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So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on competitive benchmarking using Google Analytics data. We walk through how the benchmarking works, how to assess yourself against your peers, what actions to take. Catch the replay here:

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • How to build a competitive benchmark with Google Analytics
  • How to take your digital marketing to the next level – and figure out what the next level is
  • How to determine if you’re leaving money on the table

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Auditing your tag manager – TBD
  • Predicting your website traffic – TBD


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:22
Well, hey, friends, Happy Thursday, welcome to sell what the marketing analytics and insights live stream from Trust Insights. As always, I’m joined by Chris and John. Today we’re talking about Google Analytics, competitive benchmarking. And I really like this topic, because one of the questions we get asked a lot is how do I compare myself against my competitors? How do I know if the marketing that I’m doing is helping me get ahead in a competitive way? You know, how do I pull some sort of a competitive report? And what we’re going to go through, and what we’re going to walk through is how to answer a lot of those questions all within your own Google Analytics account. You know, so we talk about Google Analytics a lot on the show, but it really is the best foundational piece of your Mar tech stack in order to understand what’s going on with you and your customers and also your competitors. So let’s dive into the competitive piece, Chris.

Christopher Penn 1:20
Alright, so this is specific to Google Analytics three, or the Universal Analytics. This is not a feature that is available in Google Analytics, why sure hope that someday it is because it is incredibly useful. But as of right now, it is a Google Analytics three thing only. So if you want to follow along, that’s great. Fire Pew Google Analytics three account. And what you’re gonna be looking for here is the left hand side, go into the audience menu, scroll down, until you get to benchmarking, you can open up that sub menu, and you get three things, channels, location and devices, the one that’s going to be the most useful for us is going to be channels. And when I click on that, and head in here, what we’re going to see is our website, and then we get to specify a industry that is composed of an anonymous grouping and anonymized grouping of similar sized companies. So let’s go ahead and just start at the default, business and industrial, this is what you’ll see when you first sign in. And what you’re looking at here is the industry, the country or region, and then the size by daily sessions, and how many websites form this benchmark in this case is 25,000. And what you’re looking at here is the dark blue line is our company’s website traffic for whatever this time period is, the lighter blue line is the benchmark is the what this aggregate Group of Companies is. Now what we want to do first things first, before we do anything else, is we want to get something as close to our company as possible. So inside of this menu, you can, you know, dig around and see what are the different types or categories of website. So we’re going to go into business and industrial, we do a lot of stuff in, in marketing and advertising, we’re going to tap into here. And then there’s sub industries in here as well. So all advertising and marketing, which includes things like PR, telemarketing sales, direct email, I’m gonna go with all advertising and marketing. Because we do a fair amount of that. What you’ll see happen is the benchmark rearranges itself, it tells you now there’s only 1700 99 properties here, as opposed to all now if I can choose a geographic restriction, let’s go with the United States, all regions. And what happens is, as you get more and more specific, the benchmarks change with the caution that sometimes if there’s not enough websites, in that thing to make it anonymous, Google will say, Hey, we have no information. So in fact, let’s let’s dig in a bit more see if we can do our state of Massachusetts. And this should give me an error. It shouldn’t say like, I don’t have enough. Oh, actually, No, it doesn’t. Let’s go to 100 to 499. Yeah, so actually, in terms, it turns out that there are just enough advertising and marketing companies in Massachusetts that we could look at similar sized companies. So go ahead, Katie.

Katie Robbert 4:23
I was gonna ask Chris. So the way in which Google gets this information is how you set up your Google Analytics account in your settings. And so I believe Chris, correct me from wrong benchmarking is one of those toggles in your admin, that you actually have to turn on. And you also when you’re setting up your Google Analytics account, have to specify your general industry, and I think we specified advertising and marketing. But that’s how Google is saying, Okay, let me pull anonymously, all of the Google Analytics accounts that have special find themselves as analytics, advertising and marketing in Massachusetts, and then the session data is what the session data is. Is that exactly

Christopher Penn 5:09
right? Exactly right. It’s all averaged together. So there’s 495 companies of similar size in Massachusetts that have data that looks that shares our industry. And what you’ll notice here is you’ll see the the traffic, the sessions versus the benchmark sessions over time, you’ll notice that it starts here, right around April, so you can only go back 13 months, you can’t go back any further than that. So it’s an important thing to remember. What do we see here? What we see is our site versus the benchmark on each of these major digital channels. What is it that what do we have going on versus the benchmark, I’m going to zoom this back up to the United States here? We do market, we don’t market just regionally we market to the whole area within the whole nation. Okay, and what we see here, by the way, we restricts geography, it also changes your traffic to show you the traffic just for that region, just so that folks are aware. What we see here is that some channels, were doing pretty well, we’re doing, you know, decently well, exceeding the benchmark and other channels, were not. Now this caveat here. The caveat is that everyone in the benchmark has to set up their Google Analytics properly. So one of the things that can go wrong here, for example, is if you’ve never gone into your channel groupings and set, for example, like, to be in the email channel versus, say, the referral traffic channel, which is weird the way it is out of the box, then it’s entirely possible that there could be a little bit of misleading information here, because this one’s on the default channel grouping. So for us email, as a channel, outperforming the benchmark by 182%, apparently, at least in this timeframe, actually, I’m gonna shorten this to March, April, one of 2020, so that we’re not pulling in data. There we go, exceeds the benchmark.

John Wall 7:17
The suspense is killing me.

Christopher Penn 7:20
The processing time is killing me.

Katie Robbert 7:24
What I like about this kind of report is, and I know we’re going to get into sort of the so what and how do you use it is that you can look at yourself up against your peers. And then you can look at your stretch goals. So where you are now versus where you want to be. And it will give you some direction around the things that you need to work on. But I do think that that’s an important caveat, Chris, of making sure that when you’re looking at the data that not only is your data set up correctly with the channel groupings, but taking keeping in mind that the other companies that you’re competing against might not have it set up correctly. So it’s not meant to be an exact competitive tool. It’s meant to give you guidance in terms of what areas you could build a little bit more resources in.

Christopher Penn 8:13
Yep, exactly. Okay, that decided it was just kind of obligation. There you go. Alright, so from April what of 2020. To now we’re looking at we we did 151% better than the benchmark, right? In terms of apples, apples for email traffic. for social media, we were about three, two and a half percent below the benchmark. So we so for other similar companies in our space, we didn’t do quite as well as social media, then we go to referral traffic. This is where we might, for example, want might want to have a PR firm, because we did very badly against the benchmark 84% less than other sites for getting referring sites to send us traffic. direct traffic, I’m not terribly concerned about here, because direct in Google’s language means we don’t know where the data came from. And I for one would always love to have less direct traffic than our competitors, because it means our attribution is better. This one is the one that concerns me number six organic search compared to similar sized sites, or we are substantially lower than organic search traffic, paid search not to display when we don’t run a ton of ads. So I’m not terribly worried about that. So just looking at this benchmark here of similarly sized companies, we are doing well on email and social. And I would say we need to do some some heavy lifting on referral and organic if we want to get to the same performance as our peers.

Katie Robbert 9:45
I don’t disagree with that assessment. And what that does for us, is it confirm some of our anecdotal thinking around where we should be focusing our time in terms of working on and focusing on the business.

Christopher Penn 9:59
Exactly. Now to your point, Katie. We everybody loves that management cliche. And you’re taking things to the next level. I think nobody loves that cliche. But he loves that. But there actually is a menu for that for real. So we can take this as the literal next level, what does it look like for us to go to the next type of traffic? Email, we’re actually okay already. So we’ve already exceeded the benchmark there. We need 60% more social media traffic, we need a lot more organic search traffic, and we need more referral traffic. So those those gap is no surprise, those gap areas or areas where we need to do some filling in the blank. So we may want to look at paid search or display advertising, if you know, it would make sense to do so.

John Wall 10:47
How about balancing that off against the bounce rate to because it looks like we’re just, you know, we are so much stickier than the rest of the crowd with that.

Christopher Penn 10:56
That is true. So there we have page, these pages per session, and bounce rates. That’s engagement numbers. So for the traffic that we do earn, does the traffic stick around more, we certainly have a much lower bounce rate across the board. We also have more pages per session. So when people get to us, it means our content is good. And that’s a really important point because it just getting more traffic doesn’t matter if people hate you and leave. So in this case, we know we’ve got good stuff, we just need to get people to it now.

Katie Robbert 11:30
Well, that then becomes the So what, you know, so what what do you do with this? How do you get more people to, you know, your website. And you know, I think it’s also interesting. So we know we do a lot with email. And email is one of those channels that we have control over. However, as we’ve said before, like when looking at like an attribution model, we’re over indexed on email alone. And we don’t have a nice healthy mix of channels that are working for us. And so this gives us a really good place to start not just with, you know, we see a lot of this in the attribution well, but we can also see against our competitors, the things that they are doing, that we’re not doing, and that specifically is that referral traffic and that organic search.

Christopher Penn 12:21
Exactly right. So now the question is, how would we go about influencing the both of those those channels, the referral traffic one is relatively straightforward. And if you do well, with referral traffic, you will automatically do well with organic search, right? Because as more people are linking to you and sending you referral traffic, you’re also building inbound links that then build your your organic search capabilities. So the question I would say, then is what do we need to do in order to get more and better referral traffic? That wasn’t rhetorical. make more friends, make more friends would be good. One thing I’d suggest doing is that instead of we’ve done the benchmarking here, now we need to start digging into what some of this stuff means. So referral traffic is one of the things is measured in acquisition. So if I go into acquisition, all traffic and go to referrals, the first thing I can look at here is say okay, well, where are we getting our traffic from? Where we are, what is referral traffic do we currently get and most of what shows up in referrals Remember, this is Google’s categorization of the stuff comes from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, this is the first two channels my personal blog isn’t bot traffic, marketing over coffee Talkwalker and some more stuff on Facebook. So we actually have a decent amount of stuff coming in from social media if we switch over to source medium for the same time period, there’s email organic search, more email, some social media stuff I need to go fix my link shortener apparently because it’s not coming into social Facebook LinkedIn more email some pay per click advertising more email so if we start digging down further into what else where else are we getting referrals from so sharpspring that’s a someone else’s email newsletter right there. This one I don’t even recognize w three lab so I might want to go check out Who is that? What What is that referring source? expand this further. We

Katie Robbert 14:26
have impact from marketing over coffee that keeps showing up on here.

Unknown Speaker 14:30
Oh yeah, baby.

Christopher Penn 14:34
Elegant Themes which is the blogging platform YouTube, which is one of the platforms we do our live stream on. More email. Something called m show productions. Show social. Yep, social media see ronica Gentilly here we have another what that eco search engine. So we already know that We’ve got some existing places that are sending us referral traffic, low hanging fruit is going back to those places and seeing, you know, what do we do with them? And can we do more of it if it wasn’t things that we paid for, which hopefully would not be because that should not be an enrolled traffic, we would want to go out and do more of those things. The challenge is, and this is something you can’t get out of the benchmarking data is where what who are the competitors? And where are they getting their traffic from? From? That would be awfully nice to have.

Katie Robbert 15:30
But it would be but I’m guessing that Google would say crate, and that’s going to cost you a million dollars to get that information. Yes. But it doesn’t occur to me, you know, to your question of like, how do you get more referral traffic, one of the things that is generally pretty foolproof is guest blogging. So if you yourself can land, you know, a guest blogging closed on other, you know, major providers, like, you know, for us, it would be a Talkwalker or marketingprofs, or even, you know, a marketing over coffee or martec, or those those types of outlets that would then be that well known asset to then drive traffic back to us.

Christopher Penn 16:18
Exactly. So one of the ways that we identify stuff like that is to actually look at at those backlinks take a competitor and where is it that they’re getting their backlinks from? So I’m going to pull up our SEO Software here, you can use any SEO Software you like, they all pretty much do the same thing when it comes to backlinks. plug into the Site Explorer here. And let’s look at marketing over coffee. As an example. I’m gonna go pull in the backlinks report, these are the people who are linking to marketing over coffee, it would be a good idea for us to figure out okay, how can we who else should be linking to us? So we have like wordstream, for example, 99 signals, very best podcast, real simple, straightforward thing that I think would make a lot of sense. Insights has a podcast, right? So if for all these places that have you know, 30 best podcasts, whatever, ask them, Hey, would you consider adding the In-Ear Insights podcast to your list for next year’s thing. But again, great way to just get an understanding of who’s linking in and start building those referral links. Some tools even have what’s called link intersect, which I think is kind of interesting. So let’s put in marketing over coffee, calm, let’s put in my personal website, put in marketing cross Comm. Who doesn’t link to Trust So this is going to go through and look at you know who, who is in common for the backlinks to those other sites, that is not linking to Trust Insights. Who those things are, how many intersections are Hubspot, businessinsider, HBr, Salesforce, and so on and so forth. Again, this is a great punch list of who are the platforms that we might want to go after and try and get links to the Trust Insights, website, marketing, insider group, and so on and so forth.

John Wall 18:18
So is it really though this is just kind of the classic SEO blood and guts of somebody has to go down the list and be like, hey, wouldn’t you love to get a post from Trust Insights? I mean, there’s really no other way around that is that,

Christopher Penn 18:30
oh, how are you that’s the short version of it. The ideal would be to build will identify maybe the top five or 10, and build some strong relationships with those folks first before you pitch them. Because nobody likes getting those link building pitches in the trash can or, you know, other bad things happen to people.

Katie Robbert 18:55
sound like you speak from personal experience.

Christopher Penn 18:58
I will plead the fifth. So we’ve done our benchmarking now in Google Analytics. And we’ve identified what the area that we think, is a problem for us one on where the problems are now, this is how you go in and you identify, okay, well, what do we do about this thing?

Katie Robbert 19:20
Chris, is there a way? I know there’s a way Is there a simple way I should qualify to turn this into dollars. So for example, I know we’ve done this exercise for a client where we were able to say by not focusing on your organic search, you’re leaving X number of dollars on the table. And I don’t expect us to go through that exercise. Live but something for us to think about is for us not focusing as much on referral in organic search. What kind of money are we leaving on the table?

Christopher Penn 19:56
Yeah, that’s a good question. The short answer is In theory, yes. And we could walk through a toy example of that, I’m going to hit export and just turn this into an Excel spreadsheet. Because that sort of computation is not something you could do with the Google Analytics interface itself. Alright. So when you get your spreadsheet from Google, you obviously get the day by day stuff, which we’ll get back to that in a second. But we also get exactly what you saw in the main interface, the total row because you don’t need that. And let’s go ahead and just resize column width should be out the other format. Okay, so here is our sessions, the benchmark sessions, and then sort of the Delta, the big difference, I’m going to actually delete these other columns, because I don’t care about them right now. You can do this with them later. And I just want to know the difference, right? So the difference here, between our sessions, and the benchmark sessions, and this is a period of time of 13 months, right? So in 13 months, take this and divide the slide by 13. Let’s make this a little bit bigger. So and this tells me what my traffic gap is, right? So that on a monthly basis for organic search, I need an additional 2200 visitors a month, right? on a monthly basis, I need an additional 470 visitors from referral traffic. Now, if you were to go into if you were to say, you know, let’s say we made, I don’t know, a million dollars in the last in the last 13 months, right? We have our total number of sessions here. So let’s let’s sum this up. And this is some pretty basic math. Very few 1000 sessions. So was our dollar per session will be a million bucks, divided by 32,000 sessions. So each session is worth in this toy example. Right $30.58. Knowing that, I’m going to take each of these things here times this fixed value of and so to your question of how much money we leaving on the table, let’s highlight referral. Let’s highlight organic search. We could have made an additional $70,000. from organic search, we could have made an additional $14,000 from referral traffic, we could have made an additional $27,000 from paid search. That’s a really handy way of and I think this is per month.

John Wall 22:55
Yeah, that’s monthly, too. Right? Yeah,

Christopher Penn 22:57
that’s monthly. So let’s actually change this to E.

Unknown Speaker 23:07
There we go.

Katie Robbert 23:08
I mean, those are not insignificant numbers.

Christopher Penn 23:12
Right. So on an annual basis, yeah, on an annual basis, we could have made an additional $900,000 from organic search if we’d gotten our act together and made it a priority or hired an SEO agency, right. And one things if you’re if you’re too busy to do something you hire, we’ve been working with b squared media for some of our paid search advertising, because we just don’t have the time and the expertise to do it. And when it comes to like, how much do you want to spend, this is one possible way to sort of set like maybe a ceiling on your budget to say like, I want to, I’d be willing to spend up to this amount. Because if I could reclaim that, you know, in this example of making a million dollars, that would be that how much money now if we want to be? Let’s, let’s tone that down a bit. Let’s say it was just $100,000. Right? Even there. Would you invest, you know, say $20,000, in paid advertising for the year to make 35. That seems like pretty good ROI. So this is again, a really good way to tune this to figure out okay, if traffic equals conversions, which most of the time it does in some form or fashion, I can generate more traffic, I should see more conversions as long as the traffic is qualified. And that this is how much money we could potentially bring in if we got that kind of traffic. And

Katie Robbert 24:37
this is a really handy back of the envelope calculation. Again, it’s not precise, but it’s really helpful, especially if you’re trying to justify this is why we need more focus on organic search or this is why I need my team to do more outreach to get placements. You know or this is why we just need to not do the Baron Minimum on social media because get $500 is not insignificant. It’s still money that’s being left on the table.

Christopher Penn 25:07
Yeah, exactly. If somebody said to you, would you like $500? Right now you probably say, Sure, what’s the catch? They said, there’s no catch like, Okay, then yes, I would take $500 you strange person, skipping boy lots of money.

Katie Robbert 25:20
You deserve way over complicated that example,

Christopher Penn 25:23
what else is going on. But this also helps us prioritize to write knowing direct direct and over though, we should just delete those because those are meaningless of what’s there. Password was blacked out. Because that’s what some of these values, you know, organic search really has to be a priority. It has to be it has Now the good news is because referral traffic and organic search are so tightly entwined doing one Well usually helps the other. But it really has to be a priority going forward for the for our data, if we want to bring in that money, at the same time, not taking away from the channel that we’re killing it on. Right. So if we extend this calculation, more email marketing, we’re bringing in, you know, X amount of over what our competitors are bringing in, right, which, by the way, is an important distinction This is we’re measuring the difference. So if we were trying to talk about, you know, revenue and market share, we’re doing well. And we’re compensating for the loss in some other areas with email. So we don’t want to lose traction there while we try and figure out how do we fix these other things?

Katie Robbert 26:42
Completely makes sense.

John Wall 26:43
It’s interesting there too, with how, you know, it looks like well, it is saying clearly that we’re pretty close to the hunt on social. And so some people would think, oh, then let’s, you know, put more gas towards that and really lean on it. But when you look at how far out organic searches in the dollar figure, you know, if you had to pick, hey, we can make a 10% improvement in any one of these, you know, suddenly organic searches, just obviously, where you want to throw the cash.

Christopher Penn 27:09
Exactly, exactly. And, you know, again, this works for any kind of company. We’re here essentially advertising out the digital aspects. We don’t do a whole lot of marketing other than digital. So this, this does work pretty well, it will work less well. Like if you have a substantial brick and mortar presence, because you obviously, you’d have to do some statistical analysis up front to see if website traffic correlates to, you know, feet coming through the front door. And if it does, great. If it doesn’t, then you know, this calculation may not necessarily be as helpful.

John Wall 27:43
Oh, I see. Because you’re saying we were able to just throw the whole revenue number onto that, whereas we can’t do that if there’s other channels outside?

Christopher Penn 27:50
Exactly, exactly. One of the things you could do is you could take all the channels that you have, and run a correlation analysis to figure out which channels have a higher mathematical correlation to that that revenue number, and then figure out Yep, like, these are the ones that we can use this analysis for. These are the ones where we can’t.

Katie Robbert 28:13
Interesting. So So what from this is, we best get our act together in terms of our own SEO for our own website, and that includes the technical on site, SEO, making sure that the website itself is functioning correctly, re optimizing older pages, and then what net new content Do we need need to be creating? And so that’s where we need to take our SEO? Chris, I know that one of the other bullet points you want to cover in this episode was how to forecast your traffic.

Christopher Penn 28:48
Um, I want to park on that for a second, because I want to go back to something you said when we were looking. And this is something that John pointed out the benchmark, we’re looking at, like the content performance in the benchmark the contents not the problem. Where from an SEO perspective, I put our site into the SEO tool of choice. it to me, you know, looking at this becomes pretty obvious that in the last year, we’ve really plateaued in terms of inbound links, right. This is the the issue that we have is that we have essentially held still at the number of inbound links that we get. We don’t have a problem with attracting people with content we have a problem with the ranking itself the ability to show up for any given search and that comes from inbound links. And I know that we like our technical stuff. We know from other episodes we’ve done with the show that our technicals are pretty good condition, our contents. Pretty decent. It’s okay enough that we’ve seen that from our most valuable pages assessment we see the big headline content like the resources like The Instagram talk and stuff they do well, where we really suck is we’re not doing any pitching. We’re not doing anything again. And you see that because referral and organic are the two problem is March in lockstep, right. So we’re not doing enough to get out to other people to bring them in. If we can do that, we will, we will actually see substantial multiplier effects because the contents already good. So how do we go about now getting people to link to our resources to link to this show, for example, that’s where our gap is.

Katie Robbert 30:37
Make sense? You know, I think one of the things that we used to be able to rely on was the speaking circuit. You know, and you know, that’s starting to crop back up. I mean, Chris, you’re fully vaccinated now shows us starting to open up as it becomes a little bit safer to do so. So I do think that that will start to help. But I’m making the assumption that the lack of speaking that we’ve done over the past year and a half has definitely been part of that it, because those events like to talk about the speakers, there’s a reason they have those speakers, because those speakers are known. So they link to their sites, they link to their assets, and we just haven’t had a lot of those opportunities.

Christopher Penn 31:25
Yep, I think that’s certainly part of it. The other thing that, you know, if you look at what gets links, inbound links on the Trust Insights website, when we go in here, let’s look at top pages 2.0.

So these are the pages that get traffic, they get links, and stuff. Some of these blog posts, a lot of these are like the 12 days of data, stuff that we’ve done. The thing that I see when I look at this is we have a lot of data that we publish that isn’t on our website. And so one an easy win. And again, this is something that requires you just to spend some time thinking about it. And obviously I’ll as we’re trying to focus more on on building the company itself. We do a really terrible job with this. In every issue of the newsletter, there’s two blog posts effectively, right there is the cold open. And there is the data diaries that have these really compelling, you know, graphics and stuff. You know, here’s how we’re forecasting the future. And this lives only in our newsletter. So one of the easiest things that I can think of when I look at this, and you know, look at every issue of our newsletter, you know, here’s this week’s data. Here’s this week’s data on what’s happening with Facebook brand engagement rates, is have one of our team members like Emily take a part of the newsletter and publishes two different blog posts each week,

Katie Robbert 33:01
because I literally wrote that down.

Unknown Speaker 33:05
I was like, oh,

Christopher Penn 33:07
exactly. This one right here, Facebook brand media engagement rates. We get that and then send a quick note, or maybe we just tweet at them at social media today, calm Social Media Examiner, yo, all of your Business Insider, whoever would be focusing on this data, like, Hey, here’s a new release. And and that individual blog post becomes the thing that people link to.

Katie Robbert 33:29
Yep. Make sense?

Christopher Penn 33:33
It’s not like we don’t do it the work anyway. Or not. It’s one of the things like we have great ingredients, we just forget that you can take something, cut it up and do something else with it.

Katie Robbert 33:43
It’s almost like if there was some sort of like a transmedia framework that talked about this somewhere. No, but I mean, you know, I always find these live streams beneficial, not only as we’re demonstrating, but also because we use ourselves as an example. It always sort of gives me that, aha, here’s what we need to be doing instead, because we’re now taking the time to really dig in. Because in just looking at the benchmarking, my thoughts, seeing organic searches, okay, we need more content, and we need to re optimize the content that we have. But that’s actually not what’s happening. Because we have content. What we need to do is get more of that referral traffic back to our site with that content. Is that’s just such a different tactic. And I would have been focusing in the wrong area.

Christopher Penn 34:40
Yep. And when you think about it, now, we have our Monday summary blog post, we have the new we have the podcast, it gets published on Wednesdays, we have the live stream server that gets published on Fridays. If we split up the newsletter to two blog posts. 1/5 Tuesday, one for Thursday. Now we have a cadence of one new piece of content every single day of the week. That is That is a very fast pace without having to do a lot of extra work. And by doing that it gives us obviously more stuff we can push to our social channels, that gives us more things we can run ads to. So there’s a lot that we can do just from this stuff. But we would probably not like to point we probably would not have spent a lot of time doing that if we had not done the benchmarking exercise and realized our contents in good shape people like this stuff, right? You just don’t have enough of the people.

Katie Robbert 35:28
That’s right. Well, and so you know, a note about if you’re going to go through the benchmarking exercise, it is definitely something that if you’re going to take action, with the information you’re seeing, you’re going to want to take the benchmark and snapshot it but then every month or every three months, rerun it to see if the things that you’re doing are actually making a difference. I mean, that’s really the so what the benchmark is great if you’re looking at it, but if you’re not going to do anything about it, then why are you there?

Christopher Penn 35:58
Exactly. The other last twist I’ll say about benchmarking is that you also want to pay some attention. If you go into Google Analytics, go down to conversions go into multi channel funnels, and assuming you have everything set up properly here, you’re going to want to just take a look at either here or in your model comparison tool for which channels also convert the best. Because if you look here, referral traffic. In both last click, and in assisted referral traffic is kind of near the bottom, right. So the traffic that we’re getting from referral isn’t great quality. So our current, this tells me that our current strategy for referral traffic doesn’t really work. So whatever we’re doing right now, like if we had a PR agency, for example, we would say like, Look, you guys suck, you’re getting us crap, traffic that doesn’t convert. We don’t have a PR agency. So we can say that.

Katie Robbert 36:53
Right? You’re looking like a PR agency.

Christopher Penn 36:55
Exactly. It’s no wonder we work at a PR agency anymore. So to your point, we would want to start this publishing, and that outreach that, you know, it’s composing a tweet saying, hey, you might be interested in having that’d be something that, you know, just pings people. Then we look at this data as well in three months along with a new benchmark to say, Did we get new referral traffic? Great. Was the traffic any good way to test that?

Katie Robbert 37:23
Well, and I think that that’s definitely the differentiator. You know, John, as you smartly pointed out in Chris’s you’re going over? You know, is it any good because getting plenty of traffic to your website is fantastic. But if people aren’t saying if people aren’t actually reading this stuff, if people aren’t coming back and engaging and actually converting, then who cares?

Christopher Penn 37:44
Yep, exactly. Yeah, at worst, it’s attracting, you know, bots and spam. That’ll be nice for that. No. So that’s benchmarking, and then what to do about it. And one of the challenges that folks will run into is the knowing what to do about it so that you can do the benchmark exercise, but then you have to be able to interpret the results. And so just do, don’t just run the benchmark and dump it on somebody’s desk, and hope that they get it. Because they probably won’t, you’re going to need to spend some time with that. And if you’d like to get a second opinion, on your benchmark, just go ahead and ping us go to dot AI slash contact, and we’d be happy to talk about helping you get that second opinion. Or

Katie Robbert 38:28
if you’re not even sure if your Google Analytics is set up correctly. We’re happy to help with that as well, because that’s where you got to start Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 38:36
any parting words, words?

John Wall 38:41
Check your reports and go do something.

Katie Robbert 38:44
What he said,

Christopher Penn 38:46
folks, thanks for tuning in, and we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at Trust slash t AI podcast, and a weekly email newsletter at Trust slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.

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