Eleventh E-Webstyle.com SEO Podcast March 13th 2009. Second page of Transcription
Chris Burres: And you know that there is a directory that does well in search engine placement, and you don’t want to use our service, you want to use Google analytics, and you are going to have a link in that directory, that medical directory, then you can actually track how that came to you. What were the search terms for that medical directory, etcetera, and the way you do that is just by adding a piece of code in your tracking code that you put on your particular websites, so…
Paul Hanson: You know the directory is the only thing I could actually think of why someone would want to do this and with vertical search engines going to be on the same boat.
Chris Burres: Yeah, there are some new ones vertical search engines that you might want to track in more detail because what happens is you may have the full URL, and the full URL of the referring website may have the queries in it. It’s just not going to be broken out.
So when you get into Google analytics, and you’re looking at what search brought traffic to my website, it’s not going to include the ones that we’re talking about that you could add. So, if you think you’re getting a lot of traffic from a medical specific website or from a plumbing specific website with Joe the plumber. He hasn’t for a while.
Paul Hanson: Yeah.
Chris Burres: Welcome back Joe. Whatever it may be, whatever the particular type of search engine you may be working with, then you know, if you know you’re getting a significant amount of traffic, you certainly want to know those key terms because key terms, content as key, key terms are the emperor.
Paul Hanson: Yeah.
Chris Burres: I don’t know what kind of analogies we put together, but you want to know how are people getting in to your websites so you can focus on that, so you can learn from that, and so that does have significant value.
Something nice that Google analytics does is it allows you to compare dates. So you want to compare Wednesday of last week to Wednesday of this week, you can do that. And that’s pretty useful because maybe you ran some sort of campaign on Wednesday of last week, and you didn’t this week, and you want to know, “Hey, are my numbers worse, better, same? What are they?”
If they’re the same, maybe you shouldn’t do that campaign again, or you should totally do the campaign again, but totally change it up because it wasn’t that effective. You can actually break that down into weeks and months.
When you’re looking at a lot of Google analytical data, it may not be readily apparent that your traffic is increasing or decreasing. So when you start breaking it down by a month and by week, and you look at it on a whole week by week basis, then it can become easier to see that your traffic is increasing. And I say increasing assuming that you’re using our service.
Paul Hanson: Yes, because if you are using our service, your traffic is increasing.
Chris Burres: Increasing. And that’s really valuable. We use that. The reason it gets a little sloppy if you’re looking on a day-to-day basis is, depending on what business you’re in, there are days of the week that are dead, and there are days of the week that are hot. If you’re a sports page, Monday’s a big day.
Paul Hanson: Yeah.
Chris Burres: Because everyone’s checking out the sports page afterwards.
Paul Hanson: I think this would also apply to like seasonal businesses.
Chris Burres: Yes.
Paul Hanson: You know, certain seasons, your business is going to…this will fluctuate, depending on the season.
Chris Burres: If you’re running a seasonal business, you may not want to compare October to September because September, no one’s thinking about Christmas.
Paul Hanson: Yeah.
Chris Burres: By October, maybe after Halloween, they start thinking about Christmas. So it’s really not relevant to compare October to September. It’s relevant to compare October to the previous October.
And you can do that with Google analytics. That’s really, really powerful for that because you always want to be analyzing and comparing. Are you growing? You’re not growing. What’s actually happening with your business?
Google analytics does have the great capability of monitoring what’s called flow or path. Where does somebody go through on your website? If they start on your homepage, do they typically go to some other one specific page and then to another specific page?
It can also track people in the e-commerce situation. Are they moving towards a target? The target can be anything. I said e-commerce, but the target can be…Are they moving towards the form where they fill out information and get it submitted?
Paul Hanson: Uh hmm.
Chris Burres: Are they moving toward a download where they can download a podcast if you really want them to download a podcast? Are they moving towards a free pdf file or where you want them to get that pdf file so they have it for their records? And that speaks really well of your business.
Or in e-commerce situation, are they moving towards closing that shopping cart? Moving towards that thank you page? That’s what we usually target ours. As soon as they hit the thank you page that comes after a purchase, then you know that you’ve achieved your goal. That’s the great goal to set up Google analytics. And you do set up goals in Google analytics.
So that’s really good tracking if you notice that people will traverse 3 or 4 of your sites, and then bounce 3 or 4 of your pages, and then bounce. You want to follow that path and see…kind of replicate that experience. What are they doing when they’re coming to the homepage? They’re going to these cool pictures. They’re looking at this video and then they get to this boring text page and bounce.
Okay, well, now you’ve got some understanding of what’s interesting to them so you just change out the boring text page for another video or you change it out for another audio file or whatever. So there’s a lot of power there. There’s a lot more than you can just go into one 30-minute podcast. People can probably spend years of experience.
Paul Hanson: Yeah. You know, I understand you can kind of…it’s like directing traffic, and I really like this feeling when I’m talking to new clients and they tell me there’s so many parts of SCO, he’s getting on the first page of Google.
To me, this is like, in my opinion, the meat and potatoes of SCO is directing traffic where you want them to go. You’re getting tons of hits, and that’s great, but they could be bouncing. They could be doing this or the other, but are they doing what you want them to do?
And that’s kind of how I would explain it to a new client. Do you want them to make a purchase? And in e-commerce, definitely, you want them to make a purchase. And I think it’s really cool that you can, I guess, direct that traffic where you want them to go. I think this is an awesome feature and a very important feature of Google analytics to any website.
Chris Burres: So when you start talking to customers and start saying, “Okay, you’ve got your website and I’m the sales manager. I’m pitching to you, getting you on the first page of Google and eve beyond getting you on the first page of Google. What is it that you want your customers to do once they get to your website?” What kind of a typical feedback you get from a guy? Are they like, “Wow, I never thought I could do that.”
Paul Hanson: That is exactly the typical response because I think most people are so concerned about one, getting a website, two, getting people to that website. Or I’d probably say, first is getting the website. Two, they want to get on Google.
Chris Burres: At all.
Paul Hanson: And they don’t know why. They just know they want to get on Google, and it’s almost like you have to educate them. “Okay, being on Google is awesome. Getting tons of traffic is awesome, but if it doesn’t do what you want, if the traffic doesn’t do what you would have hoped it would do and want it to do, it’s pointless.”
And a lot of people don’t think, “Okay, I can actually tell them what to do. I can guide them down a path that I want them to take to make a sale, to fill out my form, and give me their email address.”
Chris Burres: Get a contact.
Paul Hanson: Yeah, to pick up the phone and call my secretary or to do whatever. So a lot of people, I’d say, most people that I speak with don’t even go that far. They just think, “Let’s get a website. Let’s get it on the first page of Google.”
And that’s awesome. It’s a great goal, but there is more to it than that. And that’s why I think the tracking the traffic and following the path that a visitor takes is really the meat and potatoes of SCO.
Chris Burres: And we’d like to sit down with our clients on either a quarterly or biannually basis, and we’ll use reports like that to say, “Here’s what’s happening. Everything’s a bounce on this page. Nothing’s a bounce on that page. What can we do?” And really just sit down, and what you’re really talking about is what are your calls to action?
And I think the reason that people don’t think in terms of calls to action is because traditionally, people think of their webpage as a brochure, and as a brochure, it’s incredibly valuable because it’s a brochure that’s available 24 hours a day instantaneously.
If you get somebody on the phone or somebody hears of you through somebody else, then it can get on your website and find out all of this wonderful information about you, and that’s great, and you definitely want to do that.
But this is an interactive media. We have the ability to do things beyond than just giving them information. We can stood up. We want to interact with them. And how do we want to interact with them?
We actually want to guide them with our call to action, which is create a specific contact that a salesperson can follow up, or create a specific sale, or create a specific event whether it’s downloading a pdf, listening to an audio file, whatever it may be, and your industry is different. A call to your action for a rap artist, he doesn’t necessarily want your email and phone numbers…
Paul Hanson: Exactly.
Chris Burres: So he can call you and ask you to buy a CD. If he’s smart, he wants your email so that you can become part of his email list or his fan club, his or her.
Paul Hanson: Uh hmm.
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