Google analytics – there’s only 3 things I watch – Podcast Transcript

By September 15, 2021No Comments

Google analytics – there’s only 3 things I watch

Every time I open Google Analytics, whether to see the reports on my websiteWedding Business Solutions Podcast with Alan Berg CSP - Google analytics - There's only 3 things I watch, or on one of yours, I see so many points of data that neither you nor I will ever need. It’s not that the data isn’t interesting, it’s that you can’t do anything with the information. Want to find out the only 3 points of data that I really pay attention to, and why you should to? Listen to this 14-minute episode and find out.

If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com or visit my website www.AlanBerg.com

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Below is a full transcript. If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com or contact me via textuse the short form on this page, or call 732.422.6362

Please be sure to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review (thanks, it really does make a difference). If you want to get notifications of new episodes and upcoming workshops and webinars, you can sign up at www.ConnectWithAlanBerg.com


– Google Analytics is a great tool and it’s free, but there’s a whole lot of stuff in there that you don’t need. If you want to find out what you do need, listen to this episode. If you have a website, you should have analytics on that website, just like you have a dashboard on your car. Well, Google Analytics is a free tool and it’s a great free tool and there’s way more information in there than you need. When I’m speaking at a conference, I very often will have people raise their hands. How many of you have Google Analytics for your website? A lot of hands go up which should be almost everyone although some people have a different version of analytics and that’s fine. This will apply whether you have Google Analytics or another version but then I’ll ask. But I say, keep your hands up if you have Google Analytics. How many of you know how to read it? It’s amazing, how many hands go down when I say, how many of you know how to read it because most people don’t. It would be like me sitting in a space capsule. I don’t know if I can pick out what any of the dials are but there sure are a lot of them here.

So, when it comes to Google Analytics, there are very few things that I actually pay attention to for my own website as well as for my client’s websites when I’m doing website reviews. I’d like to look at your analytics because there are some information there that very interesting. I’m looking for the things that are actionable. See things that are interesting but not actionable, are kind of like fireworks. It’s like, ooh, wow but what are you going to do? You just go home. Yeah, interesting but I can’t do anything with that. So, when it comes to Google Analytics, some of the things I look at once to get some information, just helpful, such as are people looking at my website on Google Chrome or Apple Safari or on whatever Microsoft’s browser is these days, right because if I’m looking on Google Chrome on my Mac and a lot of people are looking on Safari, I bet I’ll look at Safari every once in a while, just to see if my website comes up the same way.

Same thing with mobile. You want to know what percentage of your traffic is mobile. Now that is something that is actionable for you because Google actually is using the mobile version of your website for indexing and what indexing means is reading your website basically. So, when Google decides, if you come up in search engines, it’s because it indexed your website, went through every page, looked at every element was on there, looked at all the words. So, if someone does a search for something, those things either do or don’t appear on your website, that’s what indexing is.

Well, Google told us as of last year, actually they warned us the year before that it’s going to be using the mobile version of your site for indexing. It’s not even looking at what it looks like on a laptop or on a desktop anymore. So, if you have a responsive website, it’s the same site, no matter what the device, it just adapts to the size. Nothing to worry about, it’s all there but some people, I had somebody who was using a Wix website and they could decide on mobile, things that they might not want to appear there. So, the page would load faster or wouldn’t be as big or so forth and I said, no, no, mobile needs to have everything you want Google to read because if it’s not there, you won’t come up in the search. Imagine if you had some great stuff on your desktop version of your site, it wasn’t on mobile, now that stuff isn’t being indexed by Google anymore. So, you want to look at that.

If you have the original version of Google Analytics right on your dashboard, when you go in and if you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see what looks like a donut, a circle graph, and it’ll show you what percentage of your traffic is mobile, tablet and desktop. You do want to be careful of the timeframe. The best thing for Analytics is trending, trending over time, not what it is for the last seven days, unless you changed something over the last seven days but watch it over time. So, my website for instance, is currently about 30% mobile and 70% desktop. That hasn’t changed very much. 10 years ago when I launched my first website, we were about 25% mobile and now we’re 30% mobile. So, really hasn’t moved that much but for a lot of wedding professionals, you’re 50%, 55, 60, 70% mobile already.

Sites like WeddingWire, The Knot, Easy Weddings, weddingsonline, Guides for Brides. All of those sites are more than 50% on mobile these days. So, you want to make sure that what’s the percentage on yours. Don’t guess, it’s right there on your dashboard. Just change the timeframe. Look at seven days, then look at 30 days, then look at 90 days if your site’s been up and the Analytics has been there. Look at 12 months and see what’s the trending over time. The next thing that I want to look at is where is your traffic coming from? It’s not where you get the most traffic that matters, it’s where you get the best traffic that matters unless you’re doing e-commerce where you’re selling on your website. People coming to your site is not the goal. People coming to your site and taking action is the goal. Even with e-commerce, the goal is to get someone to buy. So, my shop with my books is shopalanberg.com. If you go there, I want you to buy a book or a bunch of books or a group of books or a bundle of books. Just going into the site, doesn’t accomplish that goal for me or for you, by the way. Not only do I not get the money for the books, you don’t get the information unless you buy the books. So, the goal of that site, get it in the Cart, checkout.

The goal of most wedding and event professionals is to get an inquiry. It’s got one job, that’s the job to do. So, getting people to your site but if they don’t contact you, that could be a problem that the traffic was not good traffic or that could be a problem that they just didn’t find what they were looking for. So, there is something called the bounce rate. The bounce rate is when you go to a website and you leave from the same page you came in on. That’s a bounce, we’ve all done it as consumers, we bounce. Sometimes we find exactly what we’re looking for. We don’t have to look at any other page, so we bounce. So, all bounces are not bad and the average I’ve heard over all websites in the world is about 40%, my websites is 80%. Now you would say, oh, well, an 80%. It’s 80% because I’ve created a site where every basic service has its own one page. So, if you Google Alan Berg sales training, or Alan Berg website reviews, it’ll land you on a page that has everything you need about that including a contact form, including multiple calls to action, including click to call me, click to text me, click to email me. So, you don’t have to leave the page to contact me. My bounce rate is high because people find what they’re looking for and then they leave because they didn’t have to look at anything else.

I judge success of my site, not by the bounce rate, I judge it by my calendar and my profit and loss statement. If my sales look good and my calendar is filling up, I don’t care what my bounce rate is and neither should you. Usually, if your calendar is full and people are paying you the money you want to do the kind of work you want to do and you’re filling your calendar, don’t worry about things like bounce rate. In general, a higher bounce rate is not necessarily a good sign but it’s not necessarily bad like with my site. So, where is your traffic coming from? And you could look at the bounce rate for each of those sources. So, you could look at it from a particular advertising source or a particular social channel or whatever, you can look at that and then the longer they’re spending on the site, right it’ll show you the time on the site, it’ll show you the number of pages that they look at from each of those sources of traffic.

So, if people are coming in, even if it’s a lower number but they’re sticking around, they’re looking at more pages, and if you’re getting more inquiries, conversion from that, all return on investments, don’t have to be the same, they don’t. So, don’t worry that you’re getting more traffic from one source than another. If the traffic from the smaller source is sticking around longer, looking at more pages, it’s a higher quality traffic and then the last thing I look at, and this is, I think I probably spent the most time on is which pages on your site are people visiting? Not everybody goes to your homepage. If someone Googles you or on Bing and they search for you, your homepage might not be the best result. It’s not on my website. If you’re looking for me to review your website, going to my homepage is going to make you have to click to get to the website review page but if it takes you right to the website review page, which is what Google would do if you Googled “Alan Berg website reviews”, you’re not going to hit the homepage at all. So, I’m looking for people coming into my site from different places but which pages are they looking at? I’ll tell you which page they’re not looking at. They are not looking at reviews pages. I put reviews on every page.

Many of you know that I’m talking about that in other podcast episodes but I put reviews on every page because people don’t go to reviews pages. Every client of mine that I’ve looked at their Google Analytics and they had a specific page for testimonials, reviews, kudos, whatever you want to call it, it was one of the least viewed pages on the site because as I say, it’s your personal love fest. I put only the best things anybody ever said about me on this page. Why don’t you go look at it? No, they don’t want to go look at it because they know that’s what you did. That’s why we put the testimonials where they are. It’s interesting for me to also see pages that are getting high traffic on my site and other sites, but not conversion.

For instance, I wrote a blog post years ago called what’s your one, three, five-year plan. Okay, it’s good title. Apparently, it’s a really good title for search engines because it’s one of my highest viewed pages all the time but the bounce rate is like 95 or 96 or 97%, which means people are coming in. They’re not looking anywhere else on my site. They may not even be reading that article because the time on page is very short but the Google search, my site must have strong Google juice, I guess and that page has very strong Google juice but I ignore that because I’m not getting conversion. I’m not getting inquiries from that particular article. So, again, I’m looking at trending over time, not just a snapshot because certain things, if I put up a new blog post, it might get very high traffic over the last seven days but then over time that might fade out and then it’s not getting traffic anymore. So, looking at which pages they’re viewing, looking at that over time, looking at the time people are spending on that page, looking at the bounce rate of that page, meaning if they came in on that page.

So, for instance, if you’re advertising on a site like The Knot, or WeddingWire, again, Easy Weddings, Guides for Brides, weddingsonline, any of these sites, if you do more than just weddings, you wouldn’t be sending them to your homepage, I hope, you would be sending them to your wedding information page because they’re coming from a site that you know, they’re interested in weddings and it would be the same for quinceañeras It would be the same for Mitzvahs or any, if you’re advertising for those services, send them to those services pages, make sense, right. So, those would be called entrances. They came in on those pages. Then you want to look at exits. Did they leave from that page? And then the bounce rate again, did they come in and leave from that same page? That’s the bounce rate, that’s all it is. It’s nothing more scientific than that, that’s all it is but if people are coming in from a certain source and then looking at other pages and spending more time on your site, it generally indicates higher quality traffic.

What this all boils down to is with Google Analytics or any analytics, it’s trending over time and I want you to pay attention to things that are actionable. What action can you take based upon some of these other things that are on Google Analytics? There’s an awful lot of stuff like what countries are people coming from to look at it and then the demographics. Whether they’re men or women and how old they are, and things. Interesting for sure but are you going to take any action based upon that? Not really, so can you act on which pages they’re looking at? Yes, because some people label their page names differently to be different and then people don’t go there because they don’t know what’s going to be on the page. I’ve done that with some clients, we just changed the way it’s labeled to like, we might change it to say packages and pricing because that’s what people are looking for and all of a sudden that page gets a lot more views than it was before. I have a lot of photographers that will have galleries but they’re not labeled as galleries and I’ll click on weddings thinking, I’m going to read about weddings and it’s just another gallery and then there’s another gallery and I don’t know where to go to find information. That’s making it difficult.

So, that’s where you can act on that with Google Analytics. The mobile, you can act on, make sure you’re mobile version. When’s the last time you actually looked at your way website on a mobile device but I mean really looked at it. Scroll through the pages. Try to click on the links. Go to your menus and find how easy it is to get to other pages or a better idea’s find a buddy and you look at their website and have them look at your website and give you notes on where the friction points are.

So, with Google Analytics, I want you to have it because you want to be able to see the trending over time. Again, it’s completely free. How much of your traffic is mobile versus tablet and versus desktop? Which pages are people looking at? And what are your sources of traffic? Those are pretty much the only three things that I pay any attention to and yeah the bounce rates, those are subheadings underneath that but all that other stuff, again, just imagine sitting in a space capsules like, oh, look at all these dials. Interesting, I’m not going to take action on them. You want to pay attention to the things that you can take action on and then do take action on them. I hope this helps.

I’m Alan Berg. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to suggest other topics for “The Wedding Business Solutions Podcast” please let me know. My email is Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.

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