076: Using Analytics to Build Your Blog with Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics

Welcome to episode 76 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week, Bjork chats with Jeff Saur from Jeffalytics.com about how you can use Analytics to increase your chances for blog success.

Last week Bjork interviewed Garrett Moon from CoSchedule about using social media to its full potential. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Using Analytics to Build Your Blog

Oftentimes, when new bloggers start blogging, the only stat they really care about is whether or not their content is being seen by someone.It’s satisfying to see the first day we get 50 pageviews, or 100, or even 1,000. We check our analytics to make sure our content is getting seen.

However, Analytics can be much more powerful than this. Used correctly, they can help you generate ideas for content, show you what’s really working, and help you guide your business overall. In short, proper use of Analytics can really help you accelerate your blog and business.

Jeff Sauer has made his career out of helping people use Google Analytics. Today, he’s here to give us some of his best tips.

Food Blogger Pro Jeff Sauer Quote

In this episode, Jeff shares:

  • Why Google Analytics was so revolutionary and powerful
  • What the phases of Analytics use are
  • What universal analytics is and why it’s important
  • How you can use GA for more than just pageviews
  • What your bounce rate means to your business
  • What reports you should be looking at in Google Analytics
  • How to leverage the existing traffic you have
  • Why ranking for more specific keywords is better
  • How you can use goals to improve your website

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If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.


Bjork Ostrom: In this episode, we are talking to Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics.com. We’re going to be covering how information from Google Analytics can help you increase your traffic, one common trait he’s noticed with every analytics account he’s ever worked on, and the number one thing you need to make sure and do on every post or page that you publish. Hey, everybody. This is Bjork Ostrom, and you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. So excited to have Jeff Sauer on today.

Jeff has a website called Jeffalytics.com, and believe it or not, he talks about analytics. You can tell by the name, Jeffalytics, it’s kind of a tie-in. Jeff, analytics. Put them together, and you have Jeffalytics. Jeff is going to come on today and share all about using Google Analytics, but the thing about Google Analytics is as Jeff has said, it takes a minute to learn, but years to master.

Essentially, what that means is Google Analytics is really, really deep, and if you’re going to use it in a way that helps you to build traffic to your site that you’re really intentional about it, then it’s going to take some time and it’s going to take some effort. The good news is that there’s some really easy wins that you have right off the bat, and Jeff is going to share what those are in this podcast interview today. Let’s go ahead and jump in to this conversation with Jeff Sauer. Jeff, welcome to the podcast.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to chatting about analytics.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Usually, people I think would say, “Analytics. How do you chat about analytics?”, but as I was doing some research, watching some of your videos, I think that we’ll get through this. It’ll be a fun conversation, and people would maybe normally say “You can’t chat about analytics”, but I know if there’s anybody that could, it would be you, so honored to have you on.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Perfect.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool.

Jeff Sauer: Hopefully nobody is using this as their go-to sleep podcast in the night.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. Yeah. Exactly.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. They put it at a half speed, and then they’ll slowly fade off, but maybe they would find some purpose in it, even if they didn’t like analytics.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. For sure.

Bjork Ostrom: I’m curious to know, Jeff your story. Before you really dove deep into Google Analytics, what was it that drew you in? Were you in the online industry? Were you building websites? What did that look like for you pre-Google Analytics?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Sure. Funny you say that you’re in St. Paul. That’s where I’m from as well, and I went to college in St. Paul, the University of St. Thomas, and –

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, which is so fun to see. It feels like more of a coffee shop conversation when I’m like, “Oh, Saint Tomas. Literally three minutes from us.”

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. That’s hilarious. Yeah. I love the area, and I just love everything about it still, but graduate with this computer science degree to a bad job market. Nothing is going on, and so I couldn’t really find a job, and so I decided to make websites because it was something I learned in school, and I was like, “Oh, this is pretty straight forward. I know how to write programming”, and believe it or not, people would pay me to make websites.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. There’s a need for it.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time. I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take, but I learned that I could make websites for other people and they’d pay me, and I could make websites for myself, and I can put ads on them, and I can make money that way. For several years, as I was sorting everything out, I was doing both. I was making websites for companies. As I got better at that, that gave me more responsibilities and I got more bigger clients that I was working with, and eventually, they said, “Can you get people to go to my site through search engines?” I was like, “Let me figure it out”.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: I figured out how search engines work. I figured out how to pay to be at the top of Google using AdWords. I figured out a lot of different things. Then, the final step of being good at that was knowing what drove people to the site like what keywords, what pages on the site were popular. Basically, how did you get the traffic you were looking for from the search engines?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Right around the time I was trying to answer that question, every piece of software cost a hundred thousand to $200,000. Basically –

Bjork Ostrom: When you say software, that’s specific for this industry?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Specific to track your website.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jeff Sauer: Basically, if you wanted to know what was happening on your website, there is no real free tools. There is no inexpensive tools. There were some that were just not very good at all.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Like the GoCDs, like tracker at the bottom of the page?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly. Like they can use stats in a StatCounter, that type of stuff. Actually StatCounter still exists, but back then, it was just like every time somebody refreshed your page, it would be another … It’d be plus one, and that was like –

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. You could just refresh a hundred times?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. It’s like this page has been viewed 23,000 times since the beginning of time, and it’s like there’s no concept of monthly visits or daily visits or search engines and all that stuff.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Sure. What you’re about was this, where you were wanting to get into this, but the expense was really high?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. I could poke on it with my clients. They’re really big clients, but then, there’s nothing in the mid-market, and there was no way for me to give that same level of insight to my own personal sites and to the ones that I was doing for clients. Then, Google is like, “Oh, if you have an AdWords account, Google Analytics is free”. I was like, “What the heck is Google Analytics?” I didn’t even know what the word ‘Analytics’ meant. Actually, if you would have typed analytics in Microsoft Word, it would have been underlined because they didn’t think that it was a real word. This is like –

Bjork Ostrom: There’s so many internet things that have done that. Right?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: If you do a Google Trends search for the word ‘Analytics’, it’s just fascinating to see it take off, and it’s really Google introduced Google Analytics at the end of 2005, early 2006, so when it was open to everybody, and it just shot through the roof to the moon because instead of having to pay a hundred thousand which really lets only corporations do analytics, web analytics, now, everybody can do it.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Right.

Jeff Sauer: It democratized the entire area.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jeff Sauer: I was like, “Holy cow. This is so cool.” It was something that I could use for clients. I could use it on my own sites, and I was just like, “This is like a whole new world of possibility, of data, of accountability for everything that I’ve been preaching and talking about with websites”. It basically made your website an accessible thing.

Instead of just saying, “I have a website now”, you can answer the question, “What does my website do for me? How does my website make me money?” The ushering in of this, it’s funny to even say it now, but web 2.0. That was the beginning of this whole web 2.0 concept of like, “Oh, websites can make money. Websites can be a part of your business. Websites can do this”, and then you need to have a blog, just compete.

All these different things were being said out there. Analytics was the backbone of all of it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It was the proof essentially.

Jeff Sauer: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: People are saying, “This is really valuable”, but it was really hard to interpret that because there was no essentially a currency that you could say, “Here’s why it’s valuable”.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Instead, it was kind of up in the air like, “It’s valuable. We know that.” Then, we have this gut feeling that it’s important.

Jeff Sauer: Yup. Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: This was 2005 I think Google Analytics came about.

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: If I remember right, it was one of those really expensive software solutions that Google purchased, and then they just flipped the switch, and they’re like, “And we’re giving to you for free”.

Jeff Sauer: Yes. Yeah. They purchase Urchin software February of 2005, and then by October, they had renamed it Google Analytics, and that was one of those expensive pieces of software I was talking about.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. At this point, this is released, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. Finally”, because you’re working on websites, you’re really into the business side of it, you’re working with clients, and also on your own, you’re building sites. Now, suddenly, you have all of this information, all of this data that you can jump into, and really start to understand the sites that you’re building a little bit more. At that point, did you know like, “Golly, I love this, and I know that this is what I want to be doing”, or over time, is you got to know it a little bit more. Did people come to you and say, “We need help with this”?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. It’s an interesting thing to say or to think about because I was still in my deciding what I want to do and what my specialty is phase at that point, and so analytics was actually the means to my other ends which is search, so doing SEO and doing PPC. Analytics –

Bjork Ostrom: For those that aren’t familiar, can you explain PPC?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I think most people understand SEO, Search Engine Optimization, but not as familiar with the paid site.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah, yeah. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. PPC, paid search or Google AdWords for example, basically, if somebody …

If you search on Google, about 75% of the people that click … Actually, more like 80 to 85% are going to click on the free, organic search results, and then the rest of them are going to click on the ads, so it’s the ads by Google. Back then, it was very differentiated, like you could tell which was an ad, which one was a natural listing. Now, it’s getting much more difficult to tell what is what, like they don’t even change the color of the page. It’s very blended, but to be on the top positions, you have to pay for it, and you bid based on a keyword, so you say, “I want to …” If you wanted to show up for a food blog, then you might pay for that or you can optimize for organic search, and then you’d pay a certain amount of money every time that somebody clicked on your ad.

Now back then, in continuing with that example, back then, if somebody clicked on that ad, all that I knew was that somebody clicked on the ad. I didn’t really know if they viewed one page of my site, if they viewed 10 pages, if they viewed a hundred pages. You could barely tell if they even bought anything. You would basically just know that if you turn on Google AdWords, sometimes sales came in, and so what Google Analytics, they gave it away for free if you run their AdWords products to advertise in search engines on keywords, then this new product was allowing you to see exactly how they traversed to your website.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. It’s interesting because some people would maybe be listening and say, “Why wouldn’t Google continue to have that be a paid thing that they would offer?”, but as an interesting aside, AdWords or PPC is like the Cash Cow for Google. Right? Isn’t it a huge part of the income that they’re able to earn as a company?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. They did $66 billion in 2015.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: I believe 90% of it is coming from advertising.

Bjork Ostrom: With Google, I think a lot of times, people were like, “How are they able to do all these crazy things like build robot dogs and things like that?” So much of what they’re doing is funded by this Cash Cow of AdWords, so it’s a really important thing for them, so it makes sense why they would add in products like Google Analytics that would support people that are using it, continue to make it easier for them to understand, but the nice thing is it wasn’t just PPC. It was also just organic traffic, so you don’t have to be using PPC anymore or paid advertising with Google in order to have access to this information. Do you remember when that switch happened, that they all ended up to everybody?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. There’s like a beta only for AdWords customers 2005, early 2016 or 2006. How about 10 years?

Bjork Ostrom: Time flies.

Jeff Sauer: Isn’t it funny how time flies? Yeah. Early 2006, and then they started to gradually open it up. Like at first, you could only create one account per email address, so I started creating different email addresses in order to handle it.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Jeff Sauer: There’s all kinds of different tricks I had to do in order to get accounts, but then eventually, by 2007, 2008, anybody could create an account. It didn’t really matter whether you had AdWords or not, and you could do whatever you wanted to at that point. You could set up as many accounts as you wanted to. It was really when it started to become a mainstream product around that time.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting that one of the things that I think is important is to point out to people that are listening just how valuable this tool is. It’s something that like you said before, $100,000, $200,000 companies would have to pay in order to get access to this.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, they’re at the point where it’s completely free, you’re able to get in here, and you’re able to use it, but the bummer is I think so often, what happens is people will install it, and then what they do is they go and they look at the traffic for the last month, or they look at the traffic for yesterday.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk a little bit about that and why potentially that’s a mistake?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. I think it all depends on maturity and our experiences with our business and where we’re at in the phase of our business, and in our website business. Let’s call it that. The first phase is just being satisfied that somebody cares.

It’s like looking on there and saying, “Oh, somebody actually visited my website, so I didn’t do this work for not. Somebody actually visited my site.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: You might even look at the geography and say, “Oh, I had somebody from Russia this week”, or “Oh, there’s a bunch of people from India who came in”.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: You’re just like satisfied that you weren’t just talking to yourself, and so –

Bjork Ostrom: The motivation in some sense is not that it’s this thriving business, but that something is working.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s a little bit of a proof that like, “Okay. I’m putting stuff out”, and people are seeing it, and that in it of itself can be motivating.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly, and it’s validation. It’s motivation, but I think that most people just stop there to be completely honest. They don’t go past the basic thing of, “How many people come to my site each month?”

I think it’s because they think that the blog or their website is a hobby or even worse than that, like a cost center. Like the website is a cost of doing business. Not the greatest marketing tool that’s been invented in the 21st century. I know that websites are around before that, but website and making money off it is a 21st century invention, and it’s an amazing one.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jeff Sauer: Obviously talking to you and seeing your site, this is like it’s amazing what you’ve been able to take with it or to do with it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s the wild, wild west in some ways still.

Jeff Sauer: Yes. Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s so fun to think of it like that where you think back … I’m reading a book right now about the story of Warren Buffett. I’m just super fascinated by him, and they talk about what life was like growing up for him and how he learned in the little businesses he started. It’s interesting to think about that right now for us. What does that look like for people that right now are building businesses?

It’s very similar to these other influential times, wild, wild west, people doing the gold rush kind of thing, and there’s definitely a very specific time period where this will be a new thing, and eventually, it won’t be. Right?

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: Like it’ll be something that people understand and get, and it will be the norm, but it’s really exciting to be in the early stages of that, so I’m right there with you.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. For sure. I think that it’s so exciting, but I think that sometimes people just, they think that’s it and they think that the only thing you need to do is you get somebody to come to your website, and like I said, as a hobby. They don’t really focus on how do you turn it into a business, or believe it or not, a lot of businesses don’t think that the website can be anything more than a brochure, basically, like a …

Bjork Ostrom: Yes.

Jeff Sauer: It used to be a three-fold brochure. You’d fold it once. Fold it again, and then there’d be six panels on there. That’s what the websites became at first, but then, analytics, what it allows you to do is to see what parts of the website are working.

When I say that, I mean which pages are getting the most views. For example, is it all your pages of your site getting a ton of traffic or just a few? Almost every … I’ve looked at probably well over … I mean, definitely well over a thousand Google Analytics accounts.

Probably closer to 10,000 in the last 10 years, and everybody is the same, and it’s almost always a handful of pages generating all of your incoming traffic, generating all your results, doing everything, and so we’ve put all this time into creating thousands of pages, but it’s really the handful that do everything and create all the results.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s so interesting to hear you say that. That was a gut check thing that I had thought about and processed through over a few different years is I haven’t looked by any means as many Google Analytics accounts as you have, but it seems like I saw this trend, and so I wrote a blog post a while back about how blogging is a lot like being a musician, and you really need to write a lot of songs in order to have your one-hit wonder.

Jeff Sauer: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Then, you have your one-hit wonder, but it’s not because you just had this moment of genius, and then published it, but it’s because you wrote songs for a really long time, and eventually, somebody noticed and said, “Here, you have a hit”. By the end of your career, maybe you have a handful of one-hit wonders, so you have six, seven. You could put a greatest hits CD out, but very similar to that concept that you just talked about where you have this handful of pages that are really performing well and a lot of like supporting casts to those pages.

Jeff Sauer: Yup. Yeah. I think there’s a good quote. It’s something like “It took five years to become an overnight success”.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Exactly.

Jeff Sauer: I look at it the same way, but the cool thing about analytics is that you can increase your chances of success because you can look at the principles and the properties of what made those things successful because you have data that helps you understand that. You can look at, “Was it popular because Google liked it, because you wrote something that fit their terms of standards, and that gave you organic search? Is it because of social media? Who in social media influenced you? Was it one person who tweeted it out? Was it the time of day? Was it the time of year?”

Analytics helps you and you’re being analytical with what happened here, so you’re not doing a little rain dance and hoping that traffic comes in. You’re saying, “Okay. I know that I did a hundred things. One of them stuck”, or “I did a hundred things, and 10 of them stuck.” What are the principles? What are the core reasons why that happened?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: You can investigate that, and then you can use Analytics to quantify it, and then you can do more of that. It’s like the whole principle, which is the 80/20 rule of 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Looking at your analytics and getting even just looking at the pages that are popular is an easy way to trim out the 80% of your time that you spend that’s not worthwhile.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: It’s not so much not worthwhile. It’s just that it’s not effective.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It could be more valuable if you spent that time doing something else potentially.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s lay the foundation here for those … I’m guessing most people are familiar with Google Analytics, probably have it installed. One of the things that is a relatively recent change maybe within the last couple years that I thought would be worth bringing up as the foundational piece is first of all, the basics of installing the ad code. We won’t get into that technical element of it, but can you talk about universal analytics and what that change was and why it’s important?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Universal Analytics is Google’s solution around people in a multi-device world, and so when I do teaching or speaking, I always hold up my phone, and then I show my computer and I say, “I’m Jeff right here talking to you, and I have my phone, and I have my computer”.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Jeff’s computer and Jeff’s phone are two different people in the eyes of Google, and in the eyes of your websites and in the eyes of your analytics, and so basically, your phone is a different user than your tablet, than as your computer. Even if you have multiple browsers, they’re all treated differently, and that’s just the way that analytics works is that we tie who you are, your identity to your web browser, to cookies on your web browser, and so Universal Analytics, what it allows us to do is it’s Google’s way of matching up somebody across devices. Now, the way that they match people is based on their email address or some kind of ID that you know about them that uniquely identifies them. If you know that somebody is the same person because they logged into your website or they clicked thtough on your emails, on your website, you can also track them on your mobile site, so universal helps you bridge the gap between them.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jeff Sauer: Now, to be honest, I think it’s really an advanced thing to be able to stitch together the sessions across your visits, especially if you don’t have people logging in, but it does help you … The key thing to know here is that you might have somebody visit your site 50 times on three different devices, and then it’s not going to show up as one person with 50 visits. It’s going to be three people with 15, 20 visits each or something like that.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. Yeah, so they’ll understand a little bit better that the one person can represent multiple sessions or pageviews to your site. Obviously, pageviews. Okay. That was one thing that I wanted to check on real quick because I know that’s something that’s changed recently. Basically, with that, would you say if people don’t have Universal Analytics, and so would it be something that you would say, “Hey, this is the best version of Google Analytics to have on your site”?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Absolutely. I think that if you have Google Analytics on your site and you’ve had it for more than five years, and you haven’t update it recently, you’re using the classic version … I always laugh when I say classic because classic in the term of internet years is about three years old right now.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Right.

Jeff Sauer: It’s like, “Wow. It’s a dinosaur.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. The vintage analytics from 2010.

Jeff Sauer: It’s three years old. Yeah. It’s vintage. Yes. Yes. Yeah. It gets to where collector plates, the classic Analytics.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, but if you still have it, it’s going up in value because it’s so old.

Jeff Sauer: Yes. Yeah. Yeah, except for not with the case of analytics.

Bjork Ostrom: You could sell that code on eBay for a premium price.

Jeff Sauer: Yes, but there’s no thrift store that wants your out-of-date Analytics tracking code.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Okay. All right. Maybe if there’s market opportunity there.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. The reality is that even though … Basically, you should upgrade to the newer version because every time Google releases something new, the chances of them supporting the old way of doing things is lower and lower, because basically, it’s an out-of-date code base, so every innovation that Google’s made in the last three years is not going to be coming to you if you’re using the old version of the code.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Yeah. Right.

Jeff Sauer: What it means is that you can still view your traffic sources. You can still view all the basic reports, but almost anything that’s advanced or an improvement in the tracking capabilities is something that you won’t be able to do in the future.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jeff Sauer: It might not be urgent, but also, if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re like, “I really want to get up-to-date with analytics, and I want to take advantage of the new stuff that’s out there”, then yeah, you probably need to upgrade it, otherwise, some of the stuff I talk about, especially when we get more into the advanced topics, you won’t be able to do it because you’re using a code-based that’s three years old, and it doesn’t sound long in terms of human life, but it is long in the web development life.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. It’s like 80 in internet years. Right?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly. Yes. Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: The example I think of just to give a concrete example is demographics, so I know that was something that … I don’t know when it was released by Google Analytics, but I remember there’s a point where they released this. We were using the classic version of the code on our site, and we’re like, “Oh, that’d be really cool”, and we’re like, “Oh, actually, we need to use this new version in order to get access to demographic information about our users”, so yeah. I think it’s a good point and something for people to check out. Is there a way to easily do that to check which version you’re using or is that technical –

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I mean, the easiest way to do it … It depends. There’s two ways to do it. One is you can be the source code on your site, and if you do a view source and you find GA.JS, then you’re using classic analytics, and if you find Analytics.js, you’re using Universal Analytics.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. That’s going to be webpage, right-clicking if you’re using Chrome, say view page source, and then just doing like a search, like a find?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: On all that code, it looks all … You don’t have to understand it, but you’re searching for what you had said, and if you have Analytics.js, that means you’re using Universal Analytics.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. If you’re listening to my voice explain these things, I recorded some videos on this on my YouTube channel for the periodic table of Google Analytics which is like a content project that I did to simplify analytics.

Bjork Ostrom: Great.

Jeff Sauer: If you want to, we can link to those videos in the show notes to make it a little bit more in depth.

Bjork Ostrom: Absolutely. Yup. Great. We’ll plan on doing that. Cool.

Jeff Sauer: Cool.

Bjork Ostrom: That was one thing that I wanted to hit just to lay the ground work, the foundation. If you have the code installed, double-check that it’s Universal Analytics.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s really important.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah, but I would also say that just in general, the newest, latest, greatest code should be secondary to using Analytics to get it to going into Analytics every day and understanding what you have, because turning it on and getting more isn’t going to solve the problem if you don’t know what you have in the first place.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes. Right. Right.

Jeff Sauer: Actually, that’s something I wanted to talk about is when we talk about evolution, the first one is just being happy with people going to your site. The next one is training Google Analytics to recognize what makes you successful, and believe it or not, when you set up your Google Analytics account, they say sign up for an account, put code on your website, collect data, and that’s it. They make it seem like it’s so simple that you do those three steps, and you’re done. What they don’t tell you is that you can train Google Analytics to recognize all the money you make. You can train Google Analytics to recognize when somebody clicks through your affiliate links.

You can set that up as a goal or each impression of your ads, or when you get an email sign up or an opt in on your website, or if you sell something through a shopping cart or any of those things. You can train Google Analytics to recognize whenever those things happen.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. The first stage that you’re saying is the get the code in and realize people are actually coming to your site, and feel good about it. Right? Like it’s working. You’re making progress. The second stage is, all right. Lean into Google Analytics a little bit and start to use it to not just inform you, but also to guide your path so you can make strategic decisions. Is there a third stage of that or would you say those are the two different main focus areas?

Jeff Sauer: I mean, the first one is to have something to collect data. The second one is to be honest with yourself. This is even a tool thing, like what fuels your economic engine and what are you doing this for, so get goals for yourself. Say “If I do this by the end of the year, I’ll feel happy about it”. It could be revenue.

It could be number of readers or users that are going on. It could be getting a consistent reader base. It could be people commenting. Just be honest with yourself. Write it down on paper as to “What’s the point of my website?”

Then, train Google Analytics to recognize that which is this goal part. That might be a phase three, but then once you’ve trained Google Analytics, what makes you successful, everything else just falls into line. What I mean by that is traffic to your site is good. Like if you’re at a thousand, getting 2,000 is better generally speaking. If you’re at 10.000, getting 20,000 is better.

Those types of things. Right? What you can do is if you’ve trained Google to recognize the outcomes, you can see which segments of your traffic are the ones that are generating the majority of your leads.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: For example, if you have traffic coming from Facebook, Pinterest, and from Snaptchat, and from Instagram, or whatever coming in that way, plus you have Google, organic search, plus you have media, if you do something like media or remarketing or something like that, people coming in, all these different ways, you might do a guest blog post on another blog driving traffic. You might have your email list sending traffic to your site. These are all ways that you can get people interested in what you’re doing. Now, some of them are things you own like what I call ‘Owned media’ like your email list or anything where you’re driving people back your Facebook page, or you’re driving people who have already expressed interest in you back to your site, amd there’s like the earned stuff which is links from other editorial links, and then there’s paid which is just anything you pay for basically, pay to drive to your site, these things all behave differently.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: For example, if you have a 1% conversion rate on your site, and a conversion rate is the percentage of people who buy from you basically. You’re going to do the thing you want them to do.

Bjork Ostrom: Sign up for an email list. Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Sign up for email or whatever. If one out of a hundred people do that, the chances are … Actually, that’s not a great example. If 10 out of a thousand people do that, the chances are that it’s one or two sources driving all 10 of those sign ups, and then you have other stuff that’s doing nothing for you, so you might find, and I don’t want … Don’t take this as literal, listener, but you might find that Pinterest is doing much better for you than ]Instagram is.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jeff Sauer: You might find that it’s significantly better or something’s better than Facebook. Those types of things. Now, those aren’t real rules. I’m just using it as an example.

Bjork Ostrom: Hypothetically. Yup.

Jeff Sauer: Hypothetical, but you’re going to find that actually, the 80/20 rule applies again, and that 20% of the things you do produce 80% of your results.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: You would never know that. You would intuitively know that or you could intuit that that’s what’s happening, but you wouldn’t have any evidence other than just to your instincts if all you did was put something on Pinterest, and then hope that the people buy from you or that the things happened.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Now, if you set up your analytics and you use what’s called ‘Segmentation’, you can look at Pinterest as a segment and know definitively if it worked or not.

Bjork Ostrom: I’ll give a concrete example. This is one that we’ve used on our site, so we have Google Analytics set up in a way that it tracks the conversion for when people purchase an eBook that we have, and we’re looking at it, and analyzing, and we found that even though 70% of the traffic, two pinch of yum comes form mobile or tablet, that 90% of the transactions for the eBook were on desktop, so it was a really interesting thing for us to learn that the vast majority of the conversions for the eBook happened on desktop as opposed to mobile. There’s a couple different things that you could probably learn from that. Maybe one is that the mobile site needs to be optimized a little bit better, or the other could be that just in general, people buy on desktop in a way that’s a little bit different than they do on mobile, so maybe you slanted the design towards the desktop knowing that the chances of a conversion are higher there.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah, or what I’ve been doing lately is, and partly is one, analytics gives you the evidence or gives you the ideas. I look at Google Analytics as an idea machine of what you can do for your next 10 projects. You should be able to surf Google Analytics for 30 minutes to an hour and come up with the next 10 years worth of things you can do, because there’s no shortage of things, but that analytics might tell you that you need to on mobile only simply show them an opt in to get a free chapter, and then you get them in an email, and then you put them into a nurture sequence, and then when you’re ready, you have them buy and then you push them to the buying sequence for example.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: I’ve been doing that with a lot of my stuff as like I realized that people on mobile aren’t going to buy, so I don’t even ask them.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: I just ask them to give me the minimum, like they might give me their email address, or you could even use Facebook to get the lead, and then use through Facebook without even having them leave, and then push them through that process.

Bjork Ostrom: Interesting.

Jeff Sauer: The cool thing is that analytics lets you identify the problem. If you didn’t have analytics, you wouldn’t even know that these things are different. Right?

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jeff Sauer: You wouldn’t know that there’s a difference between mobile and desktop.

Bjork Ostrom: Yup.

Jeff Sauer: Now, what you do about it is what makes your website successful if you do nothing about it, which is what most companies do.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Most people do nothing about it even if they’ve identified the problem, but those who take action are rewarded handsomely in this type of business because that’s what analytics can do for you.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s one of the reasons why I was really excited to do this recording with you, and also to publish it for the listeners here because I know that that’s usually the case like you said. Let’s dive into that a little bit and talk about what it could look like to really leverage Google Analytics. I would love to use a specific example, so people that are listening to this publish food-related content, and we’ll just go with a like a super plain vanilla example. Somebody that is trying to build traffic to a recipe blog, let’s say. There’s all different types of people in the food industry that listen to this, but a recipe blog is a pretty safe and easy place to start.

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: If somebody like that came to you and they said, “Here’s my situation. I’m looking to increase traffic because I work with sponsors, I get ads, add revenue”, what are some of the first things that people are going to start to do?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I mean, I think the first one is if you have Analytics installed … I’m assuming that everybody has put Google Analytics on their site or at least in the bare minimum. Even if you haven’t looked at it, at least you have data because the first step if you don’t have it is to put analytics on there so you can answer these questions, but I always got to get a baseline as to what is happening right now. Like how many people do you have on your site?

If you want to increase traffic to your recipe site, the first thing is, what’s your baseline? Is it a thousand people a month? Is it 10? Is it a hundred? Is it a million people a month? It can vary, and I’ve worked on recipe sites of all different sizes in the past, and it’s amazing how much traffic they can get.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Yet, it’s also amazing how high the bounce rates can be, which a bounce rate is basically when somebody comes to your site, and then does not view another page.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: They bounced away because of the search traffic and that type of stuff.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. There’s a Google Analytics. He was or maybe still is with Google Analytics, the Evangelist, and he described a bounce rate. It’s such a visual example that I always remember this.

Jeff Sauer: Yes. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I came, I threw up, and I left.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I feel like that’s such a good example, like somebody is like, “Nah”, and then leaves. That’s not always the case.

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: I think you could. It could be that you came, you found what you needed, and left, but it’s a really important metric.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s Avinash from Google who was my hero in this industry when I first got into it, and he’s still very good, and yet, he was so vivid with an explanation. I think where it falls short a little bit is that it assumes that what I think is that if you have a high bounce rate, it just means that you need to offer somebody a reason to stay.

I always look at somebody coming to my site as a use of my resources. Not of theirs, so it cost money for the server to run. It cost money not a lot, but to have your images show up and all that stuff.

Bjork Ostrom: Yup.

Jeff Sauer: They’re costing you money as a visitor. Your goal then, your job should be to turn them into a revenue opportunity for you, so you at least break even on that visit. Now, a visit might really only cost you $0.001, but that’s not the point. The point is that you should look at that as instead of giving them information and having them go away, how do you continue that relationship so you can then have an economic relationship in the future, whether it’s viewing more ads, whether it’s subscribing to your email list, whether it’s letting them know when you do have your eBook. Those types of things I think are really what ends up being the way to do it the important piece of that.

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s say that somebody has Google Analytics installed. They have that set up. Maybe they have a few months of data. Maybe they have years of data, but they haven’t looked at it, and they know that they want to start using Google Analytics a little bit more intentionally. Is there a low-hanging fruit in terms of discovering what’s working and then leveraging that?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I mean, continuing on, we were talking about increasing your traffic. Generally speaking, as we had said earlier, most of your traffic is going to come from your top 10 pages, or a good amount of them is going to come in there, so you can look at those pages and see if they’re doing what you want them to do, also, figure out the properties as to why they’re working well. For recipes, a recipe is a specific example as you might be doing well in search because you implemented rich snippets for your recipes, so you’re doing the Google micro formats that work really well with SEO, so you can see if that is having an impact. You can even search for the keywords or the pages that are doing well and find out what keywords they’re ranking for, why those are doing well.

One of the things you can do is just now that you have the evidence that this page is really popular, you can search for it, and then see, “Would you click on that result? Was that a result that you would click on because the title is enticing, because it makes sense? Why is that happening and why is it not happening with the others?”, so then you can make improvements to other pages based on what you learned there, and basically, you’re trying to do more of the good and less of the bad.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: It’s not even bad. There’s no such thing as bad in the web. It just means that nobody cares or not even so much that nobody cares. It’s just that it didn’t get reached. It means that nobody was able to find it, so how do you make it more findable? How do you make it more enticing in order to stand out because the reality is that more information is published in a day now than the entire reality up until the internet was started?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, which is so crazy.

Jeff Sauer: There’s an exact quote from Eric Schmidt about that. I don’t know the exact quote of that, but it’s something along those lines is that, “Every day, we produce more digital content than ever happened in the analog world”.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Awesome, and believable when you think about how many pictures people are taking and blog posts, and social media, and all of that. You’re coming into analytics. You’re having a look. You’re saying, “What is the popular content that’s on my site right now?”, and the best place to find that is by going to … There’s obviously changes often, so it’s always a little bit different, but is that looking at the overview of all the different pages on your site in Google Analytics?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Google has the navigation that’s pretty intuitive where you should look, but they have what they call the ‘ABC reports’, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion. Acquisition is basically your traffic sources, how somebody got to your site, and so in that case, it’s saying, “How did you acquire that visitor?”

Like “How do they come in? Was it through a search engine? Through email? Was it through the social posts we did? Do they just type in the URL directly? Did it come through a referral of another site?” Those are the types of things that are just done in your acquisition report.

Behavior, “What did they do when they were on the site? What pages do they visit? Do they visit many pages or just a few? Do they take a long time for your site to load? Do they use your internal search engine to find stuff? Do they do events which are things that basically a trigger that happens within a page on your site? What do they do within your site?”

Then, the last one is conversion is, “Did they do the outcome you wanted them to do?” Now, the bottom part, the conversions, there’ll be nothing in there unless you configure it, so that entire report is empty if you’ve not set up goals or if you’re selling things online if you haven’t set up e-commerce, and so essentially, you could be missing on in a lot of insights if you don’t know the outcome that’s coming in.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. That’s interesting. I’ve never heard it described as ABC, so if you’re thinking of Google Analytics, there’s a navigation on the left side, and there’s a whole stack of different things, but I’ve never really fully realized that the most valuable stuff is in those last three, ABC.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. For sure, and so I do my Google Analytics course talking about this, and I tell my students that basically, you are going to spend 90% of your time in the ABC reports. Very little time needs to be spent anywhere else other than just like that … Remember that first phase where you’re just satisfied that you’re waving at the person in India who visited you and saying, “Hey, wonder who this person is”?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: If you really want to turn this into a business, or at least like an accelerated hobby, then you really need to get deeper into these things.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Specific with the pages which you’re talking about, seeing what’s popular, that would probably be in the behavior area, and then it’s site content, and then all pages.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: People will figure it out if they get there, but essentially, this is like the top performing pages that your site has. I’m actually doing this in real time and pulling it up, and one of the things that’s interesting that I’m just seeing right off of the bat is as I’m looking at it, there’s one of the categories, and it says “Average time on page”. I’m noticing that a lot of the posts that are at the top have a really high time on page. I don’t know, but I would guess as I’m looking through here, I’m realizing almost all of those have a video of some sort.

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s like those people are sticking around, so right away when I look at that, I’m seeing potentially one of the common threads that exists.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah, and it’s also a very well-rumored, and it’s rumored that Google search results, they promote you based on whether you bounce or not, and so if they come in on search engines, and then they don’t go back to Google to search again, that means that you gave them the answer they wanted, and then they’re basically going to keep on promoting you, and so those pages are going to perpetuate themselves.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Jeff Sauer: If you get to deliver a good experience, Google is going to deliver more traffic to you.

Bjork Ostrom: Interesting. What are some of the other things when people are looking at this list of their top referrals, kind of their one-hit wonders, the 80/20 that you said before?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: 80% of the traffic is coming from these 20 posts. What are the other signalling clues that people could look for in terms of what they should replicate?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. One insight that I’ve seen from all the blogs that I visited is that most bloggers, and I’m one of them concentrate on getting out fresh, new content, and doing it in a regular, consistent schedule, yet, I found that many times, you can publish like the most recent hundred posts that you’ve published don’t get as much traffic as the 10 most visited search posts.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Jeff Sauer: Knowing that and looking at that insight, maybe you do one post per week or per time period that you’re looking at, and then you spend that time in getting more people that convert on your stuff that’s working. When I say convert, I mean one of the things that I do is I put in a downloadable PDF or something like that and say, “Hey, if you like this article, download the PDF for more details”. I ask for their email address. I deliver them PDF, and then I can start emailing them other offers, and so I’m taking my highest traffic pages and making them generate opportunity for me.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: I think everybody can do that. In general, focusing more on like I said, the things that are already getting traction, like how do you get more value out of the existing traction versus always scrambling to create new things?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Now, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create new content. I just think that it has to be a balance. Right?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s –

Jeff Sauer: It shouldn’t be too heavily focused on one area or the other.

Bjork Ostrom: It ties in really well to something that … It was actually the last point that somebody made when I was interviewing. Her name is Amy Roskelley from Super Healthy Kids. She said that one of the things she … The question was, “If you had a conversation with yourself when you’re starting, what would you say?” She said essentially to paraphrase, “I would have been more intentional to optimize traffic as opposed to just build traffic”.

Jeff Sauer: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: I think I hear you saying the same thing which is I think the really important takeaway especially if you are in the mindset of always thinking more traffic, more traffic, more traffic, to shift that and think about, “How can I be smart with what I already have, and how can I build what I’m doing to be stronger even if things didn’t grow one visitor from a year from now? What would that look like?”

Jeff Sauer: Yup. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s a great takeaway and a really important thing to circle back around on.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I think a really good example, and I did some of these on my YouTube channel as well, and that is I took one of my heavily trafficked pages. I was getting a thousand people a month to it, and then I added this content upgrade, and I was generating about a hundred plus email addresses a month because of that. Actually, no. At some points, I was getting 250 a month, and so basically –

Bjork Ostrom: Which is crazy.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. A thousand visits. 50% of them clicked on the upgrade offer to get the additional download.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Then, 50% of those gave me their email address and opted in, and so a thousand people can be 250 leads if it’s really targeted versus you can have …

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: Like what’s the intent of somebody having a really general term? Maybe food blog is not a good example of that, but food. Say that you wanted to rank for the word ‘Food’. What good is that going to do you? You’re bringing in people who are very much at the top of the decision making process, and the top of figuring out what they’re going to do. They’re typing in something very general, and so you might get a million people to your site because you did ultimately ranked for that. I bet you that my thousand visitor page gets more email addresses per month than that millions of posts.

Bjork Ostrom: Because the content is so focused and you know exactly what the people are looking for, and you’re giving them a solution to that essentially.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that this requires is that you are able to track how successful that interaction is, and that’s where the conversions would come in. Could you talk a little bit about goals and why those are important and how you set those up?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Sure. Yeah. The most common … A goal basically again, it’s telling Google Analytics what makes you tick, what makes you successful as a website, and so I’d mention things like affiliate links or downloads or email address captures, or video views. There’s any number of things that you create that if somebody looks at it, it makes you successful.

I separate those into macro and micro goals, so macro, things that fuel your economic engine. Basically, things that make you money. Then, I do micro which is things that are good, but they don’t make you money. Like if I don’t get paid per view of a video, but it’s good that they view the video for many reasons. Then, you train Google Analytics that if somebody does these things, you’re successful. Now, the way that you train Google Analytics is you set up a goal based on if they viewed a certain URL of your website like a thank you page after they were successful, that’s the most common one is a thank you page, or if they did something else that is like a thank you page or that’s the end results once they were successful.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Jeff Sauer: Now, that’s where it gets down the wormhole, and then actually, that’s why I have a two hours of training about this because it does get complex for your individual situation, but in general, that’s how it works.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. The takeaway here is that people need to figure out number one, what is the important thing for you? The obvious and easy thing would be any type of transactions, so like signing up for an email list or purchasing a product. Those would be more of the macro ones that you described, but there’s also some of the micro ones. An example potentially could be how many pageviews do they have. If you are really struggling with the bounce rate, you could set a goal for maybe three-pageviews, and then you could look at that data and say, “What’s common with these people that are viewing a lot of pages?” Would that be an example of a micro goal?

Jeff Sauer: Yup. That’s an example, and that’s what the people often do. You can set up goals based on they viewed a thank you page. You can do it based on they clicked on something, which is called an event. You can do it based on number of pageviews or time on page, or time on site.

Usually, those last two, people think that it might be a good goal, but I always recommend don’t do that, and the reason why is because if they view three pages for example, then that might end up being 75% of your traffic, and then your conversion rate is 75%, and so you think that you’re making a bunch of money because people got past that, but the reality is that that’s not making you money. I mean, you do get paid per impression of an ad, but it’s not nearly as quantifiable as you do the right things, and so you can do that.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Jeff Sauer: It’s just you have to be careful, otherwise, it could increase your number so much that you might as well not even have any goals because everything looks like a conversion.

Bjork Ostrom: Conversion. Essentially, if you are setting that up, what happens is you have a lot of goal conversions, and that skews the data essentially.

Jeff Sauer: Yup. Exactly. It’s like when everything is a goal. Is anything a goal?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Right. It’s like everybody is MVP when you’re on the Little League Soccer team.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: It ruins it and takes it away.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool. All right. I think that’s really, really helpful. If nothing else, what people can start to do is think about what are the strong economic engines of my site and how do I lean into those and really make those stronger, and one of the best ways that you can do that is by starting to track the process by setting up goals. I think that’s a really great takeaway.

The last thing that I wanted to talk about, and we don’t have to dive deep into this, but I think it would be an important thing to at least mention is we’ve talked about Google Analytics, but also, there’s this other tool, Google Webmaster Tools. Can you talk about how Webmaster Tools connects to Analytics and why that’s also an important thing to set up?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Absolutely. Google Webmaster Tools is a way for you to see how Google thinks about your website from a organic search perspective. It’s how many times they crawl your site, what queries or keywords you happen to be showing up for, what pages they send traffic to, if you have errors where they can’t find stuff. All kinds of different things come out of Google Webmaster Tools, and it’s definitely a really important thing if you want to get search traffic.

You should look at how your site is viewed by Google in Webmaster Tools. Then, with that, if you set it up, you can connect that data into Google Analytics. What they’ll do is they’ll bring over the search queries that somebody searched for in Google, and the landing pages that came to from Google Search. Now, these reports are better than zero, better than nothing. You used to be able to get the exact keywords that somebody typed in on Google Search in your Google Analytics reports. That’s gone away, and now they’re called ‘Not provided keywords’, and so –

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Those are so frustrating.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. It really is like a black eye on the whole Analytics thing to be honest as it –

Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain what those are, like why that happens?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Google does HTTPS, so like secure search, and so they don’t pass what keyword came through to the search engine, or they don’t pass it through to your website, so you can actually –

Bjork Ostrom: Got it, because it’s a secure connection, and so they’re not –

Jeff Sauer: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jeff Sauer: Yup. That’s the official response. There’s a lot of conspiracies about it, and I don’t want to get in. That’s Google. I already sometimes speak out, and it doesn’t always end well for me with that, but yes.

Basically, it used to be super useful. Now, it’s less useful. The way that you can get some of that utility back is through Webmaster Tools, and there’s an integration with Analytics and Webmaster Tools that gives you a little bit of the data back, but it doesn’t really tell you the exact keywords people are using to find your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Awesome, and I want to bring that up not to dive into it, but just as a last point to review because I think it’s an important tool and an interesting one if you have the time to explore it.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah, I have, especially if you’re a blogger, keywords and organic search are such an important piece of all of this. It’s going to be a really large piece of traffic that and social, and so yeah, you want to have as much data as you can.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jeff Sauer: That’s just about Analytics as we’ve talked about like the beginner phase, and we’ve talked about like an intermediate. The pro phase is really extending Google Analytics to get even more out of your plan, so if you have a plan to do something, there’s other functionality that’s very specific to types of activity you might be doing, so there’s ways you can enhance the data that comes in based on your advertising efforts, based on your customer data, and just all kinds of different things.

Bjork Ostrom: Kind of this 301 of Google Analytics?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Exactly. Basically, it’s pushing more of your own data into Google Analytics is the 301 level.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Jeff Sauer: It’s basically customizing it to really fit your needs because essentially, Google Analytics is on I believe with the most recent stat I saw is 82% of all websites of the top million websites, and of that 82%, everybody gets the same Google Analytics starting out.

Bjork Ostrom: Wow. Yeah.

Jeff Sauer: It’s one site fits all tool for everybody. The way that you customize it to your needs is how you get something that differentiates you. If you want everything the same, then you’re going to be just like everybody else.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. Man, we’ve covered a lot of stuff, Jeff. This is awesome and I think it’ll be really great for people to dig into it. For those that do want to go 201, go 301, obviously, the resources that you have, you’ve mentioned those. We’ll be sure to link to those. Where can people follow up with you in what you’re doing, the part of the newsletter that you sent out which has been really interesting to follow along with? Where can people connect with you and learn more?

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. My website and blog and my podcast is on Jeffalytics.com. There’s all kinds of fun stuff there. I’ve also been expanding to items like YouTube. I had mentioned a podcast, and then I do a lot of online teachings, so I have a course that teaches how to do Google AdWords. I have a course that teaches how to do Google Analytics, and those are … Basically, if you would swing to Jeffalytics, you could look at my courses and see those, otherwise, we can put a link in the show notes too.

Bjork Ostrom: Yup. We’ll do that for sure.

Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Basically, I love talking about this type of stuff and teaching people the basics. Then, if you want to learn more, if you want to go further, then that’s what the course can just give you really concentrated, specific knowledge that you can use to really take this to the next level.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Jeff, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. We appreciate it. I know that there’s lots of action items here for people to take out of it, so appreciate you coming on, and I know that the listeners do as well.

Jeff Sauer: Awesome. Thanks so much for having me.

Bjork Ostrom: One more big thank you to Jeff for coming on the podcast today. Hey, I want to say this. Jeff had mentioned a few of the different courses that he has. If you want to check those out, you can go to Foodbloggerpro.com/analytics, or you can also just go to Analyticscourse.net.

If you use the coupon code, food blogger pro, all lower case, one word, then that’ll can create a discount for you for $200 off, and that coupon code will last until December 17th, 2016, so it only applies to those of you that are all caught up to the podcast and listening in real time. Be sure to check that out. Again, it’s Foodbloggerpro.com/analytics or Analyticscourse.net, and the coupon code is food blogger pro. I just wanted to mention that in case you really want to dive deep into some of this analytics stuff and learn Google Analytics and how you can really dig into that to discover ways that will help you build your blog. That’s a wrap for this episode. Thanks so much for tuning in, and we will see you next week.

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