Episode Number 95

Google Analytics 101 with Terri Jenkins

Jul 06, 2017 @ 11AM MT

Do you know whether you your website actually supports your business goals? Google Analytics can help you find out! We talk with digital media expert Terri Jenkins about the basics of digital measurement and Google Analytics. She explains why analytics are important for both site owners and site developers, and offers examples of the basic measurements every site should have in place. She also details other Google products that can further enhance what site owners (and developers!) can do with Google Analytics, including Tag Manager, Search Console and Page Insights.

google analytics
terri jenkins
user experience
search engine optimization
digital marketing
bounce rates

Episode Transcript

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Preview:  It’s the best way to see what you’ve done with your website and your advertising and everything else that you’re doing online to see if it’s working the way that you need it to and is it delivering on the goals that you’ve set for those various entities.  So analytics just gives you the insight to be able to say, “Is it working or not?” 


Lea Alcantara:  From Bright Umbrella, this is CTRL+CLICK CAST!  We inspect the web for you!  Today Terri Jenkins is here on the show to give us a primer on Google Analytics.  I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host:

Emily Lewis:  Emily Lewis! 

Lea Alcantara:  Today’s episode is sponsored by Foster Made, a versatile web development agency specializing in custom application development, content management systems and user experience design.  Through partnerships with designers, agencies and organizations, Foster Made is committed to building better digital experiences.  Visit fostermade.co to learn more. 

Emily Lewis:  I’m excited to introduce our guest today who will be helping us understand Google Analytics from both a business and developer perspective.  Terri Jenkins is the founder and CEO of Clear Blue Sky Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, online advertising, social media and Google Analytics.  For over 22 years, Terri has worked with hundreds of companies running online marketing and advertising campaigns for companies from large Fortune 1000 to sole proprietorships in across a wide variety of industries.  Welcome to the show, Terri! 

Terri Jenkins:  Thank you very much! 

Lea Alcantara:  So Terri, can you tell our listeners a bit more about yourself?

Terri Jenkins:  Sure.  As Emily said, I’ve been doing this for 22 years, which makes me a bit of dinosaur in the internet here I guess.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  The last time I actually was on this program was I think before you and Emily were partners, Lea.  Emily had me on her show years ago in Albuquerque and it was sprung on me at the last moment after I already had a couple of beers.  We were… [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  We were in a brewery there in Albuquerque.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  And it was a fun event, we had a good time.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  I completely forgot about that, Terri.  That was the Duke City Tech Podcast I used to do.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  Yea, a long time ago, so yeah, Emily and I have known each other a long time.  I’m currently in Austin, Texas.  We moved here about 2-1/2 years ago from Albuquerque, and I’ve been trying to integrate myself into the tech scene and the business community here in Austin for the last couple of years, and it’s a really interesting place, it’s vibrant with a lot going on.  I mean, there are so much going on here you can’t possibly even go to everything or keep up with stuff.  It’s actually pretty cool.  I like it a lot here.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, it feels like that whenever I visited the city.  It’s got that kind of energy.

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah, it does.  It’s very energetic and folks are always busy doing something and there are so many interesting things for tech people here.  You know, you can…

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  Everything from, of course, Tech Council like we were involved in Albuquerque, but a lot of co-working spaces that are also incubators for interesting tech companies, and it’s just very cool.  I like it a lot here. 

Emily Lewis:  Oh, I’m glad to hear it.  So you’ve been doing this for 22 years.  What attracted you to work in the digital realm with web products?

Terri Jenkins:  I had been a geek, if you will, forever.  [Laughs] 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  I was one of those people back in the eighties that was building my own computer and getting online before anybody knew what online was.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I had beta accounts with all of the initial web providers in Los Angeles and it was an interesting time.  It was very exciting.  There was all this new wonderful stuff going on and I just was fascinated with it, and at one point, someone that I knew that was working for a web measurement company, this was in 1994, asked me if I knew how to get more traffic to people’s websites because they were measuring it, but they didn’t know how to get more people. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And I said, “I can do that,” and honestly, that’s how it started.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Wow, frankly, I didn’t know that web measurement and even getting hits went back that far. 

Terri Jenkins:  It does, and people were just starting to really jump into the commercial internet, and big companies that were like — well, I’ll tell you, my first customer was 7-Up. 

Emily Lewis:  Wow. 

Terri Jenkins:  My customer was Molson Ale and AT&T and Chase Bank and big companies like that, and they came to me through big agencies out of Manhattan that did not have anybody internally that knew anything about the web. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And I mean, it wasn’t even called internet marketing, it wasn’t called digital, but it was just the Web, and you know?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  And they wanted to know how do you get people on the web and to come to your website.  So that very first one that I worked on, 7-Up, it was their very first website, and it was basically a splash screen with bubbles that were floating up and some texts on top of it, and that was their initial website and they wanted me to get people there so that it was a branding exercise.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And that is what launched my company.

Emily Lewis:  Wow, things have really evolved a lot since then.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  To say the least.  And that’s why I said I feel like a dinosaur sometimes.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Well, I think what would be useful, and I find this something that I am always curious about because I hear the term “digital marketing” and I’d love to have you explain what that looks like, what your business does for clients in, like practical terms, what digital marketing really is.

Terri Jenkins:  Sure.  Well, as you mentioned in the very kind [laughs] introduction, we specialize in search engine optimization, social media, digital advertising and Google Analytics.  So what that means in practical terms to our clients is they come to us nine times out of ten without any kind of a digital strategy.  They know that it’s important, that they need to be on the web or they already are, but they’ve never done anything to look at and how does it all come together.  Does it fit with their overall offline marketing?  Does the branding work the same?  Does the advertising that they’re doing on the offline space really support the messaging that they’re doing in the online space? 

So first things we do is we come in and we help them put together that digital strategy that brings all that stuff together and make sure that we’re all speaking the same language, both offline and online, and then the next steps are, once we’ve made the recommendations out of that strategy of what tactics and strategies we’re going to take, we can actually do the implementation of those, so we run their search engine optimization and do the audits and do the actual on-page optimization as well as off-page.  We run their social media for them or build it out if they don’t have any yet.  You’d be surprised how many small companies really are terrified of Facebook and Twitter. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And they don’t know how to do it, they don’t really want to touch it, and we can come in and walk them through getting that set up, and again, we make sure the messaging is consistent across all areas and we help them to build out that part of their business because there are so many places online where traffic can come from, and if you ignore any of them, that’s your detriment as small business.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  So let’s get to that traffic, which is basically the basis of today’s topic. 

Terri Jenkins:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Why don’t we define what website analytics even is?

Terri Jenkins:  Okay.  Well, I actually looked it up on Wikipedia last night to see what this is.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  And actually, their description was pretty good.  Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.  So what that means in practice is it’s the best way to see what you’ve done to your website and your advertising and everything else that you’re doing online to see if it’s working the way that you need it to and is it delivering on the goals that you set for those various entities.  So analytics just gives you the insight to be able to say, “Is it working or not?” 

Emily Lewis:  And I feel like there is perhaps a misperception that web analytics is really just about SEO, search engine optimization, getting I guess good rankings on search engines, but what I’m hearing from you, it’s much more than that.  It’s sort of identifying all the other places people might find you.

Terri Jenkins:  It is.  It’s absolutely not just about SEO.  It’s really all about making good business decisions.  You’re spending money on your website and on your advertising and on other kinds of marketing activities, hiring people to do social media, what have you, and if you don’t know what’s going on with those, how are you ever going to know whether or not they’re successful?  There’s an old saying that goes, “you can’t improve that which you don’t measure.” 

So this provides the measurements that you’re looking for in order to make good business decisions, to be able to say, “Yes, the money that I’m spending on SEO is giving me a good return on that investment by providing X amount more traffic than I’m just getting before I did it, or that the advertising campaigns that I’m running are actually delivering on the goal that I have set for it,” and of course, there are lots of different goals that you could set for anything, right?  You can have a goal of branding, which just means you want to get that name in front of as many people as possible, and that’s just clicks, right?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Timestamp: 00:10:08

Terri Jenkins:  Or it’s, “I want to get people actually through the door of my business,” and you can actually track some of that stuff, too.  Or it’s that, “I want to get X number of sales from my website,” and we can track that and tell you whether or not the money that you’re spending on those things is actually delivering on the promise.  So that’s really what it’s all about, it’s making good business decisions. 

Emily Lewis:  Do you feel like anyone who has a website should be doing some kind of website analytics?

Terri Jenkins:  A hundred percent yes.  I think it’s the first thing that needs to happen as soon as you build a new website, is put Google Analytics on it and make sure it’s running properly.  Spend some time thinking about what are the goals that I want to track on this website, and you can always add more later when you’re running different campaigns, but some very basic “what’s the purpose of this website” is an important conversation to have in order to get those goals in place and be able to start tracking.

Lea Alcantara:  So speaking of those goals and tracking, what are the most important things to measure on a site?

Terri Jenkins:  It really depends on what the client’s goals are.  For instance, a retail site’s goals would be different from a business-to-business site and measuring an SEO campaign’s success versus an advertising campaign success is going to entail different metrics, but just to start from the basics, I’d say some things that you’d always want to look at is tracking the number of visitors on your site month over month and whether or not they’re new visitors or returning visits.  If your site relies on return clients, it’s a really important metric to follow, right?

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  If you’re a retail site and you have continuity programs and you want people to come back and buy more and more, then absolutely, you need to know whether they are new or return visitors.  If everything relies on new visitors, obviously, your strategy is going to be a little bit different and you’re going to be putting out different kinds of campaigns, but again, you’ve got to know whether or not it’s a new visitor or return visitor. 

The next thing for pretty much anybody would be look at the bounce rates and time on site.  These can show you if pages in your site are delivering what people are looking for.  If the visitors are bouncing on certain pages, then you’ve got a clue there as to whether you need to add content, change the language to make it more clear.  There are lots of things you can look at on an individual page to see why it’s not working, why people are bouncing from it.  Alternatively, if you see a page where people are staying a long time, that may be a really good clue as to the type of content that your visitors really want and you can provide more of it. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And finally, I always want to track conversion, and I think I’ve kind of hammered that a little bit already, but low bounce rates and long time on site are great, but ultimately, I want the site to perform for its intended function, so setting up conversion tracking, whether it’s for a sale or a download of an item or a form that’s filled in is really important to be able to show success and a good return on investment with that website.

Emily Lewis:  So you’ve described some really clear and practical reasons why a business needs to be invested in measuring their website and digital activity.  Are analytics important though for people who create these websites, the people who are building them, whether it’s a freelance developer or a big, huge agency?

Terri Jenkins:  Absolutely, absolutely.  As a developer, you want to be able to point to your successes, right?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  You want to be able to show that the new site that you built performs better than the old one.  So if the old site was slow and didn’t have a good conversion rate, you want to be able to show that the new site is fast, which means better ranking on Google, you want to be able to show that site visitors are finding what they want by looking at lower bounce rates and longer time on site, and you probably also want to show that people are actually buying or signing up or downloading your white paper or whatever the conversion metric is.  So being able to show your value as a developer is hugely important also to an agency or freelancer.

Emily Lewis:  So this is a question we didn’t really ask you so I’m putting you on the spot.  So honestly, when it comes to getting a site ready for a client, the extent to which I’m “supporting” their web analytics is really just ensuring that Google Analytics is set up and running on their site.  Can it go beyond that?  Is it more about partnering with a provider like your agency or are there things developers can do to help their clients along?

Terri Jenkins:  It really depends on your comfort level, I would say.  I think that, honestly, every developer should have, as a checkbox item in their delivery list for that website, that Google Analytics is installed and that they give the client access to that.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And if it’s a 5-minute conversation with the client that says, “We’ve done this, it’s installed.  Here it is.  Here’s how you get to it, and even just a couple of quick metrics that you may want to be watching on a regular basis, and that’s all that needs to be done.”  And then if the client expresses more interest, by all means, I would say yes.  As a developer, I would say to find somebody who really does this for a living on an ongoing basis and have that resource in your pocket, you know?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I have web developers as resources because we don’t do any in-house, but there’s no reason that that couldn’t go the other way too. 

Emily Lewis:  Lea, it occurs to me, if you recall our conversation that we had with Susan [Snipes] earlier this year about building long-term client relationships.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And she described the mini-needs assessment that they do for clients on occasion, it occurs to me that if you have the Google Analytics for an existing client, and maybe they’re not in an active engagement, but that can be a point at which you could say, “Hey, we took a look at your Google Analytics and saw a couple of things,” that could be part of that mini-needs assessment approach. 

Terri Jenkins:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, I definitely think that’s a good idea.  Now, the entire topic of this episode is Google Analytics, but I’m curious why it’s even popular.  Is it the only game out there for analytics tools?

Terri Jenkins:  No, not by any names.  There’s a ton of them.  Some are big enterprise tools that are very, very, very robust and cost an arm and a leg, right?

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  And there are others that are smaller and usable by folks.  I think what I see in my practice is that there are folks that are kind of wary of getting it to Google and they don’t want to do that.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah. 

Terri Jenkins:  So they want to pay for a smaller package from somebody else.  However, by and large, for the vast majority of people, Google Analytics is the way to go.  It is a very robust tool.  You can get a ton of information and really actionable insights out of it and the best thing of all is it’s free. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  And Google is free because they want that data.  They aggregate that data, anonymize it and use it in their analysis of trends. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And they have a lot of trend information that is available to folks like me in an agency, and in fact, I think pretty much anybody can use Google Insights, and that’s the name of the product, Google Insights.  You can get all kinds of interesting trend information by vertical, by topics, all kinds of ways to slice and dice information in there. 

Emily Lewis:  If Google is aggregating and anomizing… is that…

Terri Jenkins:  Anonymizing.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Anonymizing.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Anonymizing.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  That’s going to be hard for me; I’m not going to say that again.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Does it affect search engine rankings at all or that’s completely separate, it’s just the trends, the insights?

Terri Jenkins:  That is an ongoing discussion in the SEO circles.  The fact is that Google does pay attention to things like time on site, bounce rates, whether or not the traffic is coming from direct, whether it’s coming from desktop or mobile, all that stuff is paid attention to and those trends are noted, and in fact, mobile is becoming super, super important to Google.  They’ve announced that they’re going to shift their index from a desktop-first index to a mobile-first index, which has a lot of ramifications for developers and SEO people.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And so take it as you.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, it seems like its… [Laughs] Is it true that it’s a mystery kind of how they do everything in the sense of when they do make these shifts in their index/indices or when they make a change in algorithms?

Terri Jenkins:  For the most part, yes.  I’ll give you an example, last year there were 600 algorithm updates that SEO has tracked.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow!

Terri Jenkins:  And some of them were very, very significant, and some of them were so small as to not really make any ripples in terms of like people’s ranking and stuff.  The big ones that are earthmoving, if you will, are typically announced in advance by Google, like I just mentioned, the mobile-first shift that they’re going to do to the index, they announced that earlier last year.  So in 2016, I don’t know if it was like March or May or somewhere in there, they announced it and it should happen this year, and we’re seeing it moving more and more and more toward that in the index, but it has not been completely announced, and then, of course, you’ve heard of Panda and Penguin and those kinds of things.  When you’re looking at SEO, they talk about the Panda update or the Penguin update or Hummingbird update, there are all these ones that happened over the last few years and there were updates that happened to those updates as they gathered data.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Timestamp: 00:20:11

Terri Jenkins:  And as an SEO, you’ve got to roll with it.  You’ve got to, A, know what their named criteria are for good rankings, and you’ve got to stay on the white-hat side of things, if you guys are familiar with the term white hat and black hat.  From an SEO perspective, a white hat is a good guy and the black hat is a bad guy, and the bad guy is doing things that Google doesn’t like and as a customer of somebody doing black-hat SEO, you run a very real risk of being slammed with a penalty or being removed from the index entirely, which of course can be disastrous to a business that’s online only, right?

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So for many, many agencies, mine included, we’re white hat and we follow along with what Google is doing, we make sure we adhere to their best practices, and they’re really not that hard.  Honestly, it’s all about good user experience, which includes things like speed, PHP loading times.  It includes not spamming your users, not having pop-up ads that appear on top of pages so that they can’t read the content they came to the page for and things like that.  It’s common sense.  You don’t want to do stuff to your users that’s going to annoy them, and that’s really Google’s whole reason.  They want to make sure that the site that they send you to from their index is going to be a good user experience. 

Lea Alcantara:  So I’m going to make a kind of a side question based on what you just mentioned like the great user experience, et cetera.  I know that interstitials, which are the big pop-up stuff, are super popular for digital marketing, and now Google is essentially penalizing people who abuse that.

Terri Jenkins:  Yes.

Lea Alcantara:  How have you tackled that?  Speaking to clients or sites that have used those techniques in the past, how do you make it so it’s not intrusive because based on my discussions as to why it even exist even if it’s “annoying” is because it converts?  So how do you still continue to give the ROI to your clients for conversions of like sign ups to mailing lists without intrusive interstitials? 

Terri Jenkins:  Well, there are a number of ways.  If you’re seeing the pop-ups that are basically kind of a small grayed-out … it greys-out the background and there’s a smaller box that doesn’t completely obscure the screen that the person is on. It’s something like that. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yes, yes.

Terri Jenkins:  If it’s a very quick yes or no, it doesn’t stay for long, it definitely has an X that you can click to close it if you don’t want it. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I have been on sites where you cannot close it, you cannot get past it, and it’s infuriating and I just close the page.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And so if I’m any indicator, and maybe I’m not, that’s annoying enough that it’s not going to work for somebody.  So we try and make sure that if a client is a 100% insistent, and I will try and talk him out of it, I will try and talk to him about other ways of getting our messaging not in the person’s face, I don’t want to say that, but getting their messaging front and center to make sure that it’s in a way that’s appropriate, and that’s really it.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I mean, it’s an ongoing battle.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right. 

Terri Jenkins:  And as an advertiser, you know that you’re going to have to do battle with Google if you’re getting the wrong side of their wrong side of their best practices stuff. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So there’s a mindset that goes with that, and for me, that’s not the kind of client I typically want to work with, honestly. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, that’s a fair point, it really is.  Let’s kind of get back to Google Analytics because we actually have a lot of listeners who are excited about this particular topic of Google Analytics, although I’m genuinely fascinated about the digital marketing from a broader perspective myself

Terri Jenkins:  Okay.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  So in terms of Google Analytics, it’s free, so that must contribute to its popularity and it’s robust. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yes.

Emily Lewis:  Is there anything else about it that stands out from other tools and services or are those the main differentiators?

Terri Jenkins:  Those are probably the main ones, but think about it, Google is the 800-pound gorilla of the internet world, right?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  Everybody knows that.  I mean, most importantly, it’s free and robust, like you said.  We’ve touched on some of the basics of what it can do, but really there is a lot of ways to use it to dig really deep into your site visitors’ behavior and diagnose problems on your site if you’re having conversion issues.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And another thing that I really like about it besides the fact that it’s free is they keep your information over a long period of time. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  I’ve got a client that actually has ten years of data in her Google Analytics account.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow.

Terri Jenkins:  And that’s like gold.  Her business happens to be a seasonal business, and so we can track year over year, from 2006 all the way to today for the seasonality.  I can track changes in trends.  For instance, I can look at how her mobile visitors have increased over time during that time frame.  I can look at how tablet increased peak and is on the decline.  I can look at how long people are staying on the pages and how long it takes them to actually get through the conversion funnel, and with certainty, be able to say, “People’s attention spans are getting shorter.  The content needs to be punchier.  It needs to be quickly accessible without a lot of extraneous stuff in it that’s going to mean that people go, ‘Oh, too long,” and didn’t wait. 

Emily Lewis:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  So it’s interesting to be able to see that kind of information as well.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, it’s so interesting. 

Emily Lewis:  So let’s start off with some of the basics.  So you mentioned that some of the things that every business should be tracking minimally is getting a sense of how many people are coming to your site perhaps if their mobile, what the percentage of that is, how long they’re staying on the site, and to clarify how long someone stays on the site, is that the same thing as bounce rate?

Terri Jenkins:  No.  Bounce is when somebody goes to Google, gets a search result, clicks it, and comes to your site and then immediately goes back to Google. 

Emily Lewis:  Ah.

Terri Jenkins:  They didn’t see what they were looking for so they quickly went back to Google to get a different search result.  That’s a bounce.  So time on site is if they got there and then they stick around and they started clicking through to other pages in your site and they ended up spending two, three or four minutes on your website because they were enjoying the content.  That high time on site means that you’re doing something right, and obviously, a bounce means you’re doing something wrong [laughs] and we need to deal with it.

Emily Lewis:  Right.  So what would the practical implementation of this be?  Would it just for the basics?  Is it just installing Google Analytics or should there be some — I’m not definitely not going to use the right terms here because I just don’t know, but do you set up campaigns on Google Analytics for basic needs?

Terri Jenkins:  You set up goals is what they call it, and so yes, from a web developer point of view, setting up the Google Analytics is a matter of implementing the code on the site, and from there, encouraging the client to really think about what are the goals for the website, the overarching goals for the website, and like we talked about, it’s a retail site there, that the sales is the ultimate goal.  Well then, you should be tracking those sales and you can do that through setting up goals, e-commerce goals, and you can set up tracking for all kinds of things, so you’re tracking for all kinds of things, and then simply add that column in your dashboard in Google Analytics and be able to look at that data every day, once a week, however you choose to set that up, but to be able to see the progress of how that site is doing, and to be able to red-flag if something has gone sideways. 

Emily Lewis:  And that’s just from Google Analytics itself, so setting up a goal, does it require updating the source code that’s added to the…

Terri Jenkins:  Correct.

Emily Lewis:  Okay. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah, just putting that source code in there in the first place.  Now, there are other kinds of tracking that are available through Google Analytics and through some other Google products like Google AdWords that would require some additional code to be put into the site.  If you have a lot of code that needs to be added in terms of tracking different kinds of campaigns so you’ve got Facebook tags and you’ve got different kinds of AdWords tags or things coming out of other kinds of social media or larger ad networks that you need to add to the site, you can use something called Google Tag Manager, and Google Tag Manager allows you to put everything in that one little place on Google and all the code is then tracked and fired from there and your Google Analytics picks it all up.  So they try to make it as easy as possible that you don’t end up having to constantly go back in and add stuff to the site on a regular basis. 

Emily Lewis:  That’s interesting.  Let me see if I understand this.  So the Tag Manager is something that would be in the control panel or the Google Analytics’ dashboard or whatever and so if they already have the Google Analytics’ script in their website code, but they have a new campaign, they just add it to the Tag Manager versus their website code. 

Terri Jenkins:  Right.  Right. 

Emily Lewis:  Oh.

Timestamp: 00:29:49

Terri Jenkins:  And so if you’ve got all kinds of things that need to be tracked, it’s a much easier way to manage it, and I think it really came out of the fact that agencies sometimes have a really hard time when they’re working with a client who’s got lots of different stuff going on at once and the client has to say they’ve got a campaign they want to have start in two weeks and they’ve got a hold of their web developer and say, “Could you add this snippet of code so I can track these pages?  Put it in the landing pages.”  And the web developer says, “Well, I can’t get to that for three weeks,” and they’re freaking out because the campaign goes live in two weeks.  Well, that’s really where this came from.  It’s a way that you don’t have to get the web developer involved other than setting up the Tag Manager itself and then from then on you just go in and putting what you need into the Tag Manager. 

Emily Lewis:  I’ve never heard of this.  This would be so useful to suggest to all of our clients.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  There you go.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  So would you consider Tag Manager as an advanced feature of Google Analytics then? 

Terri Jenkins:  It’s not exactly part of Google Analytics, but it kind of…

Lea Alcantara:  Ah.

Terri Jenkins:  But yet it kind of is because it feeds in, so I guess, yes.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And so it’s interesting that you mentioned that because one of our listeners, Andrew Welch, was talking about, “Are you going to address Tag Managers?”  And when I said it was basics, he’s like, “Okay, question withdrawn.”  But you’re saying that it’s still something that clients should, and developers should, consider especially if there’s more complicated tracking involved.

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  I’ll give you an example.  I have a client that is a university, and they run — oh my goodness — multiple campaigns every month.

Lea Alcantara:  Okay.

Terri Jenkins:  And they’re from different parts of the school, different divisions and such, all over the place all the time, and because the campaigns are different, you want a different tag that identifies, “This is for this particular campaign,” right?

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And when we first started working with them, it was before Tag Manager came out, and we had to nine times out of ten literally say, “Okay, we can only track part of this because we can’t get their developer to put the tag in place that we needed to track that campaign, so we could only track a part of it.”  And it was hugely frustrating because we didn’t know whether or not things were as successful as we thought they were.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  And when Tag Manager came along, it streamlined this process and made it so that we could go in and set everything up, put the snippet in the Tag Manager and able to rock and roll in campaigns literally at the drop of the hat.  So yeah, it’s important. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, and Lea, I’m thinking of two clients this would be really relevant.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  I know exactly which clients you’re thinking.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Well, in regards to all of this we’ve been talking about what should be tracked and all the ways you can track something, but whenever I think about a digital marketing strategy and tracking, there’s a length of time involved.  So my question is in regards to all these campaigns, how long should specific campaigns be tracked?

Terri Jenkins:  Well, as long as it is running really is the short answer [Laughs].  For some clients that have seasonal businesses, well, we’ll track stuff yearly and that’s especially for SEO campaigns. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  For others who run periodic specials, advertising specials, we track the types of campaigns to see which performed best, and since Google keeps that data, I can always go back to older data and see how it did against what we’re currently running.  So really, if you have a website, you should be tracking how it’s performing all the time, not just when you have a campaign running. 

I’ll give you a quick story.  We had a former client who called us and asked if I would check their analytics to help them figure out why they suddenly weren’t getting any calls and they were freaking out, and I took a look in the analytics and there was this huge drawback in traffic about a week prior, and I asked, “Well, did you change anything on the website?”  And he said, “No.”  So I went to look at the site and got a 404.  Their site had been down and no one had noticed for a week.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh-oh.

Terri Jenkins:  So if they had Google Alerts set up in their Google Analytics, they would get a notification on a regular basis where you set them up for every week or every day or however you want to do it, but if they had been set up for every day, they would have known the date that happened because they could see the traffic fall off.  So really, specific campaigns definitely during the duration of the campaign, and obviously, if it’s an advertising campaign and you stop running the campaign, you’re not going to have any more traffic, so you’re not going to have any more data for that campaign, but it’s all going to be there for you in Google Analytics when you run the next campaign that you could compare to it.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  So Terri, you mentioned Google Alerts that can be added to Google Analytics.  So is it just a notification of traffic or does it notifies when the site has gone down?

Terri Jenkins:  It’s a…

Emily Lewis:  Or you could get both?

Terri Jenkins:  It’s a traffic thing.  Google Analytics has a section where you can set alerts that can be sent to you either by text or by email.  It isn’t pinging your site to see that it’s up and for that kind of information, you can use Google Search Console and that’s sort of an add on to Google Analytics, if you will, that again webmasters should know about because it gives you all kinds of additional information on how Google use the site, not just what is the traffic.

Emily Lewis:  Huh, so can you explain this Console a little bit more?  What kind of information is it sharing?

Terri Jenkins:  Google Search Console is really a window into how often they index your site, what pages they’re indexing, what kind of search queries are being used that is delivering to your site. 

Emily Lewis:  Oh.

Terri Jenkins:  It gives you information about the actual spidering, how long it takes to render a page so it gives you some site speed information.  I mean, there is a ton of information in Google Search Console. 

Emily Lewis:  Hmm, I also have not heard of that either.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  Actually, it’s part of their web developer’s package, and again, it’s free, and as a web developer setting that up, I swear it would give you a huge advantage over other web developers who may not understand some of the ways that Google is looking at a website and/or building sites that are not necessarily to what Google standards would be for particular things like site speed, in particular.

Lea Alcantara:  So we’ve been talking about all this data.  The thing about data though is that not all pieces of information have the same prominence or importance.

Terri Jenkins:  Right.

Lea Alcantara:  And I’m curious to know if there such a thing as bad data and are there any measurements that aren’t as important. 

Terri Jenkins:  I think for Google Analytics, the only “bad” data that I could think of would be if you don’t have it set up correctly, and by that, I mean you haven’t excluded your dev site, you know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Terri Jenkins:  Or you haven’t excluded your agency folks that are constantly pinging the site to see different things and looking for landing pages or anything that would have to do with like development site stuff, and that all should be excluded so that that doesn’t make it look like there’s more traffic to the site than there is because, for one reason, that traffic is going to be high and it’s not going to convert per se, right?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  Because that’s not what it’s there for, and it’s going to skew your conversation rate.  It’s going to look like you have a worse conversion rate than you actually do. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So that might be within Google Analytics’ one way to get some bad data, but there’s also bots, and particularly, you’ve got a ton of bots from Russia and Croatia and Estonia and a lot of those countries out there that are doing what Google considers illegal operations, right?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  They’re click farms, they’re all kinds of things, and that traffic can be also excluded, but you’ve got to have a good SEO person who knows how to do that inside of the Google Analytics.  Other than that, the only thing that I would call bad data isn’t something that is trapped and reported by Google Analytics, but it is something I still hear periodically, and it always kind of makes me smile because it’s like, “Wow, really, you don’t know the difference?”  It’s people talking about hits.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  And I still meet people who say to me, “Oh, I get X number of hits a week on my site.”  And I’ll ask them, “Do you really know what a hit is?”  And they have no idea what a hit is, and then I explain to them, “This is a server term that refers to how many elements get called from a single page when somebody has done search, so having a single visitor go to one page on the site could result in hundreds of hits, but it’s still only one person.”  Right?

Lea Alcantara:  Right. 

Terri Jenkins:  It’s not a good measurement for anything, except for like a server farm manager.  [Laughs]  He needs to know what kind of load is on his servers, but you don’t.  That’s not an important metric to you. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  So I’m curious, too, in terms of interpreting this data, like the measurement that you have.  Earlier in the show, you were making statements that, “Okay, so the longer they are on the site, that’s a good thing.  The less bounce, that’s a bad thing.”  But correlation isn’t necessarily causation.  I’ve read an article where they posited that perhaps the reason why someone is longer on the site is because the navigation is really poor and they couldn’t find the information they wanted, but they were convinced the information was on the site so they kept clicking around hoping to find that information, and the reality was actually the time on the page or time on the site was an indication of poor user experience in navigation. 

Timestamp: 00:40:03

Terri Jenkins:  Interesting.

Lea Alcantara:  So how do you get to those conclusions?  Because basically I’m just trying to figure out like is it always a good thing that you got like all these high page views when really a specific landing page is what you really want, you know?

Terri Jenkins:  And again, I would say, obviously, you’re absolutely correct and that article was absolutely correct.  It all comes down to what is the goal, okay?

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And you’re going to have multiple goals.  You’ve got an overarching goal for the whole site, but you’ve also got individual page goals, so let’s say you’re in Google and you’re looking at the real-time data, and the real-time data is literally real time.  You see somebody coming in, they land on the page, and as you were talking about in your example, they start clicking around, but they’re not staying very long on any one page, and then they finally get to a page and they stick for a time, so you can tell that they’re reading that page, right?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  Now, it’s a matter of being a bit of a detective.  You’ve got to have some analytical skill [laughs] to be able to look at that and say, “What’s going on here?” as opposed to just, “Oh, look, they’re spending all this time on my site.”

Lea Alcantara:  Right. 

Terri Jenkins:  So you’re absolutely correct, you have to be a little bit of a sleuth.  You’ve got to look beyond the surface of the numbers and see what people are actually doing on the site.  So taking some time and developing a funnel, if it’s a conversion that you want to get to, developing a funnel of this is where people typically go to get to the conversion.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  And being able to set that up as a goal inside, set a funnel up inside your Google Analytics and being able to track, “Are people going through those steps?  If not, were they getting lost?  What happened?  What do we need to do to that page where they go lost?”  Right?

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So yeah, you’ve got to be a bit of a detective.

Emily Lewis:  While your area of expertise is in the measurement and the analysis, does the analyses also require that be up to date on the best practices in terms of web design and development to understand why a person may be kept leaving that page or why they stayed on a page?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Is that something that is part of what you have to stay up to date on or are you relying on your developer partners to aid in that? 

Terri Jenkins:  A little of both.  I stay on top of it because I believe that I should be able to consult with my clients and tell them, “If you look at this page and then you look at this page over on this other site that is supposedly for the same purpose and they’ve got these other kinds of things on their page that clearly are going to resonate with the end user, then these are things that we need to be looking at.”  So yeah, I do stay on top of it as best I can in order to be able to guide my clients.

Emily Lewis:  In terms of the agency-developer perspective, I feel like I’m hearing a couple of things that I want to put on my checklist, which is, well, we always make sure Google Analytics is set up and installed, that’s sort of a basis, but I also feel like the Google Tag Manage, having that as something we minimally inform the client about as an option.  And you also mentioned earlier, excluding developer IPs or developer visits, what is the best practice for that exclusion these days?

Terri Jenkins:  It’s a really simple set up inside of Google Analytics to go in and exclude the IPs of the developer, the advertiser or the agency that is setting up all the campaigns for them, the SEO people, those are all very easy set up inside of Google Analytics.

Emily Lewis:  So it’s just… because I remember, this was a long time ago, but there used to be like a cookie you would have to set up and make sure people have that cookie on there.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  No, you don’t have to do that anymore.  You can go in and basically put the IP address in there and off you go. 

Emily Lewis:  Nice.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  So for Bright Umbrella, we have filters, Em.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So it’s just like we exclude Emily’s.  I’m just looking at it right now, it just exclude Erin’s home, exclude Emily’s visits.

Emily Lewis:  And so Terri, would that be something you think we should do by default as developers when we’re setting them up as well?

Terri Jenkins:  In particular if the client is doing a lot.  If they’re going to be doing SEO, if they’re going to be doing a lot of PPC campaigns on various platforms, yes, I would say yes. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  It should be a real quick and easy thing for you guys to do, and that way you’re not contaminating the data.

Emily Lewis:  Should we push to inquire if there’s anyone on the client’s end who should be excluded, or should that traffic be included?

Terri Jenkins:  I can’t think of very many scenarios where the traffic should be included. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I would think that the client really — I mean, the client’s focus is to get their clients to the website, and that’s who they want to track. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  If they want to track their own people internally, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to do that, but there may be some scenario where they would want to.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Now, one of the things Lea and I do a lot of our content management systems to support our clients’ websites, this takes a bit of a departure from Google Analytics specifically, and in fact, I think I handed over a CMS client to you for SEO help at one point, a law firm client.

Terri Jenkins:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And I’m curious, are there better CMSs that you’ve worked with or things that developers have done to a CMS that make it easier for you as the consultant handling SEO or pay-per-click campaigns or anything like that?

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah, really, most of the CMS platforms now have addressed the need for SEO because pretty much everything has been out there for a while.  I’m not up to date on all the CMSs, but the ones that I have had access to all have ways to handle editable page titles, descriptions, heading tags, image optimization, that sort of stuff, for SEO.  Not all of them have a way to add the code for Google Search Console. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I know that for WordPress, you can add both Google Analytics and Google Search Console through some of the plugins like Yoast or All in One SEO, and I would assume that ExpressionEngine and Drupal, and you name them, have caught onto that as well.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And that they would have ways of putting that info in there.  I was dealing with a couple of Shopify sites recently and they actually have a place for you to put in your Google Analytics code and it made it much, much easier than it used to be for those kinds of platforms.

Emily Lewis:  So really just that core access to give the client or you the ability to change the content, but also access to modify perhaps the scripts that have to be included. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yes, yes, and things like the automatic whatever the default page title was, is there a way for me to turn that off so that the default doesn’t automatically appear there every time?  Right?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  I want to be able to edit that page title.  I want to be able to edit the meta description and heading tags, and I want to be able make sure that the image sizes are what I need them to be in terms of digital weight so that they’re not too big and slow down page speed.  I want to make sure that the do-not index is an easy to find off button [laughs] so that when the site gets pushed live, we’re not going, “Why is the site not getting indexed?” 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  Things like that. 

Emily Lewis:  So one of the things you just touched on was image optimization.  Is that something you’re seeing an increase a need for, especially as the move to the mobile-first index?

Terri Jenkins:  Absolutely, that’s probably the number one thing that I see that is slowing down all kinds of sites is beautiful imagery that was never really dealt with in terms of its weight.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And so you’ve got these monster-sized pictures that when somebody is trying to look at it on cellphone, they can’t.  It just takes forever, and they bail.  The bounce rates go sky high and you can see it in analytics when you look at the mobile traffic that, “Oh, the desktop traffic is perking along just fine, but over here on mobile, people are bailing really fast.  It’s got an 80% bounce rate.  What’s going on?”  And if you go in and take a look and they’ve got images that are huge.  They’ve got CSS that is huge.  They’ve got JavaScript that’s slowing the page down, and all of these things will be picked up in Google Analytics, and in particular, if you’re using — Google has got a tool now that as a developer you absolutely need to be using before you roll out the site and it’s called Page Speed Insights and using that to run against the site and see what the score is.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Terri Jenkins:  I had a client work with a developer that I was not familiar with to roll out a new site recently, and when the site went live, we quickly ran the page speed tool against it because we haven’t access before, and I’m not kidding you, it had 3 out of a 100.

Emily Lewis:  Whoa, whoa.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow.

Terri Jenkins:  And it was absolutely beautiful to look at, but the person that had designed it was a graphics person, not a web developer per se, you know?

Lea Alcantara:  Web. 

Timestamp: 00:49:54

Terri Jenkins:  He just came out of graphics, and it was gorgeous, but oh my god, we spent several days working our butts off getting all of the images, and there were 800 of them, optimized down to a decent size. 

Emily Lewis:  Whoa, whoa. 

Terri Jenkins:  The site is now coming at an 87, so that was huge because she would have absolutely tanked in the search engines. 

Lea Alcantara:  So then in regards to all that image optimization, I feel like there sometimes a tricky balance between the developer doing the optimizations themselves as well as the client doing the optimizations, what do you do with your particular clients?  Is it your job or do you regularly help them with the actual optimizations or is it something that you train them to do?  Because I feel like sometimes telling clients like “Okay, you need to shrink this image” is pulling teeth almost.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  Agreed, agreed.  And you know, honestly, I think the reason is they don’t know how to do it. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  Exactly. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  It’s not something they’re familiar with, and so it freaks them out and they’re afraid they’re going to break something, and you know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  It’s just scary to them.  So for us, when we have a client in like this client, this situation I was just referring to, it was a WordPress site, we went and found a plugin that worked with her site and we started working with it, getting it set up properly and letting it chug through all of those images.

Lea Alcantara:  Ah.

Terri Jenkins:  And literally, it took overnight for it to chug through all of those images.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow.

Terri Jenkins:  And by the next morning, we were at something like 60, and then there were some other things.  Using Page Speed Insights in conjunction with Search Console and this plugin, we were able to finally, over a period of, well, three days, get it to 87%, which we feel like is good. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And there were some JavaScript and CSS stuff that we needed to do still to help speed it up a little more, but the image stuff made a huge difference, and to your point, the client never ever have been able to do that.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, I think the image optimization has been a huge challenge for us.  We’ve done a number of performance improvement projects where we rely on the Google Speed Insights to show them where they stand and try and get them to a better score, and we’ll build things into the CMS to support image optimization, but you can only do so much.

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah. 

Emily Lewis:  It’s a constant battle and I think another concern that clients have that you mentioned, they might just not really know what to do, but what we’re also finding is we have clients who they understand what to do, but they’re concerned that running, like crunching the images through like a compression tool or something is going to degrade the image itself and they don’t want to deal with that. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  They don’t want to futz with it to get it perfect.  [Laughs]  They want to do like a batch update kind of thing.  The batch doesn’t give them that sort of granular control and so it ends up not ever getting done. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  With clients like that, I tell them, “You really don’t have a choice.  Seriously, you don’t have a choice.  If your score is coming in about 3, you can kiss your ranking goodbye.  You will not get displayed in the new mobile-first index, period.  You won’t be there.  So do you want to have this business or not?  So we need to get this done.”

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah. 

Terri Jenkins:  And I mean, seriously, sometimes it’s tough love. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Well, I think you also have, and I feel like this is an area Lea and I could improve in, is when you have data, then it’s an easier push. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  Absolutely.

Emily Lewis:  And I think one of the things that I feel like I’m taking away from this is that we probably — because, Lea, most of our clients have Google Analytics and we have access to them.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis:  But we’re not leveraging that in any way to support our arguments or to encourage best practices on their parts.

Terri Jenkins:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And not just getting it set up, but making it more a part of how we run the client engagement. 

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  I mean, for a developer, this is a great tool for you to be able to upsell your clients, honestly.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Terri Jenkins:  You can get in there and see where the client designed a landing page that you recommended that they do certain things to it from a design standpoint and they said, “No, I know better.  This is how I want it,” and so you build it for them, and then you watch it and you see that it’s not performing. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And you can go back to them with that data and say, “Look, let’s try making these changes and see if it improves.”

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.  That’s what we need to do better with. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  It makes complete sense.  [Laughs]  It sounds like duh. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right. 

Emily Lewis:  But it… you know…

Terri Jenkins:  But it’s just one more thing to do, you know?

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Terri Jenkins:  Honestly, I know how it is when you’re running a business.  You’re trying to do everything all by yourself, so it’s tough sometimes. 

Emily Lewis:  I feel like I could ask you a dozen more questions, but we’re getting close to the end of the show.  I think what would be most useful for our listeners, especially our developer and designer audience, is any resources you can recommend to help them learn more about analytics both from just being informed to also more practical how they can help their clients with it?

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  I would say, first and foremost, go to the developers.google.com and there is a lot of resources in there for developers to be able to do everything from basics of how to set something up to best practices, to how to run tests, and just a ton of information, so that would be my first one.  The next one would be look at subscribing to some of the Search Engine Watch stuff.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  Search Engine Watch has specific tracks for advertising and for SEO and for web deb best practices and all kinds of stuff.  There’s a whole list of stuff in there, so go to Search Engine Watch and look at what they have available and subscribe to some of those and give them a quick scan.  If there’s an article that jumps out, that you read it, and I save stuff at Evernote and I save stuff into Evernote, so that I can go back and reference it when that situation comes up kind of, because you can’t keep it all in your head. 

Emily Lewis:  Right.  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  There’s so much that’s coming at you on a daily basis. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  So those would be my two biggest ones.  If they’re really interested in delving into SEO information, I would go to Moz.com and he’s got tons.  That’s Rand Fishkin, and he’s got tons of information.  Another one I use regularly from a real technical standpoint because the guy is a developer is called Planet Ocean, and that’s a good one for developers.  I think that’s it.  Those are my top ones. 

Emily Lewis:  And do you have any recommendations, especially when you’re dealing with like a new client and this is all new to them, do you ever share any resources to get them a little more comfortable?

Terri Jenkins:  Yeah.  I would say some real basic information on Google Analytics can be found not at developers.google.com, but analytics.google.com.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Terri Jenkins:  And they’ve got a help section that talks about what it is and why it’s important and how to find information in there.  Honestly, for me, I’m setting up a separate area of my practice that will be specifically training clients because there’s more and more of a need.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Terri Jenkins:  I can go out, meet with them and sit with them for an afternoon, three or four hours, and get their Google Analytics dashboard set up, get the Alerts set up that are important to them, show them how to find the information and why it’s important and how to dig through it so that they can actually use this for themselves and not just they have to rely on somebody else giving them some of that information, because again, it goes back to making good business decisions.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Well, Terri, that’s all the time we have for today, but before we finish up, we’ve got our Rapid Fire Ten Questions so our listeners can get to know you a bit better. 

Terri Jenkins:  Okay.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Are you ready?

Terri Jenkins:  Okay. 

Lea Alcantara:  Okay, first question, introvert or extrovert?

Terri Jenkins:  Extrovert.

Emily Lewis:  The power is going to be out for the next week, what food from the fridge do you eat first?

Terri Jenkins:  The strawberries.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh. 

Lea Alcantara:  What’s your favorite website for fun?

Terri Jenkins:  Oh, Instagram. 

Emily Lewis:  What’s the last thing you read?

Terri Jenkins:  I read Living With Intent by Mallika Chopra. 

Lea Alcantara:  What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

Terri Jenkins:  Listen to your gut.  If you’re feeling apprehensive about something, you need to think about it.

Emily Lewis:  And what’s the worst piece of professional advice you’ve received?

Terri Jenkins:  Don’t worry about it, take the leap.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  It’s true. 

Lea Alcantara:  What’s your favorite color?

Terri Jenkins:  Blue.

Emily Lewis:  If you could take us to one restaurant in your town, where would we go?

Terri Jenkins:  We would go to the Bouldin Creek CafĂ©.  It’s a funky, hippie, vegan place with wonderful food.

Lea Alcantara:  What’s your favorite board game?

Terri Jenkins:  Oh, gosh, Trivial Pursuit.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  My head is full of all kinds of useless knowledge.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]  All right, last question, Hulu or Netflix?

Terri Jenkins:  Netflix most definitely. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  I hate commercials and Hulu makes me watch damn commercials.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Terri Jenkins:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Truth. 

Terri Jenkins:  How is that for a marketer?  I hate commercials.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  So that’s all the time we have for today.  Thanks for joining the show. 

Terri Jenkins:  Thank you so very much!  I really enjoyed it!  You guys are great! 

Emily Lewis:  Oh.  In case our listeners want to follow up with you, Terri, where can they find you online?

Terri Jenkins:  You can find me at clearblueskydigital.com.  You can find me at Terri Jenkins on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  It’s just my name, Terri Jenkins.

[Music starts]

Emily Lewis:  Great.  Thanks again, Terri, this was a fantastic conversation! 

Terri Jenkins:  Thank you!  I appreciate it.

Lea Alcantara:  CTRL+CLICK is produced by Bright Umbrella, a web services agency obsessed with happy clients.  Today’s podcast would not be possible without the support of this episode’s sponsor!  Many thanks to Foster Made!

Emily Lewis:  We’d also like to thank our hosting partner: Arcustech.

Lea Alcantara:  And thanks to our listeners for tuning in!  If you want to know more about CTRL+CLICK, make sure you follow us on Twitter @ctrlclickcast or visit our website, ctrlclickcast.com.  And if you liked this episode, please give us a review on iTunes, Stitcher or both!  Links are in our show notes and on our site. 

Emily Lewis:  Don’t forget to tune in to our next episode when Lea and I concludes our Demystifying the Web series.  We’ll be tackling how to demystify content management systems for clients.  Be sure to check out ctrlclickcast.com/schedule for more upcoming topics.

Lea Alcantara:  This is Lea Alcantara …

Emily Lewis:  And Emily Lewis …

Lea Alcantara:  Signing off for CTRL+CLICK CAST.  See you next time!

Emily Lewis:  Cheers! 

[Music stops]

Timestamp: 01:00:47