Emily Scott is the beautiful mind behind ByEmilyScott.com. She is a creative coach and offers courses to improve your creativity and productivity, including her Operation: Procrastination Shutdown course, which launches soon!
Emily was one of the first people to jump into Conquer Google Analytics! headfirst. She was also the first person to complete the course, because she was so excited about what she was learning!
While we were chatting about some changes she was making to her business, Emily mentioned that one of the catalysts for the change was the data she found in Google Analytics.
I knew I needed to find out more, and I want to share her discoveries with you! If you have doubts that Google Analytics is worth learning, Emily’s story may just change your mind.
A little bit about Emily:
Emily has been a writer and creative for the last ten years. She’s struggled with doubt after doubt, and has slowly overcome them. In fact, she’s had to fight creative blocks so many times that she’s on a mission now to share her tips & tricks so that any creative can use to overcome their own self-doubts! Her goal is show you how conquering your creative fears will help you create meaningful content that resonates with your audience. As a creative coach, she helps creatives, bloggers, and small business owners unearth their passions and purpose, develop clear content that magnifies that purpose, and share their content and passion with those who need it.
If you haven’t checked out her awesome new site, you can head on over to ByEmilyScott.com!
Emily’s journey through Google Analytics:
I wanted to let Emily tell you about her Google Analytics journey in her own words, so we chatted about it, and she has generously offered to share her story. Take it away, Emily!
Where did you start your to conquer Google Analytics?
Before I started this course, I was beginner in terms of understanding what Google Analytics (GA) was and how to use it. I already had it installed on my site and was using it to track general traffic. I knew there was more I could do with GA, but the system felt so overwhelming, I wasn’t willing to take the time to learn more than my website’s basic statistics. I also had a bad habit of getting turned around inside GA. I would find something one day, but for the life of me, couldn’t remember how I found that statistic; these random finds weren’t valuable if I couldn’t do anything about them!
What changed your mind about Google Analytics?
I enrolled in Jenn’s course and found out there was even more GA could do than I had ever imagined! The thought of it all was overwhelming at first, but what I love about this course it that it is self-paced. I was able to skip through the first few lessons because I had already installed GA’s tracking code onto my site and knew how the basic layout worked, but I could spend longer on Ghost Spam and the Search Console lessons, both of which took me a bit of time to wrap my head around. I’ve definitely learned valuable skills from understanding how to use the Google Analytics tools. After taking this course, I ended up doing a rebrand (see it below!), and with the new domain name, I was able to jump back into the GA course, and quickly set up GA for my new site in under twenty minutes. This was a couple-hour process the first time around, but now, I’m familiar enough with GA, I can set up a new profile in less than half the time!
What are your favorite Google Analytics tool(s)?
It might seem like a small thing, but one of my favorite features is the custom dashboards. Instead of spending time tracking down every valuable number (to me and my business), I have a few custom dashboards set up that tell me everything I want to know in a matter of seconds.
I also love the breakdown of my social media traffic. Social media can easily eat up a ton of time each day, and while it’s important to use social media for growth, I needed to know if the hours I spent invested in social media each week were worth it. Through this course, I was able to identify which social media platforms bring in the most traffic and therefore, which ones are worth my time and which aren’t.
What have been your biggest breakthrough(s) during the course? How have they affected your blog or business?
I had two breakthroughs while working through this course that ultimately led me to rebranding my business: Demographics and Best Performing Pages.
Before this course, I was fairly sure I knew who my audience was, but it wasn’t until I explored the Demographics tool in GA that I discovered how off I was about several of my assumed ideal audience characteristics. Demographics gave me a detailed breakdown of who was visiting my site, which led me to conclude that either A) I was wrong about my ideal audience or B) what I was doing to attract a certain audience wasn’t working. After learning this, I was able to make adjustments to my brand.
Best and Worst Performing Pages also showed me which blog posts are the most popular. I learned Topic X gets almost twice as much traffic as any other blog post. This told me I needed to write more posts (and even create products) on this subject since it is something my audience is interested in. And in realizing that Topic Y was my least performing page, I can now gear my blogging and business plan to not include this topic in the future since my audience is not interested in it.
What advice would you give to a fellow blogger or entrepreneur who is thinking about getting started with Google Analytics?
The most valuable thing to come from taking this course isn’t just knowing where to find and how to interpret website statistics, but learning how to use this information to build a stronger and more successful business.
If you’re considering using Google Analytics, work with someone who already knows how. There are so many pieces to GA, it can easily be overwhelming and confusing. Once you’ve learned how to use GA and how to find the most valuable information for your business, use that information to create posts, products, social media content, graphics, etc. that are in line with your niche and ideal audience. If you plan on turning your blog or website into a business, you need a market. Developing random content and hoping someone out there reads/listens to/watches/or buys it, won’t get you far. You need a specific and clear marketing plan, and that’s what GA can give you.
Also, don’t become obsessed over your GA statistics! It’s easy to start checking GA 2-3 times a day, but stick to once a week or even just once a month. Gather your website’s statistics, interpret them, and create a plan based on those numbers at the beginning of each month. In this way, Google Analytics will work as a tool and not just another site where you obsess over numbers.
What we can learn from Emily’s Google Analytics journey:
1. Google Analytics is accessible to everyone! When I started thinking about creating the Conquer Google Analytics! course, it was because I had seen a need in the blogging and small business community. Google likes to aim their tutorials at ‘big’ business – you know, the ones who have their own IT department! (They actually make references to asking your IT department for XYZ numerous times!) Clearly most of us do NOT have our own IT assistant, much less an entire department! That shouldn’t be a barrier to Google Analytics, though – Emily did it with a course and some instructor support!
2. Google Analytics can change your business! You probably didn’t realize before this (and you may still not realize!) just how much Google Analytics can do. If you want to find out more about everything Google Analytics can do, check out the Curriculum listing here. This is a good listing of what you can find in Google Analytics. There’s always more (and I’m considering doing an advanced Google Analytics/Tag Manager course later, so I can cover it all!), especially since Google just keeps adding more amazing goodies, but it’s plenty to get you started and growing!
3. Getting started sooner is better than later, because once you have a basic framework, it’s easier to build on it. Because Emily had learned how to use Google Analytics on her original domain, she was able to reduce the time it took to set it up on her new site by more than 75%! She was also able to implement her rebrand ASAP, because of the information she learned. Who knows how much audience and revenue she might have lost out on by targeting the wrong audience with the wrong content? Google Analytics is your friend!
Emily is a student of Conquer Google Analytics!, which helps bloggers and entrepreneurs learn how to harness the power of Google Analytics to build their blog or business and grow their audience. With self-paced lessons and an optional support community (community enrollment only opens a few times a year, you can get on the waiting list right now!