Watch the next lesson: Lesson Two: Advanced Analytics
Hello, and welcome to Module Five.
What a journey it’s been. You’ve learned a huge amount about best practise SEO, and I’m sure that in the weeks and months ahead, you’re going to start reaping the rewards from your efforts. Now, in this fifth and final module, I wanted to share with you a bunch of the important things that you need to know and fully understand in order to succeed online for years to come. Specifically in this module I’m going to teach you the following.
Firstly, we’re going to learn Google Analytics, as it’s a fantastic tool, invaluable for recording the number of visitors to your website, but then what? Very few business owners know how to navigate around Analytics, and what the various options actually mean, so I’m going to give you a full walkthrough of Analytics, and delve into much of the detail, so you understand how to use Analytics. That’s coming up really shortly, so sit tight.
In Lesson Two we’re going to take Google Analytics a step farther and look at some advanced settings around how to record sales, conversions and website leads, so you can better calculate your campaign’s ROI, so your return on investment, and crucially, we’re going to set up an advanced spam filtering system that ensures the traffic that you’re looking at in your Analytics account is actually accurate, and represents real visitors that have visited your business website.
In Lesson Three, I’m going to shine a light on Google’s search console as once again, this is an invaluable tool, but it can appear quite scary. Most people set this up and yet don’t have a clue how to use it or extract the key information. I’m going to walk you through and highlight all the crucial bits and pieces that your business needs to know, I’m going to explain what they are, and how you can act upon that information being provided within the search console.
Then finally in Lesson Four, I’m going to share with you some of the tools of the trade. Some of these are free, whilst others are paid, and they all in some way help facilitate the various tasks that you may need to undertake as part of your campaign. So, as you can tell, we have a lot to cover and you’re going to learn a lot, and that’s in addition to the four jam-packed modules that we’ve already covered. Right. Let’s get started. I’m going to jump onto my computer right now, and start showing you around Google Analytics.
Okay, so this should be familiar. This is the Google Analytics interface, or the dashboard, that as soon as you click into your Google Analytics account, this or something similar, will be what you see. Now, for this example, I’m going to use one of my agency clients. I’ll quickly show you their website. It’s called Decorgue Cards. It’s an online website, they sell handmade cards. This is the Analytics account, and I’m just going to run through the various options, because Analytics is one of those tools that you’re asked constantly, have you got Analytics set up?
Almost the default answer is yes, I have, but then do you know what to do with it? Do you know how to extract valuable information? Do you know what all the data is telling you? Often the case is, no, not really. It’s quite scary. There’s a lot of numbers. There’s a lot of data. So, I just thought it would be really helpful to spend a few minutes and go through the various options, and kind of give you an overview, and talk you through a Google Analytics, and show you some of the things that I do, and how I can see what’s working and what’s not, and take some actionable points and data from this huge volume of information in front of us.
I’ll quickly start with an overview. You’ll click into your account, and at the very top menu of home, which will take you back to the home dashboard, Reporting, Customization, and Admin. Customization, at this stage, you’re not really going to need to worry about, so you can kind of ignore that for the time being. Reporting is where you’re going to spend most of your time, however, when it comes to set up or any kind of configuration or administration, naturally we’re going to go into Admin. I just wanna spend a few minutes in here because there’s a lot of stuff that you can do in this part here, and often people just aren’t sure where to go or how to do different things. When you click into Admin, and this applies for any Google Analytics account, whether you have one website, or whether you have a hundred websites, this applies exactly the same.
It’s broken down into three sections. First on the left, you have account, then you have property, then you have view. All three of these apply to the same website, so it applies to this website. The account is the top level, so that is what applies at the very most senior level for this website. Then within the account you can have one or more properties. For example, if you have your website as like this one, www.decorquecards.com, or your website.com or .co.uk, if you had a blog on a different URL, so it might be blog.website.co.uk, or you might have shop.website.co.uk. If you have any additional online presence, as well as your default website, then that’s where you would list, and you would have more properties. If you are looking at creating an Analytics account and you have more than one online property, which all falls under the umbrella of the same business or the same brand, you would add a new property there, and you get it set up, and then you would see multiple listings here.
Also within the … Actually, before we get to that, I’ll go to view. So, view, then you’re going farther down, so underneath property sits view, and again, you can have multiple views per property. Now, why might you have additional views? Often, and we’re going to get into this more in the next lesson, where we’re going to do some more advanced Analytics, but the views, you can slice and dice your data. So you might add some filters, or you might add some different settings, or you can set up different views to tell you different pieces of information, and as you get into Analytics and you start to learn the basics and you improve your knowledge, that can become a very, very powerful thing too, at a glance, extract different information. So you can see, okay, I can just look at this type of traffic, or I can just see what’s converting here, or I can just monitor this, or just take a look at that without having to delve into Analytics, and each time you come in, having to slice and dice the data.
So, that’s a quick overview. You’ve got your account, and then underneath your account you can have one or more properties, and then underneath each property you can have one or more views. So, I’ll quickly run through here. In your main account settings on the left, you just click into each of these. It has a lot of standard information, so there’s not really a huge amount we need to enter into here. However, I just want to quickly show user management, because if you ever need to add an additional person, or you want to add a new email address for yourself, and you want to add it to just have a complete overview, so you can see all the data, and you want to grant someone else access, you would come into here.
You would do it at the account level, and you would come into user management. You’d pop in their email just there, and you would decide what type of access to they’re going to have. Read and analyse means they can’t make any changes, they can obviously just read and analyse the data. If you want them to be able to have administrative access, you just tick all four boxes, and they will have the same access as you. You can choose to notify the user, and then click add. They’ll get an email saying, “You’ve been invited to see this,” I mean, you know, “to access this Analytics account,” and then they’ll have exactly the same access as you. So you can add as many users as you like into here. Likewise, when it comes to users, again, if you’ve got different websites, or different … A blog and then a shop, and you don’t want someone to see your shop, you just want them to see your blog, or something along those lines, again, you could grant user management at the property level.
That’s where you can come in, and you would click by choosing the property here, so if you had more, you would see a list of them here. You would choose the right one and then you would add permissions for, and you’re only given access to that specific property. Okay. A lot of other things are filters, and we’re not going to worry about right now, and none of this. I’ll quickly show the property settings. This is where you’re getting into the specifics for your website. I’m going to assume like this one, there is only the one website, so everything is on website.co.uk, or website.com, whatever it is. As you’re setting this up, a lot of this is from the initial setup, but you put in the property’s name. You would choose whether it defaults to http, or https.
If your website is on a secure service, or if when you go into the browser right here, it says https and it’s got a little lock icon, then you’re on a secure network. You would click that there. You can select a default view, so again, so I’m just going to pop that in there. You kind of ignore this. We’re going to get to that in a little bit. That was one of my advanced filters, which we’re going to cover in the next lesson. You would choose a category, and most of this other stuff you need not really worry about. This is, again, more advanced stuff where you can enable different demographics, and all sorts of advanced features, which we’re not really going to need right now.
Tracking information, so you go track information and tracking code. This is where you get the website script that you would have or you will need to, we did it way back in Module One, where we took this script and we added it into the back end of our website so that we can record the traffic, because had we not done that, you wouldn’t be getting any data. So, if you come to … And that’s a good point, jst quickly I’ll show you. If, when you come into your Analytics for whatever reason you’re seeing just a flat line, just absolutely no traffic, then one of the things you would do is you’d click into your website, you would right click, view page source, and you would just look up analytics to make sure that you have the script there.
Because sometimes if you’re making changes to a website, or it has been known that a script can be there when you put it, but then updates happen, or something’s been done incorrectly and the tracking code is no longer there. It’s happened to me a few times, and I’ve gone into my analytics, looked, and all of a sudden in the middle of the month, the traffic’s just dropped off a cliff, and gone to zero and stayed at zero. If that happens, always check the source code for your website, and then you need to just come back into Admin, into your property tracking code, copy that, and you would pop that straight back into the backend of your website, whether that’s WordPress, whatever, it depends how you would set that up, but it’s fairly straight forward.
If you do get into trouble, you can of course email me, or speak to your web developer, your content manager. They’ll be able to get that in for you. Again, a lot of this stuff is more advanced. We need not worry about it. If you are running paid ads, so if you are running AdWords, if you have an AdWords account and you’re running, actively running ads within the Google Ad paid network, make sure you link it up within your Analytics account. So, you can see this one has, so it’s got it all linked up here. It’s fairly easy to do. I’m not going to do it, but you’d click on new link group, and you need to follow the three or four steps to make the connection between your Analytics account and your Google AdWords account.
Likewise with AdSense, but I’m not really going to get into that, ad exchange, there’s lots of other Google … These are all Google products, essentially. This is the one you’re most likely to be using, if any. That’s property explained. As we go into the view settings, again, very similar process. All of this data is here much the same. This time you can choose your country. You don’t really need to worry about choosing a default page or anything like that. One thing I do recommend doing is hitting this bot filtering. So exclude all hits from known bots. A bot or a spider is a much like Google will have Google bots and they crawl the web and the index or the pages, well there are a lot of spam bots that do much the same and they cause havoc with your analytics and with your recording of traffic.
So just by taking that ensures that a majority is automatically excluded by Google Analytics. It is by no means foolproof, but it does the job and for a quick tick and then save, it’s worth doing. Again, you can apply the user management access at the view level. So if you only want to provide someone to a specific view, if you wanted someone to just, if you’ve set up a view and you say I only want someone to have access to be able to see this exact view, this is where you would apply their permissions. You can get into a setting up goals, which we’re going to cover again in the next lesson. And then filters, which we’re also going to cover in the next lesson. And then, again, there’s e-Commerce setting here which we’re also going to cover in the next lesson, and various other features here which we don’t really need to worry about. I tend not to worry about any of these once they’re initially set up or a few of them.
We’re going to look at scheduling emails shortly, but there’s not really a huge amount here that you need to be worrying about. The main things are going to be making sure that you understand the hierarchy of how Google Analytics works, knowing where you can add users, knowing where you can get your tracking code, and then by the end of the second lesson you’ll know how you can set up goals and filters.
So let’s go back to reporting. And in here you will probably recognise some of this stuff. You may be more familiar with Analytics, you may not, you may have never used it, you may know your way around. So, I’m just going to give you, like I say, an overview. On the left hand side, you’ve got all your options, and there is a wealth of options and it is quite scary and it can be daunting to see and understand the data. So what you need to remember is, what are you trying to get out of Google Analytics? Yes, we want to see your traffic, but it would be good to work out the different types of traffic, and where is that traffic coming from? And then do some comparisons. And then look at some behaviours on site. And look at how people are finding the site, and what type of device they’re using. So, there are all the types of things that I monitor and I look for.
So I’m just gonna run you through some of them. This is not even 10 percent of what is within Google Analytics, but this lesson would go on for hours if I tried to explain absolutely everything. So this main area here, this main contents, main dashboard, call it what you will, when you click in well it should default to audience and overview. Now that’s just going to do what it says on the 10, it’s going to give you an overview of your audience and it’s always going to default to the last 30 days. Now up in this top right hand side here is the date. So this is going to default to the last 30 days. As I say, you can change this. And just by clicking into here, what Google gives you is the date range, you could say just today, yesterday, last week, last month, last seven days, last 30 days.
Or what you can do is you can just customise it. So what I often do is I will just pick the date and I’ll say right from the first, 1st of January to the 19th of February, which it is, or the 20th … 19th of February, the 20th today. It only let you do it up until midnight the night before. And you would say here apply that. And that instantly is going to change the date, the information that we’re seeing here. And this blue line is a representation of all users to this website. And you can see that by looking at this box here. So this is called a segment. Okay? And you can add and change multiple different segments. So I’m going to show you exactly what I mean.
If I didn’t want to see all visitors, but I only wanted to see how many visitors arrived at this site from Google, all I need to do is click this, and then you can see all of these, or the vast … There’s one or two, so you won’t see Australia earning, you won’t see this one. These are my custom ones that I’ve previously set up, but you will have a whole host of custom segments which Google gives you by default.
So you can scroll down and organic traffic. So if you just click that, what it’s going to do, it’s going to load up an additional segment unless you switch that one off. But I’m going to leave it on for now. And you could set two, three, I think it allows you to up to five. So just by ticking that and hitting apply, what this will do, is this will add a second segment, so you can see that’s in orange. And so now the orange graph is the representation of just the organic hits to the website. And organic means those coming from search engines, be that Google mostly if we’re in the UK, or occasionally Bing or one of the other lesser search engines.
So you can see there is a real correlation here between the all users, that’s traffic coming directly, that’s traffic coming from social media, coming from other websites, and then there’s a correlation. So the vast majority of traffic is coming actually from Google search, which is great. So you’ve got the blue line represents all traffic and they’ve got … And now what you could do is you could add a third one. We could say, well, let’s look at direct traffic. So that’s people that are coming direct to, their going on and they’re putting in www.decorquecards.com and they’re clicking in.
Let’s tick that again, we’ll leave the others applied. And there you go. So this is a nice way how we can start to see where our traffic’s coming from, and this is something that I do all the time when I’m looking and analysing data, and trying to work out where the traffic’s coming from right now, and where the greatest opportunities lie, things like that. So you can get … It says, then of course what you can do is you can change the date. So you might go, do you know what? I want to go back a whole year. Because you can do that, you can go back as long as you’ve had the Analytics account running. So I’m going to just change the year. You could do it by coming back here or you could just change the date there. And let’s apply it.
And there you are. So that gives you, it’s starting to get a little bit crazy now, there’s a lot of data everywhere. But this is telling us a huge amount of information. We can see if you actually look at the trends, we can actually see that the traffic and the whole … The visibility of the business is on the increase. It’s increasing. It’s been a … Yeah, it’s been a good slow build and we’ve been progressing nicely, and yeah, we’re getting that all forms of traffic are slightly increasing and they’re direct, fairly stable, but the organics are on the increase quite considerably, as is the overall traffic, the overall visibility of the brand.
As you dive into some of this, I’m just going to take one off because it gets a little bit confusing with three. As you start to look at this, you can then see this just breaks it down, all of the information. So you can see the total number of users and then how many organic users, and it’s the … That’s the session, sorry, that’s the users.
Page views. Pages per session, which means on average someone comes to you and says how many pages did they visit? This is saying almost two pages on average. Time on site, and the bounce rate, as well as the new user sessions. And you can then come down and start, you can click into all of these and break it down by country and by city and by browser, operating system, et cetera, et cetera. And like I said, you can then change these. You could do a comparison with organic, and then you could take that one off and you can say, do you know what? I’m going to do one with … Aye yai yai … Something else. I’m going to cancel that actually. You could choose refer, or you could use social media, or whatever it is.
Let’s remove that. Let’s just simplify this and go back to just all users. So like I say, you can go back, you can change it to the last 30 days. It really doesn’t matter. So that just gives you a good sense of what you can do just within this first dashboard, we haven’t even clicked anywhere yet. Within the left hand column here, we have various tasks. You have audience, you have real time intelligent events, shortcuts, dashboards. In real time, if you click into overview there, you can see this will give you a real time look at who is on your website right now. So the reason it’s saying no visitors is because I have a bit of code which excludes me from being on any website because obviously I’m on my client’s websites all the time, so I don’t want to skew the Analytics traffic.
So this is saying there’s no one, not one person in the world is on this website right now. But it’s nice. It’s a nice … I have always find real time fascinating, and I remember when it first came out, I thought it was just incredible because the power of that to be able to tell you someone is on your website right now, and also hear when someone is on your website. In the box here and in the boxes over here, it walks you through every click they make. So as they go from your homepage to your about page, to your services page, to your contact page, you can watch them do it.
It’s quite scary and quite freaky if you actually think about it, and it’s quite fun. I’ve launched websites where it’s been an e-Commerce site, so not too dissimilar to this, and when we have done … You do a lot of promotion behind something and you’re getting those sales coming in, it’s the most satisfying thing to sit here and watch people on your website live, and as they go through, and you watch them go through all the clicks till they view the products, they add them to the basket, they put their shipping details in, and then they go through to complete.
And you then know they’ve complete it before they’ve even actually … You know, you’ve received they’re email saying you’ve got a new customer. It’s quite satisfying. So that’s a bit of fun. It doesn’t really, it’s more … It would tear up your stomach right now, here’s not that much to act upon within real time. So as we go back to audience, what else have we got here? Like I said, there’s loads of options and I encourage you to just look through some of these. I’m only going to show you the ones that I focus on, but have a look through. You’ve got demographics, interests, geo, behaviours, technology, those.
Now mobile is quite an interesting one, and this is something that I encourage you to look at because if you go mobile and overview, this will give you a breakdown of the people that are using your website, what type of device they’re using. And you’ll always have these three, desktop, mobile and tablet. And it’s really interesting, well because certain industries, everyone’s different, but if you’re seeing a huge volume of your traffic is coming via mobile, then you need to make sure that your website is focused in that way. And so I would be reviewing your website on your own mobile.
Does it work great? Do all the forms work? Do the images load correctly? Is the text readable? It’s not too small or too big? Stuff like that. Because instantly doing that you’re providing a better user experience, and if that’s where your traffic is engaging with your business, fantastic. And again, well you can click into these, and what I would always do is, as we’ve already done, take the date right back. So don’t just look at it as the last 30 days because that’s only going to give you a very short window. Go back six months, a year, two, three and look at the data. And then also break that up because if you go back six months and then you go back a year, you’ll be seeing trends of how, okay, a year ago it was more desktop, but actually in the last few months it’s been more mobile. And I would kind of expect to see that because the way mobile is going now.
So mobile is a good one. What else do we have? There’s nothing else here that I would go to that frequently. Acquisition. This is where I spend most of my time when I’m in Analytics, and I encourage you to as well, because for one very simple reason, that it allows you to see the different types of traffic and where that traffic is coming from. So much like we did with the segments, it just saves us having to do that. We can just do things at a glance and we can do various comparisons. So if I click into organic search, what I’m going to then get is I’m going to get an overview from the last … This date range is still the same, so it’s the last 14, 13, 14 months. And I’m going to get a real sense of organic search. And interestingly, Google is going to tell me what types of keywords people are finding it for.
Now you will get some false negatives, things like this, these share buttons. You will see that. It’s frustrating, and I’m actually going to show you one of my advanced filters, which we’re going to cover in the next lesson, will actually get rid of about 99 percent of this kind of stuff. Which, this is a good example actually having seen this of why we apply the filters, because it excludes a lot of these spammy things. Because these are actually recording as 28 visits. Now they’re not real visits, they’re complete spam visits. But like I say, I’ll cover that in more detail in the next lesson. You can then click into source so you can see where they’re coming from. So you’ve got these options here, and people often overlook these that don’t even look at them. So you can see Google, Bing, Yahoo, you know, you always expect to see those types, so it’s interesting, as predicted Google is the dominant force, it’s providing the vast majority of the traffic.
Now landing page a good one because this tells you where people are coming into your site. So again, we’re only looking at organic, and we are now looking at what pages are people arriving into. So people are searching Google. What is their entry point onto the website? So we can see that this post here, I’m going to open that, is proving to be very, very popular because it sent a huge number of people into the website. So we can open this. How many birthday cards, ideas and inspiration for everyone, the 2016 … So this was an authority piece of content that we put together, which has loads of great cards from all different designers. Really great piece, got loads of engagement, people absolutely loved it. It was a few of the client’s own cards in here mixed in.
But as you see, it’s a very, very long piece. Really authoritative. Ranked really, really well and it’s bringing in a sizeable chunk of traffic, which is great. So always come into here and then there’s the all sorts of other that you can click it and have fun and just look through some of these. So that’s your … And then what you can just go back, here’s acquisition and overview. And you could do the same for referral, for direct, social, email, you may have others there as well, it depends on how your website is set up. And likewise, if you want to get to any of these, you can click into here, source medium, referrals, stuff like that. What else do we have here? If we go to behaviour, click into overview. This will, again, if we just click into site content and then all pages, this will tell you all the pages on your website, where you have the Analytics code, which should be every single page.
It will give you a breakdown of how many people are arriving into each page and who’s engaged with what, how long they’re staying on the website. So it’s a really clever way that you can see what content is working for you, what’s not. And we can actually take that a step further because you’ve got the content drill down, but into what I personally prefer to use is the landing pages, because this is, what I was just said a moment ago, this is where you can see which pages on your website are people arriving into. So where are the entry points to your website? Because if you’re increasing your organic traffic, which we can see we are here, and you’re increasing your overall visibility, which having worked through SEO Success within a matter of weeks or months, you’re going to be increasing your visibility, getting more traffic.
So just by coming into here, you’re very quickly able to see what’s working, and which of the pages, or the posts, or the content, or the authority content, or the localised content that’s really working for me. That’s really driving that engagement, and people are interested in and that’s how people are finding my business, my brands. You can find that and then you can then improve that content further still. You go, this is working for me, I’m going to make this even better. Likewise, you can come down, you can expand this, so you can say show 10, you could show the top hundred, 200, whatever. We’ve got 187 here. You may have loads more if you have loads of products or loads of services.
You can click into these and go down the bottom of the list and see which pages are not generating anything, because then that can give you a list, and often I do that, I choose the 10 pages or so, or 20, that are not doing anything off their blog posts, and then I say, right, let’s work on these. Let’s improve them as resources, let’s make them much better. Get them out because at the moment they’re not doing anything for us. So it’s a nice way … It goes back to when we were talking about content marketing, about re-leveraging older content, this is one way to do it. You can come in, what’s not working for me. Okay, I’m going to take that, massively improve it, re-leverage it, republish it and give it a new lease of life.
Exit pages. This is really, really useful because this will tell you where people are exiting your website. Now there will always be a correlation between high volume landing pages and high volume, because naturally, if loads people are arriving into one page, then you’re always going to get a percentage of people that are going to leave. So you’re not going to look at this as the, right, well this is the place that most people are leaving by, therefore it’s no good, because we know it’s the highest page in terms of landing page visits.
But that said, you could work your way down this list and say, are there any pages that have a higher than usual exit rate? And if there are … Anything, I mean these, you can say anything around 1 percent is fine. These ones have a higher, because it’s the homepage and it’s that really authority piece of content. So there’s nothing here that would really grab me. But if you were seeing your about page, or your contact page, or something along those … A really important services page or a page talking about your business, and it had high exit page, review that page. Can you make it better? Can you add more internal links? Can you provide more imagery? Can you really do something to make that a better resource to reduce the amount of people exiting your website from that page.
We have site speed and site search, which again, Google Analytics is not particularly great in terms of its site speed analysis, so I kind of take this with a pinch of salt. And if your website has site search enabled, I don’t think this one does. No it doesn’t, but it would be in here. So it’s often when you’re setting up your website it will say, do you want to track, the number of searches and depending on your business website, that may be relevant, it may not. So, you can always do that. And they’re pretty much the main things that I come into to be honest, when I’m looking. Audience and overview, to get a real sense of what’s going on, I change the dates and I play around with it, try different segments, see what’s working, just so I can …
What you want to be able to do with Analytics, is firstly, getting it set up correctly with your admin, and then knowing the half a dozen or so places within here where you need to come so you’re not scared off, so you’re not thinking … If someone says to you, right, are you getting more mobile or desktop visitors? You want to be able to come in here, change the date back and go, yeah, well I know that for this website, desktop is still the dominant force. With mobile second, and tablet third. That’s not unusual in that order, to be honest. You’ll probably see something very similar to that. You want to be able to go, right, well where’s my traffic coming from? Okay. I can go into overview. I can see, again, look at the date range, I can see that organic is bringing in the most traffic, but referral was doing pretty well as well, direct, social.
And then you want to be able to click into these and see where that traffic is coming from, which pages they’re clicking into, how much they’re engaging with the different pieces of content, different pages, stuff like that. You’ve then got your behaviours, which is where you kind of drill down more into the specifics of the pages of the content. So stuff like that. And the conversions, we’re going to come on to in the next lesson, but that’s kind of it. There’s not a huge amount. You’re not going to be able to look at Google Analytics and get all the information you require and be able to just go out there and make every smart decision as far as your business going forward online. But knowing how to use it, and navigate it, and understand what it’s telling you, and simplify it, can be hugely valuable and can stop you going down the wrong path and wasting your time or doing something that’s not working, and crucially improve upon what you have already done.
So, I hope that gives you a good overview. If there is anything specific within Analytics that you want me to cover in a little more detail, or if you want to get a little bit more understanding of, then by all means just shoot me over an email to [email protected] Otherwise, that just about wraps this initial briefing for Analytics up, and I am going to see you on Lesson Two, so have some fun with this, play around with it. And in the next lesson, advanced analytics, we’re going to dive into some of the more technical, more advanced stuff.