Episode 169: 5 Google Analytics Myths Everyone Believes!

Google Analytics is one of the most important tools for any business owner, especially for your SEO strategy. It can tell you how your SEO is working. Are you getting more website visits? More conversions? More time spent on page? All of this is critical information for every webiste. But it can also be overwhelming. There is a lot of information on Google Analytics. It isn’t enough just to look at the numbers. You need to analyze them, properly. Don’t let these 5 myths deter your marketing plan!

Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today, I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: Thank you and welcome to our podcast, we want to talk today to entrepreneurs and business owners with respect, John to Google and Google Analytics. We’re going to talk about, in terms of myths and we want to dispel a few myths around Google Analytics because some people look at it and maybe because it looks so technical they get, maybe afraid of it, what do they think? “I don’t need it.” So let’s talk about myth number 1: “I don’t believe I need Google Analytics.”

John: Well it’s so imperative, if you have a website, you want to know what’s going on on your website. This is a…free…Pics.io in a free Analytics tool where it can actually tell you a lot of information and insights about your website, right?

Roger: About…the number of visitors, where they came from, how long they spend on the page, how they- if they bounce away…there’s so much content, so much, so much interesting data that you can use as a business owner.

John: Exactly and you know, today, smartphones are so important, right? So which devices are they actually using when they land on your website? Which pages are they landing? How many pages are they landing? How long are they staying on your website? Until they actually fill that form, right? These data are so imperative, and then which region? Which part of the city? Which post code? Which…which…

Roger: Country?

John: Country.

Roger: Let’s say…let’s say you don’t have Analytics and the day you get it, you realize, “Oh my God, half of my traffic is coming from another country!” How does that serve you? It doesn’t. That’s what Google Analytics, myth number 1, you do need it and it is so valuable. Frankly, I don’t know how you make business decisions without it.

John: Exactly.

Roger: Yeah.

John: If you are running a business and you have a website, and you invest quite a bit on building a website, it’s so imperative to just have “data.” Right?

Roger: Yep.

John: And knowing…what is going on on your website is so important to actually convert…traffic to clients.

Roger: Exactly. So myth number 2 is “more is better, more traffic…means I’m more successful.”

John: …more traffic. Unfortunately, you want quality traffic, right? So the key is where do you get the majority of your clients? If you’re a local business owner and you’re located in Toronto…you want the majority of your people or people coming to your website, situated in Toronto? IP address in Toronto, right? However, there’s a lot of people that get a lot of traffic from overseas, or different provinces, or different countries, and it doesn’t really translate to real business for you, right? And this could be organic traffic, it could be direct traffic, it could be social traffic, or referral traffic, right? And then you gotta understand how long are people staying on your website…

Roger: Sure.

John: …as well, right? Are they quickly pressing that back button? Are they even doing anything when they go on your website? Are they clicking through different pages? There’s a lot of data there.

Roger: Yep. And you…if you see that they’re leaving your page in a hurry…that sends to you as a business owner, something is wrong, either “I’m not putting the right message out there or I’m attracting the wrong type of customer, or searcher- look…on my page.” So this is where this Google Analytics is so powerful because it allows you to dig deeper or you hire an expert to read to it more to give you the data so you understand what’s going on.

John: Yeah…and understand like relevant…traffic, so quality traffic, and that’s the most important thing because “organic traffic” should be like your “new type of client”, direct traffic should be people that already know you.

Roger: A name search.

John: A brand, right?

Roger: Yeah.

John: And then of course, if it’s social and referral, it could be anything from social media to other websites referring to your website.

Roger: Yep.

John: So understanding those metrics are very critical.

Roger: So another myth…myth number 4, I think it’s 3 sorry, is “low amount of time on a page is okay.” So if Google can track which it does, how long someone is spending on your page, the less could be considered good, John.

John: Not necessarily.

Roger: No.

John: So there’s actually a fine line that the key is understanding what’s optimal for your business. It all depends on what kind of business you’re on, where you’re located, does it convert or not? ‘Cause typically people who are searching on Google, those spend an average of a couple of minutes on your website if they’re engaged and ready to actually decide to make a decision, right?

Roger: Exactly.

John: But if you are making a transaction, right? It could be just a price point, right? People just go in and out, and buy, right? But if it’s a larger purchase, they’re gonna stay on your website, check out some videos, photos, before/after pictures…

Roger: Views?

John: …whatever is useful?

Roger: Yeah that’s right.

John: So it all depends on…what you’re serving up to your customers but really focus on retaining that customer…keep them engaged throughout the entire buyer journey on your website so that they can navigate thru multiple pages, investigating your blog, your service offerings, and then hopefully, they- you’re also tracking like that form of place.

Roger: Exactly. Myth number 4 which is “more traffic means your campaign is…your campaign was successful.” We sort of spoke on that really on myth number 2 but really is more traffic isn’t necessarily better traffic. To run a new campaign, you really have to- still understand…where those calls are coming from geographically, how much time they’re spending…spending on which pages? So really more is not better, it’s quality that you’re looking for.

John: Exactly. And the key here is there’s a lot of bots out there on Google, right? And they’re basically just clicking on your website and they’re not even staying on your website so this counts on Google Analytics are referral traffic, and there’s ways to eliminate that, and remove that on your actual reporting…and with, you know, you’re becoming more knowledgeable on Google Analytics, you will have a better understanding of what kind of traffic is good traffic for your business that actually delivers real sales or leads, right? But with the company that’s actually just sending you reports and you not knowing what these reports actually means, it doesn’t really give you any value, right?

Roger: Exactly…and of course, myth number 5: “It’s confusing, it’s complex, it’s difficult to understand.” That’s actually a myth, it is actually true, John, that you can go so deep and there’s so many different ways to look at the Analytics but it doesn’t have to be that deep, you can actually take a higher level view so which makes…hey, listen…here’s the channels, here’s where people are coming from in terms of direct name search versus organic placement, organic search, or did it come from social or referral, etc.. So you can look at it many different ways and you can put a time frame of the last week, the last month, you can compare to the previous year, the previous period. It isn’t difficult to get a view of what’s really going on.

John: Yeah and especially if you’re not tech savvy, right? Having someone setting it up for you, sharing access, sort of…just explaining it to you…it goes a long way, right? But it gives you way more insights and gives you way more knowledge in terms of how your website is performing, month after month, year after year, and what actually is working and what’s not working, right? But the more in control you have, the more knowledgeable you’ll become in terms of everything digital, everything in terms of your website, to Google Analytics, to understanding social media, to understanding how keywords work.

Roger: Yep.

John: The better off you are in terms of running an effective SEO campaign.

Roger: And better decisions you’ll make as a business owner.

John: Exactly. Well, thanks a lot Roger.

Roger: John, thank you for your time and thanks for watching today, Local SEO, we’ll see you again. Have a good day.

John: Thank you, Roger.

Roger: Thanks, John.