Google Analytics for Small Business [30 Minute Webinars]
Welcome everybody this is Rich Brooks. Thank you for tuning in to another 30 minute webinar, an ongoing series here at flyte new media where we try to share as much of our knowledge as possible in just half an hour. This episode we’re going to be tackling google analytics reporting for small business. Before we jump into that I just want to do a little refresher course here that everything we talk about in flyte, we’re always trying to demystify digital marketing, so we’ve come up with this framework and it’s called the BARE essential of digital marketing.
Bare is an acronym and the B is for build, about how to build websites that turn visitors into customers. A is for attract, or how to we get people to our website in the first place. R is for retain, or how do we stay in touch with people after they’ve left our website. And E is for evaluate, how do we measure and analyze our results and that is going to be the focus of today’s webinar.
Who is this guy, anyway?
Many of you know me, more of you don’t, so who am I, anyway? My name is Rich Brooks and I’m the president of flyte new media. We’re a digital agency, we build websites for small, medium sized businesses and nonprofits and back it up with SEO social media and other digital marketing. I am also the founder of the agent s of change which is weekly podcast and an annual conference that takes place here in Portland, Maine. This year it’s going to take place on September 20th and we’ve got a day of workshops on September 21st so come out to Maine for that, be sure to stick around. If you can’t make it to Maine we do have a virtual pass. I’m also the tech guru on the evening news program 207, that appears on the NBC affiliates in Portland, Maine. And last year I wrote a book called the Lead Machine the small business guide to digital marketing.
Where we left off
So before we get started I’ll just say that as we go through the webinar if you have questions please throw them up in the questions section, I’m not going to answer them right now, but at the end of the half hour I’ll be happy to stick around and answer any questions you do have. Last time we reviewed how to optimize the setup of google analytics,. We went over the admin panel, setting up a new view, setting up goals, filters, users, dashboards, and a whole lot more. If you missed that webinar you can check it out at takeflyte.com/30min-analytics. This webinar instead is going to be more focused on the reports that I find most valuable for small business.
Where We’re Headed
This is where we left off last time, let’s talk about where we’re headed. When you first log in you’re going to see a screen like this, this doesn’t provide a lot of value in my opinion. Every business is going to be different, but really where you’re going to spend most of your time is in these four sections over here. Audience, acquisition, behavior, and conversion. That’s where your reports live, that‘s what today’s going to be focused on. Audience is who’s coming to our website, acquisition is how they found us, behavior is what they did when they were there, and conversions is about them taking desired actions on our website.
The first thing you want to do is click on the audience overview which brings you into this section and I want to touch on one more thing that we talked about last time, but I want to hit on it again because it’s very important. Up in the top right corner you’re going to see the date and by default google shows you the last seven days of activity. I don’t find that that’s nearly enough. So what I do is I click on that link and it brings this little menu up and I change it to the last 30 days, I think that’s a little more valuable to me. Now I see the last 30 days of activity and it gives me a little bit better understanding. 30 days is usually perfect for me but there are times for certain reports, for certain goals I’m trying to accomplish that I want to see an entire year’s worth of data, or the last six months, or I see a spike or a big drop on a given day and I want to focus in on just that day or just a few day around it. So being able to change the date range in google analytics is critically important because everything we do here is about trying to get better information so we can make better decisions going forward. Another cool thing we can do, because often I want to see how I’m doing compared to a previous time, is we click on that same bar, the date bar, and we pull from previous period to previous year, there’s a compare to button I should say. So you click on compare to and then I chose previous year andI apply and now I can see my current activity versus last years activity of that same time. So you can see this year compared to last year of the same time users are up, new users are up, sessions are up, the number of sessions per users are a little bit down, the pages per session is down a little bit, I see this quite a bit actually people are spending less time, not just on our website, but websites in general. By the way I’m just going to be skipping around to certain reports that I think are valuable for the average type of business, there may be reports that you love that I skip or reports that I show you that you’re not interested in, but these are reports that I think are valuable for typical small businesses.
So another thing that we want to take a look at is the demographics and you can find that down here, still under audience. Demographics gives us a breakdown of the ages and the genders of people visiting us. If you’re not seeing this screen when you go to overview it’s because you haven’t turned this on. So what you want to do is go back into your admin and under property settings, which is in the property column, click on that and scroll down the page and you’re going to see under advertising features, enable demographics and interest reports. Basically they’re saying we want to be able to use your data in the aggregate, we’re not going to be looking specifically, but we’re going to pull your data in to our data and share it with other people. If you’re willing to do that, and I recommend you should do this, turn that on and you’re going to be able to see these reports. So that’s one thing I like to look at to see am I targeting the right type of audience and for us the split is pretty even between male and female, but for other businesses you may skew very heavily male or female.
Another one I really like to look at is where in the world people are coming from. So under geo and then under location I can get a map of the world. Under this they break it down in names but I like the visual of the world, a lot of us have geographic boundaries of where we’re going to do business so we want to know is the traffic we’re getting actually good for us or is it just scattered from places that are not really ever going to become clients. I know from 20 years of experience that we are going to get all of our business from the United States so as I roll over here I see that of our traffic in the last 30 days we have just shy of 12,000 people from the U.S. I can click on the U.S. and now I can see where people are coming from and Maine sent us just shy of 400 users, we do tend to do more of our business in Maine and New England. Then I can even click further and get a sense of where within the state people are coming from. You can see we got one user from Attawasca, but this might give you some sense as well of where people are coming from, this is from their ISP so it’s not perfect. If you find, let’s say you’re a bed and breakfast and you’re getting a lot of traffic from out of state, from a specific state like maybe Delaware or Texas or where ever, that might give you some more information of where you should be spending your facebook advertising dollars and maybe targeting people both with facebook ads and google ads because you tend to do well in those states, so target it geographically.
Another important report is going to be your mobile report, the overview. Basically in here it breaks it down by the traffic coming to your website whether it’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. Worldwide more traffic is coming through mobile devices than through desktop or laptop computers, it’s just how internet traffic is working, but here in the U.S. we’re not quite there yet, in part because we have so many laptop and desktop computers at home and at work, so people tend to use those. But we are seeing growing numbers, even in B2B, for mobile traffic and as you can see we’ve got desktop, mobile, which means smartphone, and tablet. For flyte 68% of our traffic is coming from desktop, about 28% is coming through mobile, and just a little shy of 4% is coming through tablet. But what you might also notice is over here in the right hand column we are seeing goals. We’re seeing how many people completed, in this case our contact form, goal and what that’s worth to us. You may or may not be seeing this information. The way I did this is I first set up goals, again something I went through in the first webinar, but once you set up goals and the dollar amounts associated with them start filling in to different reports. So as you can see here that now I see that most of our value in the last month is coming though desktop, some is through mobile, and absolutely nothing through tablet.
So let’s move onto acquisition and how people are actually finding us. This gives us a nice breakdown right on the overview page of where our traffic is coming from. Here you can see that 81% of our traffic is coming from organic search and next after that is direct traffic. Direct traffic used to mean that people are typing your URL into the address bar or they’ve bookmarked you, but these days it also means things like somebody’s coming from a mobile app. Google doesn’t know how to track that so they’re going to just throw it under direct any time they can’t figure it out. Also if somebody’s coming from an https website and you have an http website, that also goes into direct as well. Next up is referral traffic, that’s usually when someones at another website and they click on a link to get to your website, that’s referral traffic. Social traffic is traffic from known social websites. Email traffic comes from specifically that they know is coming from an email. And other is kind of a catch all as well and usually it means you’ve configured your campaigns in a way that google doesn’t understand where the traffic is coming from, something I need to work on, but we’re not getting a lot of other traffic so I’m not too worried about it.
So another thing we want to do is take a closer look at the channels I just mentioned. There is a channels report and as I scroll down the page I can see those categories that I just mentioned; organic, direct, referral, social, email, there are others besides those, including others, but there’s paid, there’s campaigns, in the past month we just haven’t had a lot of that so that’s why those things aren’t showing. Again we’re getting this breakdown on the right hand column for goals so we can see what the value is for organic search, the value for direct traffic, the value for referral traffic, so that tells me maybe where I want to spend more time and energy in developing traffic. This is the way we get this particular report, but I want to show you something neat. Right up here you see a whole bunch of tabs, this tab on the left is basically what we’re seeing underneath, the basic grid, we could also create pie charts, bar charts, we can create greater than or less than charts, ew can create word charts, which I’ll show you later on, and then we can create pivot charts. What I want to show you is we can change the reports to show me a pie chart and break it down in different ways or any one of these. These are just things and then I can see what are the goal values, so this gives me an idea of where the moneys coming from. There’s a lot of different ways to look at your data, this doesn’t change your data at all, but I want you to be aware of some of the cool things you can do in google analytics to get a better understanding, at least visually, and where your traffics coming from and what it’s worth.
So let’s talk for a little bit about search console. If you click within the search console tab under acquisitions and you don’t see reports like this, that means you have not connected search consoles to your google analytics and that’s kind of a multi-step thing that I’m not going to get in to today, but that is something you want to look into because you definitely want to connect your google analytics to your search console. Basically search console is another free tool from google with a lot of reports and you can pull most of those reports right into google analytics and see everything all at once. Under property settings scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page and you’ll see search console and it’ll either say turn it on or adjust search console, it’ll walk you through the steps but there’s multiple ways to get there so we’re not going to get into that today. Landing page is a cool report and part of the reason why the search console is so important is because google used to give us all this information about how people were finding our websites, exact keywords people were using and these days google just doesn’t share that information with us anymore, in fact, I happened to look at the organic results when I was putting these slides together, over 99% of the data was being hidden from me. There still is a lot of data google is hiding from us, but it’s just getting ridiculous, so if you want to get a better idea of how people are finding you at the search engine, you’re going to need to enable the search console. Landing pages is neat but I actually prefer a report that’s further down the page called queries.
So I’m going to show you some really cool stuff with the queries report. Queries basically just means that these are the reports or these are the search terms that bring up are website in the results. So the first column here is search query, this is literally what people put in and you can see google is still hiding much of this information from us, in fact for me almost 70% of our information is hiding under the umbrella of other, which doesn’t tell me anything. Below that we can see some of the other search queries which are driving traffic to our site; what is hashtag, keynote to google slides, convert keynote to google slides, so on and so forth. I want to skip a column and go over to impressions. Impressions is the number of times one of your webpages came up on a given search. So let’s take the ‘what is hashtag’, if somebody types in what is hashtag and I’m on the first page than that’s an impression whether they click on me or not. If i’m on the second page and they only go to the first page, that’s not an impression, but then if they go to the second page and see me, whether they click on me or not, that is an impression. Impression is every time you come up on the search results on a given search page. The other column is clicks. Clicks is literally the number of times someone clicked on that in the given period of time, in this case it’s thirty days, the number of times people clicked on that link to get to your website or your specific webpage. The click through rate just calculates what that is, basically the percentage of people who clicked, who saw it. And then average position, so these are the average positions you’ll rank on and it’s average because everybody’s search results are going to be different; it depends on what device you’re using whether you’re on a smartphone versus a laptop versus a tablet, it depends on where you are in the world, it depends on your search history and a number of other factors so this is giving you the average search position you rank for. So sometimes one of the things I recommend is we try to get a better understanding of what people are searching for and looking at every single search won’t necessarily help us, so one of the things I like to do is I like to look at a larger grouping than just 10. I can switch this over to 500 results, down at the bottom it might just say show 500 searches or show 500 rows and then I click on this and now I can see 500. I can start to skim down and start to see some trends here; hashtags, google slides, facebook ads, these are all things we tend to see a lot of in our search results, twitter versus facebooks ads, I would recommend going through these and just seeing what jumps out at you. Earlier I showed you those different types of ways you can look at that data, one way which I would probably only use for this report, is the word cloud. So I came in here and I looked at the word cloud and this helps you, bigger things kind of pop out at you and this gives you a better sense of maybe some of the overall search terms that are popping and driving traffic for you are. I did have to do something to remove the other tag because when I first ran the report this is what it looked like, not very helpful. I’ll get to how I did that in just a minute.
Filtering Branded Search
So another trick I want to show you is if you look in the search queries down on our example only once does flyte or flyte new media appear in the top ten. That’s rare, for many businesses most of their search terms tends to be their branded name. If my company was called global administration I’d see global administration, global admin, global administration website. If your results look like that where your brand name is many of the top ten or the top results, you’re not getting great data. I mean it’s good to know that people are finding you through your name but you want to be found for other things as well. So what I’m going to do is click on this advanced button right here or this advanced link and this is going to bring up a query and what it’s going to do is I’m going to say exclude any search query containing the word flyte and then I apply that and once I do that basically all my branded search terms are going to disappear. You can do the same thing with your business if you find a lot of your top search results that are showing up in this search query report are branded.
Looking for Opportunities
Another cool trick I want to show you is this one here. Basically up until now everything has been sorted by clicks, I want to sort on average position. So I click on average position twice actually. The first time I click on it it’s going to put everything from the worst average position to the best, now I want to start at the best. So I see all these things we’re number one for or at least our average position is number one for. That’s great, but we’re already crushing it on these words, that’s not really going to help me all that much, so I’m going to show you a neat little trick again using that advanced search box that I just showed you, I’m going to add a filter. What I’m going to say is I want to include if the average position is greater than eleven, I know it should probably be greater than ten, I’m just putting it in as eleven. What is this going to do? Basically once I filter out all the traffic that is less than eleven, it’s going to show me only results that are number eleven or higher. Why is that important, why is number eleven important? Because that means I’m on page two. If I’m getting some traffic from page two, imagine how much more traffic I could get if I just bumped it up to page one. For example, affordable websites, let’s say I thought that was an effective search term for me, I want to drive people looking for affordable websites to my page. I’m at number eleven, that’s great but it’s not good enough. What I need to do is bump that up over to the first page. If I can get to the first page I’m going to get a lot more traffic and a lot more qualified leads. What I can do is I can go back to that landing page report, what I showed you earlier, or go to google do a search for affordable websites and see where I come up in that search, I should be right around number eleven, see what page that leads to and then I know if I want to rank higher for affordable websites I need to optimize a page the phrase affordable websites. Now some of these like ‘heshtag’ I don’t really want to rank well for that; first of all I’m already ranking really well for hashtag and heshtag doesn’t mean anything, and maybe there are other ones I don’t really care about the type of youtubers, I don’t really want to spend a lot of time on people who can’t figure out how to post to facebook, but there are going to be other results in here, beyond this page as well of things that could be very valuable to my company. This is one of the best reports in my mind that you can run in google analytics if you want to move from page two to page one in the search engines.
Saving a Favorite Report
This is a very good report, but you saw I had to do a number of steps to get to it, I want to make a shortcut. I’m going to scroll back up to the top of the page and click on save. When I click on save I’m going to get this box that says save report that basically allows me to save all the filters I put in, however I made the changes it’s going to save everything about it, I save it with a name and then under customization on the left hand side, under saved reports I’m going to see all the reports that I’ve saved, one of these will be this report. Then I can go ahead and anytime I want to get to that report without jumping through all those steps, I can just click on the link and it’ll take me right to that report. Very nice, slick way of saving you time and energy.
Sharing a Report
I also like this report so much that maybe I want to share it with other people. So I click on share and let’s say that I’m a marketing person, I’ve got a boss, and I want him or her to see what my reports are and whether I’m doing a good job. So I can just click on that share button, put an email in, I click on the subject line, I say that I want to save this report as a pdf and attach it to it. Then it’s cool I can actually have this report automatically delivered to my boss every Monday so it’s waiting there for her when she gets into work. There is a limit on how long these can go so I make it active for 6 months and then I put a little extra wordage so it says boss here are the reports you asked for with respect your marketing genius. I click on send, it’s going to send it now and every single Monday so she can see the quality work I’m doing for the company.
Another place people are always trying to drive traffic from is social media. If you’ve known me and listened to me the last few years you know that I believe that SEO is a much better way to drive traffic but every business is different and we do want to know whether our social activity is working. As you can see here there is the social value, that circle within the circle in the top left. We can see all the conversions within a given period of time, then the number of contributed social conversions, then the number of conversions for the last interaction on social. So the last social interaction is pretty obvious; somebody comes from facebook or twitter or linkedin, they click on a link, and they convert, they do something you’re measuring. That’s a last interaction. If they were on social and they came to your website and they didn’t do anything and then they came back later and did something, maybe because they typed in your URL, or they followed your link in an email, or whatever the case is that would be considered a contributed social conversion. So in these reports you can kind of see those and where most of your traffic is coming from.
You can also create campaigns and campaigns can be paid campaigns like on google adwords, facebook ads, or they can be free campaigns because you want to track where people are coming from. I want to show you a very cool tool called the google campaign builder if you google the phrase google campaign builder you’ll find it. You’ve probably seen these, if you’ve seen a really long URL, maybe you clicked on the link in an email and you got to the webpage and you say a really long URL that ended with a question mark, equal sign, and a bunch of additional information that’s basically what this is doing it’s called a UTM code. So e type in the address we want to send people to, we type in the campaign source in this case I typed in ccflyte which is shorthand here at flyte for our constant contact email newsletter, I put in the campaign medium, which in this case would be email, and I gave this campaign a name which is 30min which is short for any of the 30 minute webinars we do and that generates this URL down here. So when I share that URL and people click on it, a lot of the data is then stored in google analytics, we’ll take a look at that in a second. If you don’t like the way this looks always use a tool like bitly or pretty link to shorten that up. As you can see down here in campaign we have 30 min, ga webinar part 2, these are all different campaigns we’ve run that have driven traffic in the last month.
I can also switch over to source, I’m still on the same report I just click over to source, and now I can see what the source is based on that UTM code that I created. I can also see that somebody on my team is not paying attention because we have ccflyte and flytecc, obviously the same thing but now our data is a little bit compromised. It doesn’t change anything but it makes it a little bit more difficult to get data from this.
We can also take a look at the medium report by clicking on medium. Interestingly enough google separates lowercase email from uppercase email, again something I need to talk to my team about so we can get all that data together.
Behavior is also another important thing. This is just how people behaved on our website or what pages they went to.
A couple of the key reports here are all pages and I’ve actually switched it over from the URL to page title, that’s something you can do with the click of a button. This shows me my most popular pages over the last 30 days.
I can also take a look at where people landed, what’s the first page they looked at? In this case it’s still the URL rather than the page title, but it gives me a sense of where people are landing on our website.
Sorted by Value
Then I can also sort it by the value of those pages. So I sorted it and interestingly enough our most valuable traffic comes in through our homepage or our contact form and other things after that. This is important data to look at as well for your own business and maybe start to find what are the most valuable landing pages on your site and maybe give them a little more love and attention. Then I decided I wanted to go even deeper so this is a screen capture of me just taking a year’s worth of data and really starting to see is it the exact same information or did other pages start to come up because maybe 30 days isn’t enough to make a decision.
Another important report we want to take a look at is speed suggestions. One of the variables in ranking sites is how fast your pages load. One of the things you want to do is you want to get your low time lower so you can improve your visibility on the search engines. I’m going to take a look at one of our worst performing pages and click on page speed suggestions over here and I’ll get a little pop-up and I can run this report and as you can see that my speed is slow. Admittedly this is a long page with a lot of images and it tends to continually do well at the search engines so again this is a balancing act. If I scroll further down that page google’s even going to tell me what changes I should make to speed up my page. Now I’ve worked with my in house web developer and some of these things are worth doing and some of them are not worth doing so you probably want to work with your web developer to decide how much work you want to put in to speeding up your pages.
Also search terms. This is something you have to set up in the admin section, so again if you aren’t seeing this report this is something you’ll want to go back and watch the other webinar on, but search terms will tell you what words people are looking for when they go to your website using the search bar on your website, assuming you have one. Nothing really too exciting in ours but maybe you’ll get some better results in yours.
And lastly I just want to mention the conversions section. This gives us an overview of how people are converting at our website over time. This is for all the goals but you can break it down by goals. For us we have goals set up for contact forms, for our webinar sign ups, for our masterclass sign ups, and for email sign ups, so we could break that down even further if we wanted to but I just wanted to give you an overview. Also this is nice to see and overview of the conversions, but to be honest as you saw throughout the presentation today I really like looking at how the goals are happening within each one of those reports, so this is good but I also look at all the other things as well.
That’s all the content I have for today, I hope you guys really enjoyed it. I’m just going to check in and see if people have any questions.
Q: What if our property settings is grayed out? Trying to turn on search console but not given the option t adjust property settings, any idea why?
Yes, that’s because you don’t have enough authority to do it. So what I would recommend doing is finding out who actually owns your google analytics, it might be your company maybe they just added you as a user, it could be your web developer. What you’ll need to do is have them give you additional access so you can make those changes and then you can go through the process of adding search console. And that’s true with anything that’s grayed out, it just means that you don’t have enough access personally to be able to do that report or run that report, but that’s something you definitely want to take a look at. It may be that because of the way it’s set up that they have to do it for you.
Q: Are there other tools that work with google analytic tools that pull more of the data that google hides from us?
I’m not sure that there are more tools because google as a search engine is hiding that data so even if you use a paid alternative to google analytics that data’s just going to be hidden from you anyways. And the reason behind this is google has made a big push for us to stop worrying so much about specific keywords and focus more on providing value for our customers. The thing is though, keywords are just a fancy word for words so really we always want to find out what the words are that our customers are using. There are other tools I use to sometimes get more information about how people are using our website and one of those is called crazyegg and that basically shows me a heat map of where people are clicking on within our website because that’s not something that google shows us, they’ll show us if someone clicked on a link within the website, but if there’s three links to the same thing or if they’re clicking on something that’s not a link, that’s not captured by google. But with a tool like crazy egg that will capture it, crazyegg will also show you how far down the page somebody scrolled and where they spent the most time. So that’s a paid tool we use for ourselves and some of our clients as well. Then of course I also use other metrics like my email service provider constant contact and I look at our open rates and our subscribe rates and then we look at things like on twitter, facebook, and any other social media program that gives us metrics as well and that paints a fuller picture. Google analytics, if I’m only going to pay attention to one thing, that’s probably where I’d spend my time.
Q: What if you have more than one website?
I have multiple websites, so basically in the previous session I talked about the admin section and there’s three columns there. There’s basically an ownership column and then there’s a properties column. The property that we looked at today was all takeflyte, but we also have the agents of change website, we also have a number of other websites too, so you would just look at the reports individually.
Q: I use bigcommerce and have google analytics set up, should I get all the analytics you talked about here?
I would think so that you should be able to get that and bigcommerce might have their own analytics as well on top of this that you can compare and contrast with.
It looks like I’ve answered all the questions. If you’re shy or a slow typer, or you think of a question later, you can reach out to me later at email@example.com and of course if you need help setting up your google analytics or understanding it or any problems with digital marketing, I’ve got an amazing team here at flyte and they would only be too happy to help you so feel free to reach out on that as well. Other than that have a great day and stay warm.
If you need any help with Google Analytics or developing a digital marketing strategy, please contact us today!