AskPat 543 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 543 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
Alright, here's today's question from Yazmin.
Yazmin: Hi, Pat. My name is Yazmin and I have a blog called The Family Brick at thefamilybrick.com. I recently added a service to the website that's supposed to bring me more traffic. However, I've been looking at my Google analytics and have noticed that my traffic is actually dropping, starting with the dates I started using this service. So my question is this: How long do you guys test out a new service or a new feature for your website before you bail on it? This has only been a week for me, but I don't want to risk losing more traffic. However, I don't know if a week is enough for anyone to decide, okay, this feature's obviously, definitely not for their readership. So I'm curious to hear what you have to say about that. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey Yazmin, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today. I'm sorry you are going through this, but this is very common. You try something new, which is great, and sometimes it doesn't give you the results you expected or gives you a result that is different than what you had thought it was gonna do, or there's some sort of byproduct that doesn't work in your favor. And it's cool of you to notice that. A lot of people add these new tools and resources on their website without even really keeping track of anything, and a lot of times it doesn't work out in their favor, but they don't even know. So, Yazmin, I'm very encouraged that you are going through these growing pains, I guess you could say, and that you're asking this question, because I think it's really important. So hopefully this can help everybody else out there.
So, if you get access to a tool that you install on your site and you notice that your traffic is dropping, for example, the first thing you want to do is try and figure out why. There's a number of things that go into where traffic comes from, of course. So I would go into your Google Analytics and see if there's any one particular place where traffic isn't coming in from where it used to come in from. Or, for example, you might want to check the keywords or the organic traffic to see if that's actually being affected, in which case it would mean that the tool's actually affecting your SEO.
So there's something going on on the back end in terms of the metadata or something that is affecting that. Although, I would assume that that's not the case because what I'm assuming . . . And again, I don't know anything about this tool. I wish you would share the product, although I understand why you didn't. But for example, if it's one that affects the user experience, for example, maybe it asks for pop-ups, for example, so you can increase your email list. Maybe that's stopping people from seeing the part in the blog posts where they can share it, and that's affecting your traffic. And then, if that were the case, then you'd have to make a decision. What's more important, the emails or the traffic that's coming in? And is there another way you can get emails that is less, sort of, blocking the other actions you want people to take? So, again, you've got to get to the core of what's happening here. Yes, the traffic is dying because of this tool or this resource, but why? So that's the first thing.
Now, you had mentioned something important: How do you know if this is actually the thing that's affecting? And I think that that's actually a great point. So even before you make these decisions, you might want to just make sure that it is the thing that's making things happen the way they are. A week is actually a great time. That's how much time I use to assess the success or failure rate of a particular product or tool that I'm experimenting with. A week is good. Of course, if it's something like Christmas week, then you don't want to use that data because that's Christmas week. But if it's in the middle of January or February, for example, then that might be a good time to test. Test out a week. Turn it on, test out a week like you've done, and then turn it off and see if something else changes back to where it was.
This is similar to when I redesigned my website a few years back. We had attempted to consolidate things, and we actually put the podcasts on the resource page. And as a result of that, the podcasts numbers went down by half, which was really, actually, pretty eye-opening for me 'cause it made me realize a lot of people were finding the podcast through that navigation menu item and that a lot of people were listening to the podcast directly on the website. So, when I figure that out, I want it to be like, “Whoa. Let's just make sure that this is actually the case.” So we put the navigation menu item back on for the podcast, and when we did that, we noticed the numbers went back up. So that was clearly the reason why.
So, again, you just want to make sure that the reason's clear for the drop in traffic, and then also get to the root reason why. That way, you can understand your traffic better, and if there are any other tools that were to do similar in the future, you would know what the end result might be. But again, testing for a week and then turning it off again just to see if the results are gonna go back to where they were is a smart thing to do. Now, if you see that the results are the same, meaning they're still down even if you turn that tool back off, well, then it's something else. And then, again, you're gonna have to dig into why, and that's where Google analytics or whatever analytical tool you use is really important. You might also want to check your incoming sources, so not just your organic traffic but, you know, you can find where people are coming from and compare those to previous months, too. So, using Google Analytics, you can see where people are coming from in terms of other websites. Maybe there was a website that was feeding you a lot of traffic and that website isn't any longer feeding you that much traffic, and you can figure out why. A lot of times, something happened on their site, and you can go in and hunt that down. Sometimes it's the link went bad, or that page isn't featured on the home page anymore like it used to be, or there's a broken link somewhere and you can go in and get it fixed.
Again, getting to the root of the problem is really what's gonna help you here, Yazmin, so that's what I would recommend you do. So, hopefully that answers your question. Again, I appreciate you calling in and leaving your question over at AskPat.com. For those of you who have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Alright. Thanks so much, and here's a quote for the day like I always share. This one is from Andrew Rooney. He says, “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”
And I know we're all climbing our own mountains, so keep going. Thanks so much, take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Bye.