Pick His Brain!
I’d like to introduce one of our members, David Kutcher, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.
David has been involved in the industry since 1999.
He is the owner of a small digital strategy and web development firm in western Massachusetts with clients ranging from celebrity restaurants to billion-dollar e-commerce companies.
With every client he leads with an analytics-based approach, getting clients excited about their capture strategies.
And continual growth by educating them in their analytics data, how to utilize it, and how to run experiments to keep that growth going.
If you have any questions related to analytics consulting or conversion tracking, please feel free to pick his brain.
Here are the rules.
1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.
2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s successes and strategies.
3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.
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What’s your best approach to grow an e-commerce website to the next level?
Initially focus on the most promising opportunities (whether products or content), get the mouse trap working for those initial best-opportunity products, and only then begin branching out.
For example, if you’ve got one or two products that drive your sales, get them working hard for you.
Then try to expand the customers that bought those products to try other products, whether in related product presentation or via follow up emails and remarketing.
What are your thoughts on the third-party attribution modeling programs? Are you using any? Is GA enough?
The first aspect of that most businesses suffer from a lack of Analytics training coupled with information overload, so I try to keep it simple.
Analytics provides enough attribution modeling to not need additional programs unless you’ve got the staff to really data mine that information.
But between Analytics’ ability to change models, coupled with MCF and assisted conversion reporting, there is certainly enough in the standard Analytics reporting.
How would you account for other types of advertising like radio and connected TV?
Advertise a shortened unique and non indexed url like mysite.com/radio that automatically redirects to a UTM’d url containing the source, medium and campaign information.
Explained more here: https://www.confluentforms.com/…/utm-best-practices.html
Do you hire someone to set up GTM or do you set them up yourself?
If they’re not set up already using GTM I quickly get them into it and load my standard setup.
But man, sometimes people have GTM containers that are more disorganized than my room as a teenager!
You don’t see discrepancies in Analytics? I’ve completely moved away from reporting Analytics data, and more towards reporting GSC data.
There will ALWAYS be discrepencies in data. You’ll find it between GA and server reports.
You’ll find it between Oribi and server reports.
And between GA and Oribi. It boils down to 1) filters and 2) user privacy blocking.
So you accept it, and assume it’s a constant.
But what’s most important to me and my clients isn’t traffic per se, but instead what happens with that traffic (sales).
When I was working with an e-commerce company that did over a half a billion dollars in online sales a year, our revenue reports in GA 360 were at most off by <2%.
And that <2% had more to do with how refunds were handled with shipping and taxes than anything else.
So then I come back to the original question: why bother?
Using GA provides the most familiarity to the most people.
Transitioning between vendors, clients will find GA familiarity the most optimal.
And it’s free (until you get to a huge level, at which point that’s a different conversation)
What tools do you get in google 365?
No sampling in your reports when your traffic exceeds a big number (I think it’s 500k sessions in any report now) is the big one.
How do you educate your clients? I find most have no idea about their own numbers and aren’t really interested or appreciate much other than sales/leads growth.
My first meeting with my clients is always to discuss their business goals and to identify the goals they with to accomplish through their website.
For example, they might say “we need to get more consulting inquiries”.
I then go and make sure we can track contact form submissions, click to call, click to email, etc as Goals in the analytics.
Once we have that, I get them involved in gamification, “let’s get more goal completions!” and you’d be surprised how many people rise to that occasion.
You need to facilitate it, as well as bring your own ideas, but once you’ve turned it into a numbers game that they can wrap their heads around.
It’s no longer this ephemeral concept.
I guess you have a standard template for GTM. What kind of things do you have set up?
I do! A few in fact depending on the type of website.
Attached is an example of my “small business wordpress website” GTM container.
1. No Google Ads/FB Ads tracking? I guess small businesses don’t use these platforms much but we’ve had more than a couple of instances where they have later decided to try it and having historic data is HUGE for those platforms. 2. What do those “Listener” do? We use Gravity Forms mostly, and was intrigued by that?
That’s my “starter”, but yes, we often add-in the ad tracking when needed.
The listeners work when you want something beyond the generic form submission listener, or when the setup is using an AJAX script which won’t trigger the standard “form submitted” trigger.
Do you think this training (https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/) is thorough enough? or do you recommend a different training?
It’s fine for understanding the data and reporting, but it doesn’t train you in how to THINK about the data not make use of it in a real world way.
Do you use data studio for presentation or you can recommend any other solutions, and why?
GDS is great for creating automated reports for people, especially when you don’t want/need to give those people access to GA itself.
While Dashboards within GA are my primary method as I’m presenting and working with permissioned stakeholders.
GDS creates larger reports (not bound by widgets) that can be shared to a wider net while also pulling data from multiple sources.
How do you deal with conversion attribution when sending traffic from various sources? (I’m familiar with creating tracking URL but it does provide a macro-view of the customer journey) For example, if I’m sending Google ads traffic to a site and they get retargeted with a Facebook ad and convert (or vise versa)? How to I track and attribute all the cross-platform intersections, in order to have the most thorough understanding of the customer journey.
Namely through the assisted conversions reporting so we can analyze a more complete picture of how a channel is fitting within the conversions.
I prefer this with smaller businesses as it’s easier to understand than changing the attribution model (which you can do within Analytics).
Even if the goal conversion is attributed to the last-touch model, training the client to understand the user journey is equally important from a holistic understanding.
Explained a bit here: https://www.confluentforms.com/…/the-chronic..
Do you have any standard goals you setup when configuring analytics for a new client? Obviously, it depends on their own goals, but any must haves?
Sure, altho they vary by client. It’s important to make sure they are end goals, as opposed to behavioral goals.
Contact form submission, click to call, click to email, purchase transaction, booking confirmation, etc.
They should NOT be things like:
User visits 5 pages
User visits a specific page
Those non-goals aren’t “transactional” and end-goals and can be evaluated via segments instead.
Does your education typically consist of in person/ over the phone type stuff, or have you setup educational materials for them to view of what they should be looking for?
It starts as part of my sales process, so they understand what I’m doing before I even start.
Typically if they’ve reached out to me they understand the need to reevaluate how they are approaching their digital strategy and analytics.
Also it’s almost entirely via video chat, phone or in person. I don’t believe in offloading this to self-service as it’s so critical.
In GDS reports, what are your most common use cases (if any) for combining data sources? Say, for example, GSC and GA data?
Those have been, by far, the most common.
But that coupled with detailed Google Sheets spreadsheets have also been popular when we’ve had to parse e-commerce data coming from the server and aligning it with traffic reporting.
Where do most SEO reports miss the mark?
Most reports are generated to show you what’s there based on preconceived notions of how that data should be represented.
A good analyst can see into what’s NOT there, or delve into nuances in the data that stock reports can not possibly envision because they’re so niche.