hard to figure out the best user model for Analytics.

Lea: When oh when will export to PDF be available in the new version of Analytics?
We hear you! It’s coming back very soon. We’re sorry it’s taken so long to add this feature to the new version of Google Analytics.

Jeremy: What are the plans for integrating Google Analytics with Site Optimizer?
Another great question. For those of you that don’t know, Website Optimizer is a website testing tool. You can use it to test different variations of your website, like landing pages or the checkout process. We’ve heard our users loud and clear that Website Optimizer would be a lot more useful as part of Google Analytics. Stay tuned ...

Connie: Is there a good WordPress plug-in for adding GA code to a blog?
Plug-ins! Justin’s favorite, we learned yesterday in the Hangout. There are some great ones out there, especially for WordPress. Check out Google Analytics for WordPress.

Raphael: Can you tell us more about the benefits of using Analytics for tracking mobile apps?
You can absolutely track apps with Google Analytics. We have two SDKs, one for Android and one for iOS, that make it easy to  track how people use an app. If you’re going to use GA to track apps you should also understand Event Tracking and Custom Variables. These two features are very useful when tracking apps.


Justin shows us a feature that tells you how often you show up in Google’s organic search results and the number of click-throughs that you get.

To learn more about how to get started with Google Analytics, visit our Help Center. And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday, as we discuss how to use Hangouts (something a bunch of you guys have asked us to talk about!). We’ll be collecting your Hangout questions today on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager