Tenth E-Webstyle.com SEO Podcast Feb. 27th 2009. Third page of Transcription
Paul: That makes sense.
Chris: Okay. So now we’ve got this concept of they can do a whole lot of stuff, and I don’t know about it, and how long do I actually want to consider them to be in an act of session. For instance, if that were indefinite, then every day I visited the E-Webstyle blog, which is at www.e-webstyle.com/techinfo where if you could just get to the homepage, you can find the blog link.
If everyday I went to the blog and Google will never time out my session, my experience would just be one continuous experience, and so, the fact that I clicked here, here and here, and then what went and bought something, and then the next day, something else, it’s all like one visit, and you can imagine that that’s not may be sending out different emails to get people to come to your website to look at different things like our blogs have different entries. There are entries about stuff. There are entries about podcast. There are entries about Webalizer. There are entries about all sort of different things, so we can send the emails out to our clients. If one day they come in for Webalizer information, and another day they come in for podcast information, those pads need to be handled separately, and the way that Google does that has a time out.
So at some point, and I don’t know what the default time out is, but at some point, when you’re on a webpage and Google Analytics is tracking you, if you stop interfacing with the server, therefore Google Analytics thinks that you’ve not done anything for let’s just say five minutes, then it’s going to time out that session, and then when you click again, then it’s going to start a new event, so really, what you’ll end up looking like is just a totally different user. Now it does recognize you’re not a unique user. It just tracks that as a different event. So, that good?
Paul: Yes, that’s awesome.
Chris: Alright. Okay.
Paul: So basically it sounds like it can skew your results or your statistics.
Chris: Yeah, and it can skew it either way. So for instance, I gave the example of a 5-minute time out. What if you stick them on a page that has a ten minute video, right?
Paul: Okay, or tons of context?
Chris: Or tons of content they’d actually like to read, which I don’t. That’s me.
Paul: So you can skew it up, down, either way just depending on the higher side of your website is going to be set up.
Chris: Exactly, and the video example is a great example of where you really would want to extend that time out because you don’t want them to watch a 10-minute video and then all your tracking’s lost, so maybe they came in a homepage, they went to another page like, “Wow, I want to see that video.” They go to the video. Ten minutes later, they purchase the product, and you don’t have this path of how they went from your homepage to purchasing a product all associated with one event, and if you don’t have that then it’s hard to figure out.
Your belief maybe that the page after the video is no longer a path, like somebody goes away for a couple of hours. The difference between somebody watching a 10-minute video and somebody coming back 3 days later because they bookmarked it, that’s not even the same example because they bookmarked the video, it’s totally different.
If you’ve got clients that come to your webpage and go directly to purchasing, great, that’s awesome. If they’re bookmarking it for 3 days and then coming back, really, what you want to do is analyze, “Okay why they are leaving? Could I shorten the video? What text could I put on there? What other calls to action, etcetera? Because as soon as they leave, some may come back, but that’s not, you know. You have to expect that once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Chris: So that’s a great example of where you would really like to extend that time out. So another couple of interesting things…Now, just before I start going, these are little interesting tidbits about Google Analytics. And you’re pretty familiar with Google Analytics.
Paul: Uh hmm.
Chris: He maybe just a sales guy, but he’s a really good sales manager actually, but he spends time researching, and he understands Google Analytics. He understands how we actually benefit the client, so you’ve got a good feel for Google Analytics. Before we get in to like tricks and interesting things, is there anything that you think we should touch upon?
Paul: One thing that I thought was interesting was removing yourself from your statistics.
Paul: I thought that was very important. But tell me, if you own a company, why would you want to remove your visits from your statistics?
Chris: Okay, that’s a great question. And that’s the kind of question that really gets into the guts of what the value of Google Analytics. I’m glad you brought it up. If you’ve got a company of 50 people, and they have a habit of visit their default homepage when they open up their browser is your company website, then you can imagine you’ve got 50 people out of minimum, they open their browser once a day let’s say, so you’ve got 50 hits a day, and that’s not hits.
Paul: Uh hmm.
Chris: That’s visitors a day just from your office, and so if you go out and look at your stats, maybe you’re not working with us, and so you don’t have good search engine replacement, and you haven’t put your business. You’ve just barely put your website on your business cards, so you’re going to see this 50, and then you’re going to be oscillating around 50, and the standard 50 depends on whether an employee is sick, or everybody shows up, or they’re having problems with the browser, so they have to open it 10 times because hotmail is failing. Which we shouldn’t be doing with hotmail.
So you get a lot of traffic that is just noise, right? It’s not relevant. The fact that your employees open their browser and that goes to your website and you get traffic isn’t the kind of information you’re really interested in unless there’s some obtuse way of tracking how often your employees open a browser?
Chris: So that’s where your connection is going in. So if you were in your office, you’re all under one IP, and you can exclude that IP address from the Google Analytics tracking.
Paul: Because again that will skew your statistics.
Paul: Especially if you have a ton of images on your homepage or files or whatever that generates tons of air quote hits.
Paul: Which is probably the most overused term when it comes to SEO.
Chris: Big difference between hits, and I think we’re kind of ironing out the stats of your talk about hits, and when they talk about hits, they were really talking about…
Chris: Well no. In the old days, they are talking about the actual page hits, server hits.
Chris: Because if it is a hit, it is a hit on the server, and nowadays, we think of hits as being a particular visitor whether he goes to 10 pages or whether he goes to one page, and then, you could kind of compare page views versus users, and/or hits, and now we really talk about hits from the perspective of a different user coming in. So that’s what you got in terms of things that surprise you.
Paul: I’d say what’s surprising, it’s free.
Paul: I’m very appreciative of it.
Chris: You’ve played around with it.
Paul: And I’m surprised that it’s free.
Chris: Google makes them impressive software. One of the other Google product that I use that’s free, and it’s amazing is Google mobile maps, which is on my cell phone. I don’t have a GPS. I don’t have a GPS locator on my particular cell phone, but I can always type in across street and then restaurants, and find it. It’s just insane.
Paul: That’s awesome.
Chris: It’s really insane. So Google, man. They’ve got a creative business factory, but again, their business model is right software to display ads out of fee for other people. Software generating revenue. That’s like robots. It’s like robots running that auto manufacturing client from start to finish. It’s just a money box.
Paul: Yeah, it makes sense.
Chris: It just spits out money. So then they can spend time. And they’ve got a good environment over there. Everything you read kind of indicates that.
So let’s get on to some interesting things about Google Analytics, and I think we can do this without going step-by-step through Google. I think we can do that specifically because we went over Webalizer, and people listened to the last podcast, so they understand some things about stats, and now I can look those tweaks and tricks and interesting things.
Something interesting, it’s always nice whenever you have a lot of data to be able to tap into that data, alright? And this is true. A great example I’m actually working on some coding right now for tapping into FedEx, right? Because we want to be able to display the shipping or the client wants to be able to display the shipping cost right away, real time.
And we’ve a couple of ways to do that. We could actually make a table and we know how much this stuff weighs, and we could just spit the data out of the table, but then we have to change the table probably by annually, and then it’s wrong, whenever it’s wrong.
And FedEx has the capability what’s called an API-Application Programming Interface, where we can actually tap into FedEx’s database, send them the from zip code and country, the 2 zip code and country, and the weight of the package, and then it can actually return us the value. That’s called an API.
Well, Google does not have an API. So if you wanted to display on your sites a unique pass. These are some things that we’ve talked about where we want to show here’s how we’ve improved SEO processes. So we’ve got great traffic and we see the flow, and now the flow is this before and after.
So we can’t really show like a hard-coated copy of the before and the current version of the after because there are no APIs, but we can export different reports and play with them, and we do that from time to time, massage reports.
In fact, one of our deliverables is the…
Paul: The monthly reporting?
Chris: Yeah, for our monthly reporting is actually a Google Analytics page, which is how much traffic did we get from the top 10 key words. So, that’s very useful. We use that on a regular basis.
Another thing that you can imagine…well, that’s a great example, we print a report from Google. I mean, every month for every client that we have, somebody is going to Google, and they’re signing into our account, which is shared. Our customers actually have control. We have access. That’s how we set up everything here.
Chris: Customer should always be in control, and there should never be any sabotage.
Paul: See our SEO sabotage podcast.
Chris: Yeah, yeah. We have SEO sabotage podcast. Make sure you check that out. So every month, we have to go into Google Analytics account and actually literally print out a report. It would be nice if people have this perspective, and there are actually other reporting software out there where you can actually email the report.
Now, I think that’s great and saving paper’s wonderful, and I know that if somebody puts a report on my desk, I will read it. I will, yeah. If somebody sends me an email, I’ll save it for later.
Paul: Yeah. You read the title and see if it’s important.
Chris: Exactly. One of our mantra’s here is world-class customer service, and really, world-class SEO is not just an email that’s automated. That’s wonderful for us SEO people because we don’t have to go in and pull up the report, and then the printer jammed. All of this muck, if you will, we just have this automated system that send out the report.
I just don’t think that’s world-class customer service, and that’s one of our mantra. So, we actually print out full color reports on a monthly basis, and we stick it in there. So when you get an invoice, you get a record of what we’ve been doing for your company at the time.
With that, we have a bunch more of very interesting things with Google, and we still have the flaw of Google pending. So, this podcast is actually over, but stick with us next time. Again, please send us emails, firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us your comments. We want to hear them.
Paul: I want to hear from someone that is participating in this recession, who is deciding not to grow. I’d love to hear who, what, when, and why. Why are you participating? Why are you deciding not to grow and challenge us? I’d love someone to challenge us and say, “Hey, we’re not growing. We don’t think we can.” I’d love for someone to give us an opportunity to show them that we can change that.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got a nice phrase, which is, “Bring it on. Bring it on.” Alright, so next time, our teaser is that we’re going to show is tell you the flaw of Google Analytics. And that’s hard for us to say because we appreciate them so much. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.
Paul: And this is Paul Hanson.
Chris: And we’ll see you next time.