Google Analytics Flaw, Tracking File Downloads on Web Server

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Unknown Secrets of SEO

Eleventh SEO Podcast March 13th 2009.  Third page of Transcription

Chris Burres:           But it’s a slightly different call to action, and for instance, in our business, when somebody comes to our website, I would really want them to submit a form.  We want them to be engaged on the website in educating themselves, and to pick up the phone and call it.


Paul Hanson:           Exactly.


Chris Burres:           So those are 3 calls to action on our website.


Paul Hanson:           And I have a question.  When you said, “A lot of websites that uses a brochure,” my question is, when was the last time you put a brochure on someone’s hand and it made a sale just from the brochure?


                              I assume it was going to make a sale to some sort of pitch to that person, and that’s what your website needs to do is to pitch.  Add that call to action, and pitch your product services, whatever it is to the visitor.  Not just a brochure.


Chris Burres:           It’s the follow up to the brochure.


Paul Hanson:           Yeah, there you go.


Chris Burres:           That’s about it, right?


Paul Hanson:           Yeah.


Chris Burres:           So you hand the brochure because people kind of expect it, and while you’re handing them the brochure, you’re getting their business card in exchange and your setting the appointments.  So here I’m giving you this information.  I’m probably giving it to you because you’re busy and you just want something.


                              And if you’re busy now, when are you not going to be busy and when can we schedule that?  So that’s when a brochure’s most effective.  Setting a brochure at a counter at a store is typically not that effective.  It’s just you’re making a call a year or something.


Paul Hanson:           Uh hmm.


Chris Burres:           And as entrepreneurs here in multiple different businesses, we haven’t experienced anything beyond that.  The real value of that brochure is when you can hand it to somebody and create an appointment.  Same with the website.  You want to put that in their hands and create something.  Create a point of contact with them.


Paul Hanson:           Yeah, because everyone has a brochure or everyone has a website that’s got a content on it and information, but like, what is your website? What is your brochure doing?  Let me take that back.  What is your website doing to take the next step, like you said, to get the appointment or to get some information or to go to the next step of whatever it is you want them to do?  I’m hoping that makes some sense.


Chris Burres:           No, it makes really perfect sense.  And this is really indicative of what I believe is one of the fundamental differences between E-Webstyle and a lot of other SCO companies out there because again, just like you said, it’s great to get lots of traffic to your website, and the value that we bring because we can do that and there are other companies that can do that.


                              The value that we bring is, “Okay, great.  Now that we have all this great traffic, what kind of analysis are you doing?  What kind of effort are you putting forth to turn that traffic into income?


Paul Hanson:           Uh hmm.


Chris Burres:           Right?  That’s what we really want.  Maybe this should be the turning traffic into income podcast.  Yeah, there are so many names.


Paul Hanson:           We really…


Chris Burres:           We’ll just have a podcast of names.


Paul Hanson:           One day.


Chris Burres:           Yeah, if you’ve got any great names for our podcast, you know, goofy guys on the mike or whatever…


Paul Hanson:           [0:23:53] like every 30 minutes.


Chris Burres:           Send it to us, that’s  So I think we’ve gotten a lot into that and really kind of segued it again into the value of E-webstyle that E-webstyle brings to a business.  What I want to talk about now is the flaw.


Paul Hanson:           Done, done, done, done.


Chris Burres:           The actual flaw of Google.  And again, I said earlier the flaw is really, I’m using the term liberally because to be fair, there’s no way Google could actually even track this information.  We spoke earlier about how Google, on your own website, you can put code to allow that tells Google that your visitor is now downloading podcast 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8, or whatever it may be.


                              The challenge is what if I know the link to the podcast and I just email that link to Paul and say, “Hey Paul, you got to listen to these goofy guys.  They’re hilarious and it’s informative, and we need to incorporate X, Y, Z plan into our business.”  And when he clicks that, it actually downloads that file immediately.


                              When he didn’t click the link on our page that had the code so Google would know that that file was being downloaded, he just clicked a link that links directly to that file.  And when he does that, that file comes down to him, and Google doesn’t know.  And there’s actually really no way for Google to know unless the link that we sent Paul had a code in it.


                              And we became painfully aware of this particular issue with Google analytics when we started working with our podcast.  So now we’ve got a podcast sitting out there, and the way iTunes works is very easy for people to continually download our podcast, but they’re just downloading our podcast, and we don’t know.


                              And the solution to that is something that we’ve talked about, and the podcast before last, we’ll just Webalizer because Webalizer will track.  We’re actually using AWStats now, and I wanted to pull that up just so I’m familiar with another reporting tool.


                              AWStats is pretty powerful.  It’s well used throughout the internet community, and if you have option to use it, it’s great, and it also does track particular downloads of files.  And the reason that is is because Webalizer and AWStats use the logs of your server.


                              So there’s one device on the internet.  Well, there’s 2 devices on the internet that know that Paul downloaded that file, that’s…well, there’s a whole bunch, but the real key ones are his computer knows that he went to that link and our web server that served up that mp3 file to him also knows he did it.


                              And the server records it in its log files, and AWStats and Webalizer are really just statistical analysises of the log files.  Did that make sense?


Paul Hanson:           That makes perfect sense.  So now, what I’m thinking is okay, when does this become important?  Obviously, it’s going to become important if you have a podcast or maybe a video on your website that you want to be able to track and see.


                              If you’ve put up different podcasts, which ones are people listening to?  Which ones they’re not?  Which ones are they not a video?  An instructional video of some sort.  Joe the Plumber I’m going to teach you how to clean your own pipe, your sink, or whatever, or something.


                              Those are two examples that I could think where I definitely would want to track…


Chris Burres:           How many people are downloading?


Paul Hanson:           Exactly.


Chris Burres:           Yeah.


Paul Hanson:           Because I want to know, “Hey, is this worth my time if I’m going to keep doing this video if no one is downloading it or should I change it so get people what they’re looking for?”


Chris Burres:           Here’s another great example.  So maybe you’ve incorporated PayPal.  I think we’ve mentioned this kind of example where you’re selling the business opportunity of washing windows and what’s the process, and what’s the equipment you need, how do you know about doors, how do you approach people and say I’m going to do your windows and how do you price is.


                              So you put all of this into a nice pdf file and you’re selling it for $15 on the internet.  And your process is that after they go through PayPal, they go to your specific page and download it.


                              Well, that download of the pdf is a link, and somebody could take that link and send it to somebody, and if you don’t have it protected, other people could be downloading your pdf file.  If you’re looking at AWStats or Webalizer, and you’re seeing that a hundred people are downloading your pdf file every week, and one purchased it, then you know either the guy doesn’t know how to keep his pdf file on a local computer and has it downloaded every time he wants to read it, not very likely.


Paul Hanson:           Yeah.


Chris Burres:           Or if he’s given your link away or posted it somewhere, and people are going directly to that link.  So that’s it.  That’s a great example.  And we end up having to do code here to protect files for some of our clients so that that link can’t be given away, and that people have to get the right access.  They have to have username and passwords.  So that’s a great example of where you actually want to tract that.


                              So the next thing we’re going to do is I’m going to, like step-by-step, here’s what I look at Google.  We’ll talk about a particular account, what I look for in it, and what excites me, what I’m not worried about, what I’m worried about.  All of those things.


                              And I think that’s going to be very instructive because it will give you an idea of what you should be looking at, and again, I’m totally open for comments because maybe I’m missing the boat on something.  I’ve been doing this a while so I’m hoping that’s not the case, but send us your emails at  I’m actually going to do that next time.  Teaser.


Paul Hanson:           Another.


Chris Burres:           Next time, we’ll go through Google, and I’ll show you exactly what I do on Google, what I look at and why, and you’re going to be really excited and happy why you joined us next time.  Until then, I’m Chris Burres.


Paul Hanson:           This is Paul Hanson.


Chris Burres:           Bye-bye for now.

Author: eweb-admin