Out Of Gas

 

geralt / Pixabay

Today, I want to talk about mowing your lawn. Now, if you don’t own a home you probably don’t mow your lawn. As a matter of fact, I do own a home, and I don’t mow my lawn. I pay somebody to come and do it for me. What often happens when people who do mow their own lawn with their own lawnmower, is they go out, start the lawnmower, start mowing the lawn, and then 15 to 20 minutes into it, all of a sudden, the lawnmower stops. Why does it stop? Well, that’s simple… it ran out of gas. So then you got to go get the gas can and fill it back up again.

 

One of the problems with most lawnmowers is the fact that it doesn’t have a fuel gauge. Now, imagine driving in your car, and you’re going on a long trip. How do you know when to stop for gas? Newer cars have digital gauges. “Warning, Warning Will Robinson. You’re about to run out of gas.” There are actually smart cars that’ll tell you, “Hey, you’ve got X amount of miles left, and you have to get to a gas station.” With some especially old cars, they either don’t have that digital gauge or it stops working completely. So what do they have to do? They need to drive a bit and fill up, and drive little more and fill it up again. That’s not a very efficient way to run a car, right?

Measuring Results

But unfortunately, that’s the way that a lot of people run their online businesses. Business can be pretty straightforward and simple. Here the bottom line: you have income, you have expenses. What’s left over is profit. If you spend more money than you make, then you lose money. If you have more money at the end of the day, you make money. That’s what business is about, making a profit, right? You have to pay yourself, pay your bills, and manage your cash flow.

stevepb / Pixabay

How do we measure that? Well, the fuel gauge for business, at least for me, is QuickBooks. I use QuickBooks to measure what’s happening in my business. When it comes to my websites, I use Google Analytics the same way I use QuickBooks. I can actually measure the website traffic that is being generated by my content marketing. Within this perfect marketing system series that we’re talking about, there are three main pieces that you have to be aware of, and we’ve covered them already. Go back and read or listen to the one about the perfect website, generating content. Today, we’re going to talk about analytics. That’s known as the marketing trifecta: a killer website, Google Analytics, and having great content.

We discussed distributing your content with social media on the last post You create the content, but you have to get it out there in front of eyeballs and earballs. What Google Analytics allows you to do is measure what’s happening with that content, where people are going to, and what they’re doing once they get to your website.

Now, I know a lot of people that have Google Analytics on their website, but they never check it. It’s like not looking at your gas meter. You have to look at your fuel gauge to know how much gas you’ve got left in the tank or measure if your car is being fuel efficient. And that’s essentially what we’re trying to do with Analytics.

Who, What, Where, When, & Why

There are five questions we have to ask ourselves. Number one, who? Who’s coming to the website? You have to know the difference between a consumer and a bot. One of the simplest ways to know that is bots, when they visit they’ll basically ping your website to see what content or what pages are there. They’ll index it, which is a great thing. You want Google to index your website so that it knows you exist. But, that doesn’t show up as time on your web page or site, it doesn’t show you the amount of time that somebody spent on a page. So we want to know who’s coming. Is it a consumer or is it a bot?

geralt / Pixabay

The next thing we want to know is what. What are they consuming? What pages are they going to? Are they reading it? How long are they spending on there? Where are they coming from? Are they coming from the US? What states, what cities? If you have a local business, the city is very important. If you have a national business, then obviously which state is very important. If you have an international business, which country is important. But if you have a local business and you’re getting an incredible amount of traffic from say, India, they’re never going to buy from you. So you want to make sure the traffic that you’re getting is aligned with the goals that you have.

The next thing is when. What is being affected? When I do something, when I put up a blog post, when I do a podcast, I can go look at my analytics and say, “This podcast really resonated with people because the number of hits on the website were really super high.” And I can actually see that once I go in and see the number of hits, how long they’ve spent on it, all of that kind of stuff, where have they come from.

And then finally, why. Why are they there? Are they there to consume? Are they there to purchase? Are they there just to kick the tires? Which is what the bots do. They’re kicking your tires, they’re checking out your stuff, but they’re not going to buy anything. Neither will anybody from India if you run a local business.

What To Measure

qimono / Pixabay

So, the who, what, where, when, and why is really super important. So here are the four most important things you have to look at. Number one is geography. Where are these people coming from? You want to make sure that the people coming to your website align with what your website sells, and to whom.

The next thing is the technology. Are they coming on a mobile phone, are they coming on a desktop, or maybe a tablet? So you need to make sure that everything you’re doing looks well and works well on a mobile phone if that’s the vast majority of traffic that you’re getting.

The next one is referrals. Where is the traffic coming from, what source? Generally speaking, there are three that we pay attention. Number one is direct traffic, people that type in the URL. A lot of times that’s masked by certain things. That could be Google or other ads, could be email lists, general traffic that uses your URL to get there.

Google searches. How are people searching and finding your website? There’s a whole other thing called search console, which I don’t have time to get into, which I’ll show you some additional data. It used to be called webmaster tools.

And then finally, social media sites. Is social media driving traffic to your site? Are your blog posts doing it? Which social media site? And then finally what we have to look at is what pages. Where are people entering, where are people exiting?

Playing The Averages

So let me give you a handful of averages here. The average website usually gets about 10 visits a day, or 300 visits over the course of 30 days. Most people will come in and visit one and a half times. Meaning you’ll get up to two visits per person. They come in and consume about two to three pages. And they’ll spend about two minutes in time. That is pretty average.

And I could tell you that we’ve just done a website for the canine blanket that I’ve been talking about with Buddy Guy. We’ve only had it up for seven days. We’ve had 137 users, which is going to be about 600. He’s had 1.5 visits a day, four pages per visit, and about two minutes time. Now, his main website is basically the same. That gets a little more traffic, but it’s been around a while, and that’s about 1,000 users a month. So a little above average, but nothing to write home about.

My biggest client with the most traffic happens to be a funeral home. And they’re getting 20,000 visits per month. But the bottom line with that is they still only get one and a half visits, about two times from the same person, two pages, and they’re spending about a minute’s worth of time. Which is fine, that’s all they need to consume.

So, understanding the numbers, you need to know what people are doing when they get to your site, how they’re consuming your information, and what they’re doing. Are they being added to your list? Are they reading your blogs? All of that stuff’s important.

Final Thoughts

 

So, to kind of summarize everything, just remember these tips.

What gets measured gets done.

Make sure that you’re checking to see what’s working. Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not. If you’re writing great blog posts and it’s driving traffic, do more of it. Get more interviews, do what you can.

And finally, don’t get too granular. You can get buried in the details.

Make sure you’re consistently checking your analytics.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?