Attending the Google Analytics class should have been a nightmare. While it’s not as obvious a fear as fencing or bellydancing, deciphering analytics makes my head hurt. I recoil at its mention. I really don’t like it.

Thankfully, our instructor Keidra, a lovely woman with saintly patience, showed us the softer side of web analytics. She knew her stuff and did what needed to be done when you’ve got two hours to get through 36 PowerPoint slides and everyone’s stomach is growling for dinner.

It’s hard for me to get excited about interpreting data. But Keidra gave some really compelling reasons for understanding Google Analytics: They help you see your website’s reach, see who is visiting your site, and see what people like and don’t like about your content, plus a ton more stuff.

As a content manager for two websites, it’s getting harder to ignore the power of analytics. I want to know who’s out there listening and what they want to see more of. The class was helpful in that it showed us what key metrics we should be looking at to avoid “data overload.” The thing I fear most.

In addition, Keidra covered “conversions,” or “an action that seals the deal with a customer.” So whether you want your customer to click a banner ad, buy a product, or subscribe, we learned how interpreting Google Analytics can result in more site transactions. This got me excited, finally!

Following class, Keidra emailed her PowerPoint presentation to us. I appreciated this, as I was able to curse, scream, roll eyes at the computer screen, and generally “digest” the information in my own time.

Google Analytics will never be fun for me but at least now I can say it’s less scary. And if I truly want to be heard online, I’ll need to know who’s listening. For that, I’ll suck it up and look at the data.

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Ali Kelley is a 20-something trying to figure out her life one Dabble at a time. She is the Community Manager at social good startup, Zealous Good and the creator of The Cry Cave, a collection of the web’s best videos to make you cry. Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see her newest Dabble class adventure, and cheer her on with words of encouragement through the comments section below or on Twitter @freegiantparty.