AskPat 472 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 472 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.
We have a great question today from Keil, but before we get to Keil's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it super-easy for all of us to manage our business finances. That's 3 million small businesses they serve, including my own. They make it so easy to organize your income, your expenses, and also, any invoicing you do. They make it super-easy, and professional, so that you can get paid sooner, and then focus on what you need to focus on to grow your business. They also have an award-winning mobile app, so you can check the financial health of your business on the go, too. I highly recommend you check it out. You can actually experiment with it for 30 days for free. You can get a 30-day free trial by going to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
All right, here's today's question from Keil.
Keil: Hey, Pat, this is Keil Cronauer, from crostrength.com. CRO-strength-dot-com. I had a question about analytics, and analysis. My question is, do you feel like there's too many variables when you're trying to compare week to week with blog posts, and YouTube videos, as far as the variabilities with titles, posting times? Same thing with emails. How do you differentiate between what's actually working? What key factors do you look at when you're trying to analyze between week to week of what your consumers are most attracted to? Thank you for everything you do. I enjoy listening to you. Talk to you soon. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Keil, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. Analytics are interesting, because they're obviously very important. They help you understand whether something is working or not. They can show different trends, and things like that, but they can also be a headache. You can also overanalyze things. You can just be overwhelmed by everything that's going on. I love your question: are there too many variables that are happening between things that are happening week to week? Yes, I would say yes. There are so many different things that can happen. It could just be the weather, even. You have to be careful with what you compare. It's hard to compare week one versus week two, because there are a lot of things that could happen. It could depend on where people are coming from, and how they found you, or what happened that day, or what's happening in the news. There could be these amazing butterfly effects that happen that will contribute to one thing, or another, one week. If you switch strategies because of something that happens that is just a happenstance, or a one-time thing, then you might be actually sabotaging yourself, because you don't know for sure if that's something that happens always.
The big point here is that if you compare week to week … There are some things that you can compare, week to week. For example, if you were to do social media strategies, you can compare, because you typically post, for example, a lot of times, on Twitter. You can see what works better, what headlines work better, what tweets work out better, if images are more responsive than links, which are more responsive than videos. You can test that out, and that's something you can compare, week over week. However, if you were to compare, for example, the blog traffic, or the YouTube views this week versus another week, then you're gonna have a little bit of a miscommunication in terms of what's going on there, because you're not exactly sure.
The solution for that is you're going to need to make it a little bit longer, in terms of what you're comparing. Month over month for that type of thing is going to help you out even more. There are some exceptions to that, of course. If you do two things exactly the same, you can come out with some conclusions based off of that. If you do one thing the same one week, and the same exact thing the next week, and they're completely different, you can begin to analyze it. It'll at least begin that conversation, which I think is important. If you have other people working with you, too, this could be where multiple heads can come together to figure out why things happened the way they did. Of course, it's always good to see if there are any anomalies.
If you were looking at longer-term trends, which is what you were supposed to do, are you on an upward trend? Are you plateauing? Are you going downwards? Are you relatively going up, and then all of a sudden had a spike. What caused that spike? That's how you can use analytics to your benefit. Again, you don't want to get too bogged down into it. I was at the point, one time, where I was viewing my statistics 20 to 30 times a day. I know some of you can relate to that. Some of you're like, “Oh, my gosh, that's crazy.” It becomes addictive. It absolutely becomes addictive, but I think you should absolutely schedule time in every week, if not every month, probably even better, just to see what's going on. I think every week, scheduling, literally scheduling time to check your stats … Doing it every week just to make sure everything's going okay. If there are any spikes, you can adjust them. If there seems to be a flood of traffic coming from somewhere, you can go in and see what's going on. If there are anything that's out of the ordinary, you can work on things. Of course, a lot of us are going to check every day, so that won't be a problem. Scheduling one time during the month to go in and really analyze what worked this month? What is something that we could try to do again, this month, to see if we can get even better results? What's something that worked well last month that we can do again, and incorporate, and optimize?
That's how I'd go about it. Looking at trends in a longer period of time is really what's gonna help you moving forward. Probably the best advice I could give you, Keil, is when you try things out over time that you're going to see what works or not, the analytics just tell one side of the story, because traffic is different from how people actually feel about your stuff. What I would actually recommend is, every once in a while, try to reach out to your audience members. Actually have real, live conversations with them on Skype, on the phone, in person, even through Twitter is any easy way. Just have real conversations with people who are following your stuff to get an idea of what they like, and dislike, and what you could do to do better, to improve, and what you can continue to do, or optimize. When you hear it from your audience's voice, or mouths, it sticks, and it means so much more, and you get to hear it in their own language, too, so you can then address it, and move forward, and pivot in a way that you need to.
Keil, I hope that answers your question, and again, the analytics are important. Make sure you look at longer trends, and see what's working, and what's not, and if there are any anomalies, why, so you can do more of what is good, and less of what is bad. Also, make sure you have conversations with your audience, too, just to get a feel, and listen to how they feel about what you do.
Thank you, Keil. We appreciate your question, and I'm going to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, like we always do. 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 me right there on the page. Just hit the record button, ask your question, and I will do my best to answer as many as I can, as I always say, five days a week, here on AskPat. Thank you so much. Again, that's AskPat.com.
I also want to thank FreshBooks.com for making it really easy for all of us to manage our business finances. We're coming up to the end of the year here. I know it's almost Thanksgiving now, by the time this episode comes out, which means it's almost the end of the year. We're almost into 2016 now, and of course, taxes are a thing we all have to do, at least from the U.S., and at least if you're doing things the way you're supposed to. It becomes a headache sometimes for some people, but if you have your finances organized, it becomes much easier. You can just print out the forms you need, and check the numbers on FreshBooks. It does it for you. You got to check it out. Go to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat,” and it'll get you a 30-day free trial. Awesome. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
To finish off, we're gonna end with a quote from Robert L. Schwartz. He said, “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer, and actualizer. He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it, he sees exactly how to make it happen.” Actually, I kind of disagree with that. You don't necessarily know how to make it happen, but you are an action-taker who will do whatever it takes to make it happen, or figure out what the best way to do it is. Sorry, Robert. I have to disagree with you on that. You don't exactly know how it's going to happen until you actually start taking action, and that's where the actualizer part comes in to play, which wasn't mentioned in that quote, interestingly enough, until … Except in the beginning. Anyway, overanalyzing it. See, just like statistics, sometimes, you can overanalyze things, but we just got to keep moving forward. I hope you keep moving forward, too. I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers. Thanks so much, and if you're in a car, drive safely. If you're at the gym, push a little bit harder for me. Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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