Using measurement to test on low-traffic sites featuring Chris Mercer

AI-Generated Summary

Join us for a deep dive into conversion rate optimization on low-traffic sites with these actionable insights Chris Mercer Measure before optimizing: Understand the current user journey and behaviors to identify areas for improvement. Test sequentially: Iterate faster on low-traffic websites by testing changes sequentially instead of using AB tests. Focus on the right metrics: Prioritize actions that drive meaningful outcomes, such as lead generation or revenue. Listen to the market: Gather user feedback to inform your optimization strategy and meet their needs. Automate measurement: Leverage Google Analytics 4 to collect and analyze data effectively to guide decision-making.


AI-Generated Transcript

(8) Using measurement to test on low-traffic sites featuring Chris Mercer – YouTube


(00:00) so we see that we go ah we move the needle and I can then start if that if that holds for a few days of consistent traffic I have a I have a tiny Trend admittedly that’s not something I’m going to put all my chips on and say this this trend will be there forever and that’s what gets people caught up

(00:13) with a with a statistical significance part because yes you want that but you still need to be able to take action especially if you’re running with marketers it’s Richie here from the experimentation podcast so they have got uh Chris Mercer on the line from measurement marketing toio uh we’re going to be talking about um pure AB

(00:35) testing uh versus um just taking a iterative measurement approach we’re going to be talking about all things ga4 and more so stay tuned hey guys it’s Richard here from the experiment Nation Podcast I’ve been uh away for a little while but I’m back and uh today’s guest is Chris merer Mercer uh from measurement marketing. uh

(01:01) it’s good to be here uh see you Chris um they want to chat for you for a while um and I know we’re like liasing on um email back and forth about setting up Podcast times and then I went kind of Silent for a while then I went back and then I went silent then here here I am so um we made it that’s the important

(01:21) part glad to be here I wasn’t streaming you along it’s a real podcast um so so yeah it’s good to really have you um I I I’m definitely big fan of you uh you you know like your course um on G and the cxl optimizer um course was really in depth and that’s how I um got into knowing you and uh I think you put out

(01:46) really good content um lot of awesome content up there and uh I think you know people who are um still like a bit colless with G4 might you know find that useful um so look um I’ve had a look at your bio um on LinkedIn and um how about we just sort of go through like you know what you studied and um you know your first

(02:06) couple of jobs and how you got into um web analytics and all that kind of be careful what you ask for man the rest of the podcast is going to be about the origin story of Mercer don’t wor we W go we won’t go into the meaning of life and uh your existential crisis to entrepreneurship and yeah yeah yeah exactly I mean like

(02:25) like everybody else I never went to school to study what we’re doing now right that’s the sort of how it happens all that sort of is it becomes irrelevant but um I I moved into you know my first job believe it or not was was radio you know because I have a voice for radio um so told or so I was told a whole bunch times so I actually

(02:45) went to radio station to get it you know just sort of figure out how do you get a job and and they ended up giving me one just because I did that which was kind of cool the reason it’s relevant to where I am now is because I very quickly realized in radio the DJ are the ones that don’t really get paid a whole lot I

(03:00) mean there’s always the top but they they don’t make a lot of money so uh but the salespeople do so I I into sales and because I was in sales and I could produce my own commercials because I had that talent I learned copywriting I learned how to write ads so I could sell the ads produce the ads change the ads

(03:18) so that got me into marketing and sales so that was my sort of initial foray into this world um fast forward a couple decades later through various you know twists and turns was really mostly focused in Sales Management as a role uh and was very good at that very systems oriented managing the pipeline could

(03:34) help sales people improve their systems by doing that and I’ve always been very system oriented that way when I came into the digital space uh which was we were we were training people we you know this is you know we’re deciding hey we’re going to create our own little digital business back in the day right

(03:48) this is 20 2010 2011 somewhere around there um when we did that the first thing we created was a site that basically trained people how to do WordPress videos and so that was great but what would happen is people would say well hey this WordPress thing is a lot of work how much for you just make the WordPress site like in fact I went a

(04:05) WordPress site like you how how much for you to just do that so we realized again listening to the market we got to optimize and say well they don’t want the videos that’s a lot of work so we’re going to create an agency so we started doing Outsourcing and learning all that fun stuff as we were building that I

(04:18) wanted the marketer in me was like well we have to differentiate because we can’t be like everybody else in Fiverr that does WordPress sites because that that’s commodity now like that that’s exactly right and we knew it was going to be so we said well let’s let’s deliver the WordPress site but then we

(04:32) will then optimize the WordPress site because even back then cro was kind of coming in from Europe and and overseas into the US my personal theory is because we ran out of traffic last right we had plenty we had 300 million people to get through everybody else had an audience of two million so they they had

(04:48) to learn optimization faster than the US did you know it’s kind of what happened so we’re learning cro as everybody else is so we started delivering sites for that well of course in order to optimize you must measure so what we would do is we would set up Google analytics now this is the trick is is what I didn’t

(05:02) realize back in the day was I didn’t set it up as a marketer I set it up like a sales manager would because that’s all I knew yeah but that made the tool more useful and so pretty quickly what started happening was people were saying listen I I don’t need a WordPress site I don’t I I don’t need that but I was with

(05:19) such and such and they showed me how you set up their measurement like how do we do that and that’s when right away because the the pivot when we started releasing that as a product people it the referrals all changed it was like almost overnight and again it’s listening to the market you optimize again we said listen this is the pivot

(05:34) we’re going to teach measurement because nobody’s doing that well no one uses this tool properly as far as our concern was and so we started doing that and that’s where measurement marketing. was born this is Romo Santiago from experiment Nation every week we share interviews with and Conference sessions

(05:48) by our favorite conversion rate optimizers from around the world so if you like this video smash that like button and consider subscribing it helped us a bunch teaching that that’s an awesome store I think I think the lesson here for our audiences um particularly those who are quite entrepreneurial is you know you might

(06:03) have your your MVP or or whatever of your product or service and you you take it out there to the market and then the Market’s like hey can you do this for me and you’re like well we don’t exactly do that but if you’re giving us money we might and then say you you you you start noticing the pattern of people

(06:23) wanting your product in a different way or or product or service in a different way or asking for something totally different um or an inary product or service then um I think that the key lesson here is like being actually listening to the market um that’s exactly right and and adapting to it the market will guide you that’s exactly

(06:43) right yeah yeah and and the same honestly is true with C you know the the challenge you know it’s interesting because because the reason we heard that was because we were kind of in a conversation with our Market if you think about it right like through emails or people calling us or whatever there a

(06:57) conversation and and it really that’s just listening and responding we were listening to them and we were responding differently to make sure that we were keeping the conversation going in the right direction which was to grow a company in in cro I think the Miss as it comes to measurement is they don’t

(07:13) realize all the different things they can measure for they can actually optimize for in other words they’re not really listening in to the user side of the conversation and there is a conversation that’s happening between the user and the website and in fact most of us when we when we’re on the website we probably hear the inner voice

(07:29) inside our head as we’re reading the copy right there’s a literal conversation happening the challenge is how do you listen in to their side of the conversation and that’s what measurement does well now some people can only listen into when the page views happen right so yeah Lander loads the offer you know the cart loads and the

(07:47) thank you page loads that’s okay but that’s like listening to a conversation when you’re 100 feet away you’re going to be able to make out some of the words but you’re going to have to do a lot of guessing as to where that conversation is going but if you can measure okay did the page load did it stay did they stay

(08:00) there 10 seconds did they scroll down and investigate that copy did they look at the offer for at least 5 seconds before clicking on the button to then initiate the cart load and all these other behaviors did they click in the fields right did they did they have any errors right all of this stuff that you

(08:15) can actually measure for when you’re measuring to that level of the tail it’s like being right next to them and having that conversation so now we’re not shouting at each other anymore you’re right there and you’re like oh I can see there’s like for example two different s you might have is it is it people that

(08:29) are sending paid traffic to an offer right or product detail page e-commerce whatever if you’re sending paid traffic and it doesn’t move forward to the next step what do we optimize for that’s GNA be the question that the C is g to ask right experimentation what are we GNA you know try to adjust and the answer is

(08:44) like I don’t know let’s just guess we’ll do heat Maps we’ll do scroll B blah blah blah blah I get all that and that’s an important conversation to have but if I said to you listen there there’s half this ad sends a bunch of people to this page and within 10 seconds they are gone right and if I said well this other AD

(09:02) sends those people to the page they scroll down they actually look at the pricing table for five seconds but they don’t click on the ad they don’t they don’t they don’t click to move forward right to the card two completely different problems now that you can see because measurement tells you what’s

(09:15) going on one is there’s an above the fold mismatch on the expectation that’s being set by the ad in the page that’s where the optimization has it’s above the fold period no other no other it’s not price point didn’t even know there is something for sale the other one is okay they’re they’re interacting with that page that Page’s

(09:32) job is to deliver value build value so that somebody’s naturally wanting to continue the journey and I ideally switch you know switch transaction go into a transaction and exchange a credit card right yeah but if they’re looking at that value and they’re not clicking on it they’re basically telling you

(09:47) listen I get it I see what you say I just don’t think it’s worth it and then you go back to the copy team and say okay well we’ve got to change what what can we do on bullet points that are more benefit driven how do we ramp up the emotion we can pitch it a different way you know use more of that fear of

(10:00) missing out versus the fear you know the the the desire for gain you know because that’s a stronger emotional indicator and you can have really nuanced conversations and this is why I love measurement because it’s not my opinion it’s the market right the Market’s telling us what’s going on they’re leaving all these behaviors on the

(10:15) website we’re just been ignoring them if you don’t measure for them so when you measure for them you see them and when you see them it’s so obvious as far as where you should dedicate your resources not that there’s any guarantees but if you can say well Hey listen if you just focused on building value in a slightly

(10:31) different way or changing the conversation of how you’re trying to build value you’re more than likely going to get more of a click to carve and then you go okay cool let’s try that out and then you can you can start sequentially testing because a lot of experimentation they try to do split testing they can’t they don’t have the

(10:44) traffic for it so you can sequentially test still with measurement leading the way and getting results just uh just just for newbies uh or people are new to C whatever uh sequential testing can you define that yes just instead of ab tests which is what kind of gets the headlines with C it’s running two different tests

(11:02) at the same time you get one page or other page sequential testing would be like a version one and then you test that for a few days and then you flip it out so everybody then sees the next one so it’s testing one page right after another design then test another design so you’re not testing them at the same

(11:16) time with the with a uh in the same time frame but you can sequentially test them as you go that’s the idea yeah what what what um so with the example of like you make um say make a a a change or a few sort of changes on a page that you you know it’s got a high balce rate or low scroll debt for whatever and you’ve you

(11:37) know You’ made some changes instead of doing the AP test in the situation of a low traffic website um so you made a change on day one would you say do measurements afterwards uh 30 days post not even man within within a few days within within a few days so you don’t go further out you don’t you don’t need to

(11:57) yeah yeah that’s kind of the beauty of it especially when you get really good at measurement CU we did C for a long time that was kind of one of our initial things right was running the agency um and and we saw the same thing that I think a lot of agencies can sometimes see in where something says oh it’s

(12:11) gonna be a thumbs up this gonna be a great thing to do and you push it live and it just the results aren’t there when it’s live after six months right things like that happen with measurement though you kind of it’s almost like you you can you can see the marketing at work you can see how the website’s

(12:27) suppos to work because you’re measuring for all the different behaviors that it’s supposed to elicit right uh an offer page for or let’s say a product detail page on e-commerce store use a different business model you’ve got a product detail page it’s designed to get you to pay attention and stay there for

(12:41) a few seconds first number one that’s what it has to do second it then has to get you to engage with the details of that product that’s good how do we know that well because they’re clicking on product photos or they watch the product demo or they scroll down and learn about the details then it’s supposed to say

(12:55) hey here’s it’s supposed to mitigate risk right minimize risk and say these are other people that have also bought this that already tell you it’s awesome right using social proof how do I know if it did that job why can measure to see how much time they’re spending with the testimonials review section of that

(13:10) and then it’s supposed to say well now that you’ve decided we’ve mitigated risk minimize that you decide it’s probably worth it let me help you get to set things up properly so the cart can then check you out and that’s where you how do we know if it’s doing that job well because you’re playing with the size

(13:24) button or the colors of variations right before you click begin check out or add to cart so we can measure for all of those behaviors that’s how that page is supposed to work and what mostly happens is people go well the page loaded and then then they see the checkout and they miss all these different behaviors that

(13:39) are just they cannot even see because they don’t they don’t take the time to set up the measurement but if you take the time to set up the measurement and you were comparing four different product pages together and you could see all those different behaviors you can pretty clearly start tying different

(13:54) behaviors to to uh future behaviors right like you might notice that there’s one product detail one product page it just doesn’t really convert all that well but this other one does when you analyze the behaviors you might see well hey this other one it’s because they’re clicking on the images and you go well

(14:07) this one has images too and you’re like yeah but they’re not highres they’re kind of fuzzy that’s the problem they they might be clicking on the images but they’re the wrong quality images so both are doing that but but now C can say okay well here’s the fix and it stops becoming a Let’s cross our fingers and

(14:20) hope this is going to work where it becomes probabilities are this is going to move the needle no guarantees but here’s what we here’s what we think in why and you’re essentially getting the direction from the market which is the only one who knows how to sell them anyway right and they and they will

(14:36) absolutely tell us that if we’ll listen and I think that’s that’s the big Miss is people aren’t using measurement to do that including free tools you don’t need fancy tools you could use Google analytics 4 to do it um as you go through and you know maybe tag manager for some of those more advanced behaviors but that’s really it the tech

(14:50) stack is is free technically to set that up would you say and I just want to sort of um I’m thinking myself like you know from from an AB testing perspective yeah you need a ton of traffic to get stat Sig and all that kind of stuff it’s you know you could call it the gold standard but would you say that with the sequential

(15:10) testing that you would still need some a minimal amount of traffic to be able to come to a conclusion especially it is if you’re only few days you know what I mean if you had 10 people come to the website for yep you know what I mean I don’t think that’s going to be I just want to play de was Advocate no you need to because I

(15:33) came from the world of where P values and statistical significance and everything else I get it confence all the listeners be like you know we we need step Sig we need a have you know 100,000 uni to the website and blah blah like you know still W to be yeah I I I 100% agree and also consider there is

(15:50) another way right yes that is also useful but that’s not the only way CU I can look at a at a at a even a low trffic site right let’s say you have a uh let’s just use optin rate Leen right as another business model so we’ve got a Leen issue I say I think this opt and offer whatever it is is supposed to

(16:10) convert between let’s say 30 and 40% to cold traffic that’s what it does right I know that I can predict that so that next week I can say if we send a thousand hits from Facebook right we have a thousand people coming in from Facebook let’s say they cost me a thousand bucks a dollar per click I get a thousand people come from Facebook I

(16:27) should end up with 300 to 400 in the CRM right so now I’m predicting and I’m forecasting here’s how this should work so then we go and we use it we of course we’re measuring for everything so we measure it it says oh it’s it’s uh 10% right now this goes back to strategy especially in measurement in a in a

(16:44) proper measurement plan actions are already predetermined which is a huge Miss people people don’t do this but you you should um actions aren’t preep pre predetermined then they should be so for example when I say well it’ll be 30 to 40% my team will come back and say listen what are you going to do if it’s

(17:02) less than 30 what are you going to do if it’s much higher than 40 because both are equally bad right less means okay maybe I got to change the offer or change the targeting of the ad and if it’s substantially higher it might be because I’m I’m targeting too hot of an audience I need to expand out the

(17:15) audience so I net net higher leads even though my conversion rate will go back into range as it should be right um especially if it’s coming in at 70 80% it’s too high so I I can tell by the Numbers what actions I’m going to take so if I see something it comes in at 10% right away I’m like if if I verify the

(17:30) obvious issues like okay it’s the right targeted audience blah blah blah it’s not the audience it’s the it’s the offer period it’s the offer there’s no there’s no amount of let’s just change the field order or let’s move it from left to right or let’s change none of that matters it is the wrong offer you got to

(17:46) repitch can be the same product but you got to repitch the offer in a different way so we would look at that we say okay we’re going to repitch it we’re going to run it for a few more days and then if we see it goes from 10 it won’t go 10 12 15 16 20 25 it’ll go 10 25 that’s what’ll happen that’s I’ve done this for

(18:04) years that’s what happens why because it’s different offers you’re G to get a different result so we see that we go ah we move the needle and I can then start if that if that holds for a few days of consistent traffic I have a I have a tiny Trend admittedly that’s not something I’m going to put all my chips

(18:20) on and say this this trend will be there forever and that’s what gets people caught up with the with the statistical significance part because yes you want that but you still need to be able to take action especially if you’re running with marketers because marketers are aggressive they want to make changes all

(18:34) the time to try to improve the the results right and sometimes if we’re as data side we tend to pull back a little bit on that because we’re like oh we don’t really know but when you properly set up measurement you you kind of will know and you have a whole other level of confidence that comes in where you’re

(18:49) like okay it’s been a few days there’s no apparent reason why this should happen and I get the whole Monday traffic is different than Saturday traffic is different than I’m thinking of variability and you know but a lot of this stuff is it yes there can be those those exceptions to the rule but generally speaking

(19:05) they’re not impacted and so with a few days you can go like oh okay I’m at 25% I can then predict and say you know what if we just keep things like they are next week we should be at 25% 25 to 35 or whatever it is right whatever the range is there’s always a range but but you can predict that and this is the

(19:20) beauty and I think a very big difference in in the traditional data analyst role uh versus kind of that measurement marketer role which we try to create the the data analyst and I think data in general is a lot of forensic data where you’re always everyone’s arguing over what happened last Wednesday yeah and

(19:37) and I don’t see the point in that at all I don’t care how clearly matter we going to back at the results yeah yeah but it doesn’t matter either because it’s in the past the most important thing is not how you reinterpret the past it’s how you change the future so what we’re doing is we’re saying okay next week I need to have

(19:56) let’s say 300 leads and I know that my op my opin should convert at 30 35% so I already know how much ad traffic I I need to send how much spend I’m going to put and and marketing actions are there and I know how the thing is supposed to work then I measure to make sure that the Machinery is working the way it

(20:13) should and if I if it’s not if it’s not working I will know why because I measure literally we call this thing the eyes in the journey this report we build but on the offer page for example let’s say we don’t have enough people going from offer to cart right yeah on the offer page we measure when the page

(20:27) loads we measure are they there 10 seconds later we call that introduced like they’re now introduced to the page we say interested let’s say it’s long form copy it might be 50% of the way down plus 45 seconds still on the page so now we’re measuring from multiple behaviors grouping those um to now say

(20:42) okay they’re showing interest so the page got them interested did they investigate the offer and again that might be viewing the pricing table and the viewable browser window for 5 seconds and then did they initiate the final I did they initiate to go to The Next Step so now we’re measuring all these different eyes introduced

(21:01) interested investigated and initiate so that if if traffic’s going to that page and it’s not getting them to the next step we sort of have this x-ray version of the report that says oh well let’s do a deep dive X-ray and see oh here’s what’s happening they’re interested but they’re not investigating which means we

(21:17) have a a top of copy lead problem now if that’s a a vsl s a video sales letter or a video demo or something like that instead you can do the same thing just measure for the video interaction right if it’s a podcast audio episode you can measure for that and you can see okay where did where did they drip off

(21:32) or drop off right so the whole idea is how is this supposed to work what behaviors is it supposed to initiate or get uh done and measure for those and then pretty quickly you you just know what to do next because it’s like a GPS system right like the measurement is like a like a like a GPS for marketers

(21:49) is kind of how I look at it because it’ll tell you like this piece isn’t working right Focus somewhere in here right either the step before the step after but or the behavior before Behavior after but in there is where it where it needs to work and and adjust and when you do that you can send some more traffic through it you will see an

(22:08) immediate up or down right or I mean technically all three right it’ll be it’ll go up it’ll go down or it’ll stay the same but you’ll see it and pretty quickly within a few days you can say okay well that didn’t work let’s try a different tactic so we have found that we can sequentially test faster especially low traffic because we’re a

(22:23) nichy site so we’re not we’re never going to be able to AP split test and certainly multivariant out the window we never have traffic for it forget about that exactly so no multiarm Bandits for us but sequentially testing we can iterate much much faster than others can and all we’re doing is going to the

(22:39) market saying hey did you like that do you want us to do more of that or less they say less okay cool we’ll do less how about this they go yeah more of that please cool we’ll do more of this and we’re always having that conversation with our market so that the the marketing team doesn’t have to guess

(22:51) they just they kind of just know what actions to take because measurement guides them there they you’re speaking from experience on your own site right measurement marketing client sites we just measurement in general over the last decade we’ve seen this so it sounds like it sounds like um you know from a

(23:07) because you know you got the argument of purist versus pragmatic sort of approach testing it sounds like you’ve got a very pragmatic approach to testing and it’s very it’s not coming from a um purely academic scientific perspective where you know the kind of ab traditional AB test came from you know

(23:25) RCT trial and that sort of stuff came from academic exact you’re coming from like a like an entrepreneur marketer we need to make money I’m driving a of traffic it’s not just the money it’s it’s the result it’s result focused right because there’s been a lot of cro that has that has really hurt companies

(23:41) right look at Herz Herz was a great example years ago where they hired this agency to redo their site and they did it they didn’t split test anything right I don’t think they did any research and they ended up suing the company and you know oh I remember that case remember that it was like a few years a number of

(23:56) years back um so big companies can make big mistakes yeah but but but it’s because there’s like this is how we do it and that that I think is a mistake I never I never think this is how we do it this is the only way I am always open to being wrong I always consider the possibility that I’m wrong the

(24:16) probabilities are I might I might like I always tell my team this like I present like I’m 100% certain I never am I might say I’m 99.9% of my head but I’ve always got this little piece that says hey I could be wrong and the reason I want that is because then I’m open to other ways of doing it yeah and if and I think

(24:30) if crl professionals were doing that a little more they might find there’s other ways they can use measurement to help optimize give the client the results that the client wants just in a slightly different way it doesn’t always have to come from AB testing or whatever their default tools that’s not to say

(24:45) that that’s throw that out because that never works of course that works there’s a time and a place for everything but of all the tools that I have seen having experienced on both sides of it measurement is the tool because it takes a little bit of effort and skill you do have to learn it it isn’t used properly

(25:02) it’s sitting there in front on everybody’s desk but nobody knows what to do with it because nobody knows what it is yet question but if you learn it and you can set it up it will it will it will make your optimization job so much easier and it requires less kind of experimentation in terms of the guessing

(25:18) of things you can say listen there here’s some things we can do for a treatment and you’re going to see a move in a few days and you would like it’s it’s pretty impressive and then again is does the trend hold that’s where stats comes in I get that there’s there’s a time for it but and you don’t always you

(25:33) don’t have to believe me you don’t have to sequentially test if you don’t want to but at least it tells you an AB test it’ll feed the the variation and say okay well here’s what the control is the variation should enact these behaviors so that maybe only 40% of our people are showing interest and we want 80% to show

(25:47) interest well this signal should optimize for interest because if we’re getting them interested a certain percentage will investigate and a certain percentage of those will initiate and then the user Journey continues way we wanted to go you know so it is it is still math is still there it’s still very important still looking

(26:03) at data side to much I know what you mean it’s exactly right um yeah can I ask you because because um you know you talk about you know talking about that level of granularity when it comes to measurement and obviously we can do that very well with G4 now I think it’s got a lot of built-in measurement tools um

(26:20) maybe tell our audience like I know like Universal is obviously sunset about a year ago I think it was um yeah everyone’s about to lose their data now right as of July 1 the data go um make those backs download it all um what like for those who are still kind of getting used to j4 like you know what let’s just say we’re working on a

(26:44) PDP for a Ecom site and there’s a form and Ard and all that sort of stuff what what stuff would j4 track automatically and what stuff do you have to set up with uh great question so here here’s how the the biggest difference in in Google analytics 4 and its biggest competitive advantage over Universal

(27:03) analytics is the structure of the data right the schema so with ga4 you have an event and a and a just a you know and I don’t like that word necessarily understand why they use it but an event is just a behavior right a page view is a behavior a click a scroll right they’re just behaviors that are happening on the site so you have all

(27:20) these different behaviors and then they have what they call parameters and the parameters is is the detail of that behavior which page were they on when they scrolled which product did they buy when they purchased right that sort of stuff so you have these events and you have the parameters which is just

(27:34) behaviors and the details of those behaviors so already that platform is is a little easier to work with because you can be a little more descriptive in that way then the way we recommend is we call this the ABCs of ga4 G every Behavior can be measured up to three different ways first is the automatic way uh for

(27:51) the most part every Behavior so the um Google analytics for on its own will automatically collect more than Universal ever did things like a page view scroll right by default when they hit the bottom of the page yeah uh form submissions uh outbound link clicks right when they download a certain file

(28:08) that ends in PDF for mp3 or anything like that so those are the automatic behaviors of platform does on its own you don’t have to tell it to do it it’ll just do it then there are those business model behaviors so that’s what the ga4 recommend they Google calls these recommended events but really they’re

(28:22) just business model behaviors so if you’re an e-commerce store for an e-commerce model you have a purchase Behavior you know you wouldn’t but if you’re a lead gen company you won’t have a purchase Behavior you might have a generate lead Behavior maybe your business model you have both right so you have all these different if you’re a

(28:38) gaming company you have a different set of behaviors right so you you have the automatic Behavior you have the business Model Behavior and then this is the piece again that I think because people don’t necessarily understand measurement yet um they might know tracking analytics but that’s very small part of

(28:52) measurement overall as a strategy but the the underutilized of G4 is custom events right automatic events we got our automatic behaviors collected we’ve got our business model behaviors custom behaviors meaning what does the brand call this what does your company call this so for example we have the

(29:09) measurement marketing Academy where we teach all this stuff right yeah so we have when when somebody buys the academy we have ga4 automatically collect that behavior with a page event because it says page view we can see okay it’s the thank you page so we know a page view occurred right there’s also that same

(29:25) exact behavior is is recorded as a business model event in the form of a purchase it says purchase they bought the academy for you know a couple grand for elect access whatever then we record it again using our custom which is a custom event in G4 which means we just made it up but it’s we’re teaching

(29:42) Google analytics 4 to speak our language as a company and so what we call it we call we call it complete the academy Journey right so it might say Academy uncore complete yeah meaning they were on the academy journey and they just completed it so now I’ve collected that data that exact Behavior three different ways so I

(30:00) can ask questions from like a web of Direction it makes it so much easier to get answers versus recording it just the one way and then hoping I can figure out how to get to an answer for it I record it multiple ways and that’s the beauty of ga4 is you can do this so you have this web of data that you can get to

(30:16) however you need to and of course now the big trend is putting everything in big query where it’s all in your database right which is also going to make it easier for AI to make connections with the stuff later you know so so that’s the beauty of ga4 that I think people they they I know it’s got a bad name I get it Google did not do

(30:32) the best roll out they should have you know they they’ve had some issues I get it I know however we saw this in tag manager back in the day when tag manager first released you know very few people might remember this but back in the days of version one they were like oh okay we have these things called

(30:51) uh rules and macros right you have tags rules and macros and it was like what is this yeah you know and all it was was a macro was a variable and a rule was a trigger and then they switched it they started calling it that because everybody else started going okay forget the word macro that’s an engineering

(31:07) term right and it makes sense for engineers that’s what Google’s building their products for themselves initially so that’s what they did but then a marketer came in and said listen that’s not what the rest of the world calls this let’s rename it and it got more and more useful they started adding D

(31:18) functionality to it and they dramatically have improved that product over time the exact same thing is going to happen with ga4 they’re going to dramatically improve that that product over time and everybody that leaves is going to come back again I think I also think the same thing happened with universal and with platforms like

(31:33) kissmetrics back in the day right everybody go to ketric yeah they they are but they’re a shadow of their former self because their big their big thing was we measure users and Google analytics didn’t back in the classic days but when Universal came out and said okay now we also do users the kissmetrics crowd had to come

(31:51) back to GA because it was just a better place to get the job done right and it’s free pay for it so the same thing I think is going to happen with G4 don’t get me wrong I think there’s content privacy uh privacy data things around too where certain countries are going to be restricted so they’re probably never

(32:07) going to get back to their formal glory and they left a huge opening for the market so a million other people have come into their play and they’re really good tools like every you know pwi and moo and Adobe they all have great platforms so there’s there’s no wrong place to go yeah um but I do I I can

(32:22) definitely see ga4 anybody that’s kind of like I’m not using ga4 I’m using you know just Facebook ads manager instead it’s like yeah you probably want to use G4 like it it is a pretty good tool and it’s getting better and better over time and it will yeah you know that that’ll continue to happen but that that whole

(32:37) ABC model of measure measure the behavior automatic measure it the business model way whatever the business model is you’re setting up for and measure it the custom way whatever the brand calls things because that makes it easier for the rest of the team who is not in the data side to understand the

(32:51) tool because it literally says oh Journey complete here’s journey two complete here’s Journey three PR complete whatever you call those right oh I just sold a product oh they just became this member oh they just upgraded you can make up these things that’s the beauty of it it’s completely customizable so that means you can teach

(33:06) it to speak your language so it’s easier for everybody on the team to understand not just the data side interesting I must admit when I first started using G4 and I was I I could see the value in every user Behavior being an event and and and being measured but at the same time I think um having to set everything up like I think having

(33:30) that little granularity gave me a lot of freedom but at the same time I had to sort of navigate around with what I want like wanted and I think you be got to be clear on what you specifically want to measure right that’s exactly right it you come in I want to measure that specific click of that says open now on

(33:50) this specific page and I’m going to set this up um you know what I mean whereas to some extent yeah like there are there are tools so so kind of two things to tackle one is for sure you don’t want to measure you know grab data for data’s sake I think that’s ridiculous I think data is going to get people in trouble

(34:07) it’s going to be a liability right in the in the not so distant future so only have the data that you need to be able to do the job you need to do to take the actions you want to take right with G4 though especially with with tools like tag manager you can tell tag manager I want you to track every time somebody

(34:22) clicks on a site I want to know where they’re going what page they were on when they clicked and where they were going when they were where the click was going so it can you can set up one tag one trigger that sends all that data so that you have those events back there so when you need them and you’re like well

(34:37) I’m trying to see this user Journey did they go to this page scroll down and then click you can know that because the data is there but remember you’re not setting it up so that just in case one day you’re setting it up because you know you’re going to be asking a question around I mean you’ve got to

(34:52) have that like in go mine and you like okay exactly right in fact you already know what you’re going to take exactly right I must I must say though like um for my situation not going too detail though I do sometimes find when I’m in the exploration report I’ve got to sort of maybe do a bit of Googling around or

(35:11) fiddling around with the um metrics and dimensions and and things like that do you do you find the same with like yourself or you I mean you’re you’re obviously that’s your job but I mean do you find that this is a common issue that that tool itself has a a substantial learning curve let’s put it that way oh it’s not easy yeah like and

(35:31) on the reporting side because and again this is a little bit because we’ve got measurement muscle right like we we understand measurement so we don’t use G4 for reporting we’re using looker Studio we’re using G4 to store exporing to looker and then you’re doing your well technically into big query and then

(35:48) we connect looker Studio to Big query right so it’s just faster that way so we we don’t have that problem but that’s because we know we’re measuring at a different level right now that not everybody has that so I’m not I’m not denying anybody that I get it if you just have ga4 the way to think about

(36:02) this tool it’s actually four different analytics Tools in one is how I look at it the each space they have the home space which I think is just kind of a waste um but that’s because it doesn’t really lead to any meaningful actions it’s very talks about engagement whatever the hell that is it’s the home

(36:17) work space says like you know here here it’s the one that has all the different cards it says oh here’s your insights and blah blah it’s the one you skip over one you yeah exactly that one why even have that right so that’s the home space but it’s too General to be particularly useful I think the second one is the

(36:32) reports that’s what the one that has like you know here’s my generate lead reports or acquisition reports and all that stuff the the so the reports work a different way because it’s a different tool it’s the closest to what Universal analytics does but you’re going to see things like modeling back there again

(36:47) depending how the tool set up you gota know how to use this Tool uh but you’ll see things like modeling back there um you know you can customize some reports but you’re not necessarily seeing funnels and things like that so you go to exploration visualization yeah that’s true yeah yeah so n you go into

(37:02) Explorations that’s a third different tool but it’s a uniquely different tool it it processes the data differently so it can do its job so you build out your funnels you can connect them into your reports right um but but you build all that stuff out there and that interface is super super geeky it’s very

(37:18) engineering focused I mean I get it um but it’s incredibly powerful but that’s why when you’re building funnels that’s why we record the behaviors we do so for example if I wanted to measure the the measurement marketing Academy users journey I could build a funel that says first step page view where page location

(37:36) contains LP membership meet marketing Academy right and I could do that and I could definitely build a funnel but what I do and when I when I want to quick and dirty uh report like that I will go into Explorations and I’ll just say Academy ask Academy considered Academy transacted and I go Event Event Event

(37:55) and it so it takes me 30 seconds to build the funnel and I have my answers oh broken down by traffic St sure no problem that’s an extra 15 seconds yeah it’s not a big deal to use the tool you have to understand the tool you’re and and I think the mistake people make is they go well I kind of understood

(38:10) Universal so I should be able to use ga4 yeah well that’s like saying well I kind of understand ga4 so I should also be able to use Adobe let’s put it this way you’re not going to you’re like yeah let’s put it this way like you know you’re transitioning between UA J it’s it’s like you can’t be lazy marketer and

(38:27) just expect this pretty report to be done for well they’re two completely different platforms right they share the same name but they’re completely different they have nothing to do with it one another right so just because you know one doesn’t mean you know the other you kind of know maybe 10 or 15% of the

(38:42) other you know the basics but you don’t you’re never just going to you’re never going to intuitively figure out the explorations you’re going to have to go into support watch a YouTube video buy a course right get some training ask somebody because it’s it’s just not an intuitive interface um it it needs it

(38:57) needs you’re going to need some guidance on those and that’s and I think that’s a good thing to know that ahead of time because then you don’t beat yourself up and go like oh I guess I’m just not good at this it’s like no you’re really good at this you just need guidance you know and and when you’re open to the fact of

(39:11) like oh I’m just gonna need guidance that’s okay somebody’s got to show me but once you see a couple of things you go oh I get how this works like you know for those that are that are used to the explore thing and I know that you have used it when you’re doing an exploration there kind of three panels right there’s

(39:24) like that first little that’s all the puzzle pieces you know it’s like here’s all the different parts and pieces that I want to be able to ask questions around then the next panel is where you assemble some of those parts and pieces and say okay these are the ones I’m currently asking questions about and

(39:38) then there’s that third panel which displays the funnel and shows you okay here’s what it actually looks like when you get your answers and when you kind of walk through that you’re like okay maybe this is a little simpler for me to go to so if you’re asking a question around Source medium but it’s not even

(39:51) available in your first little panel then you can’t ask questions around it you have to to the panel and now you start knowing that you go oh okay I just need to add it so once I add it now I can add it to the other panel and assemble the pieces and then it displays and shows you a breakdown by Source

(40:06) medium or whatever the question is you’re trying to get answers to so it’s it’s a pretty fascinating platform it just requires a little bit it’s very powerful like I think you just got to go in in Exploration knowing exactly what you want um and then yeah kind of have to fle around with it like maybe watch a

(40:22) bit of YouTube but like yeah like it’s super powerful like and yeah not going to get the funnel visualization thing and all that sort of pre-built sort of stuff that you got in um you know Universal hey what do you what do you think’s missing though like what do you feel like G needs to do in the next six

(40:37) to 12 months to really help um answer questions that you can’t get answered uh that’s a really good question I don’t yeah know offand of anything that I can’t get an answer to um at all cuz I I don’t think it should take what Microsoft Clarity does as an example kind of where I’m going Microsoft Clarity does heat map scroll

(41:02) map screen Rec quality of stuff right it’s an amazing platform I don’t think it would be would it be great if Google also did that sure but Google tried that with universal way back if everybody remembers that they they tried doing that stuff and it just was a cluster yeah so they can’t do that that’s not

(41:17) their Forte they shouldn’t even try they should do what they do well which is record the data um ideally in a in a slightly better way in the big query than they currently are doing it but that’s that’s a separate topic uh but but record the data the way that the way you do it with events and parameters

(41:33) works really really well people just don’t know how to use it so they’re not taking advantage of it but I wouldn’t say they need to start doing like screen recordings and everything else because other platforms do that better and always will so for me when we’re trying to measure for a behavior if tag manager

(41:46) can collect it which is how we sort of think about this we collect we store and we report so we use Tag manager to collect the behaviors we store that information in in G4 and then we report it on looker Studio you know so whether it’s collecting the behavior in a certain way storing it in a certain way

(42:03) or reporting on it in a certain way we have three different opportunities to to sort of customize what we’re doing with the data so by the time the report loads it just leads to action like we don’t even get insights we get action that’s the whole point I don’t I think insights is ridiculous I don’t need more insights

(42:19) I don’t want more ideas I want more actions I want to know what I’m supposed to do next and measurement when it’s done well we’ll tell you what to do next so that’s that’s how we use it so I think ga4 if anyone’s having problems with it I mean reach out ask me for you know say You’ heard me on the podcast

(42:33) send me an email say here’s the problem I’m running into send me a video here’s what I’m trying to figure out I want to know if it’s even possible and it’ll help you out let you know but there hasn’t been something that we haven’t got that platform to be able to do actually I just had a thought um I must

(42:45) admit that their docs are pretty average yeah agreed yeah there their support docks they’re better than they’ve ever been but they’re still it’s hard right and eventually that stuff’s going to get aied so I think it’ll get easier and easier right I’m sure you’re GNA have a little Gemini assistant coming in to

(43:02) help you out with that stuff for sure that’s gonna happen yeah so it’ll get easier with time but but just give yourself a break when you’re learning this tool it’s brand new you’re not gonna be perfect out of day one also maybe just Google a break too I remember I remember when um like you said it’s

(43:16) it’s the MVP that and I can see the iterating on it like they they they call um because they made one change uh few weeks ago key events yeah conversion events and key events yeah it’s like come on yeah but I get why I get why because the problem was they’re constant and they did the same thing with goals

(43:35) back with universal there was goals in Google ads and goals in Universal and they had this problem of well how come my goals aren’t matching because to a regular sort of lay person who doesn’t really understand the platforms they’re like they should match because both are using the same word so I understand that

(43:49) problem they recreated that problem when they called both things conversions and that’s and that’s why breaking it out say okay this is a key event it has nothing to do with this other thing we’re done trying to educate people as to why a Google ad which is a completely different platform measures the exact

(44:04) same behavior in a completely different way which is why they don’t match all the time right and and I get it but they’re just tired of talking about it so they’re just going to change the name and that’s the better answer they should have done that in the beginning but but again this is hindsight right of course

(44:17) if they knew now what they knew back then they would have done it in the beginning yeah you know but they’re learning and they’re iterating so I see something like that as a positive as much as it is they’re learning from the market I mean I mean it’s a bit of a shock when you like you go in there and there’s a and

(44:30) you’re like huh what happened yeah it’s a bit like jumping on one of those those Bulls at the rodeo for sure and and I make no bones about it it is like that sometimes right that thing kicks you in the teeth a couple of times where but it’s not meaning to and that’s how I look at it I’m like okay I got kicked in

(44:47) the teeth again it’s probably some sort of user error that I’m telling it to give me this result I just don’t know how I’m telling it to do that yet so and it can’t tell me that so I’m just going to make that assumption and try to figure it out and that that particular pattern has helped a lot when I’m trying

(45:02) to debug stuff but you know so many benefits the debug view that’s back there you know all this other stuff that that’s there is it really can unlock this platform and make it a lot easier to use and and like you were saying like they made massive improvements like the admin screen changed I think it was like

(45:17) November of 2023 completely different admin screen because they had the problem with the missing views right it looked like there’s a big hole there so they revamp that and and it’s and it’s really good data retention policies are there the data deletion stuff is there all this stuff that you could never do

(45:32) with universal not even think about doing you have a lot more control with G4 but because you have that control Google’s saying listen this is on you you’ve you’ve really got to take more responsibility now because we can’t do it for you because we got in trouble when we did that with universal we can’t

(45:47) do that again it’s your data you need to control it and that’s what they’re doing and but that means the responsibility is on us as data teams as c as Market to to really understand the tool a little bit more and and stop telling them it’s their fault for not making it easier I get that there’s probably ways

(46:02) they could make it easier but at a certain point it’s it is up to us to sort of at least meet them halfway through you know if we can awesome um look I think you’ve come full circle here uh because you started off with listening to the market making iterations based on what the market wants and I guess what this is obviously

(46:20) what Google’s doing with G4 like they’ve released MVP two years ago yes and they’re listening to the market um sometimes it would be nice to have a little heads up um rather what the hell’s going on here um I would I would love it if they would do it at least for course creators like us because then we create a course and like

(46:39) two months later like never mind it’s all blue now we’re like oh now I’ve like you know um awesome so we’re now at the end of the podcast it’s been really good chat um and I think um you know we’re going to our audience is going to you know get a lot of insights particularly with the sequential testing I think

(46:57) that’s really a good practical sort of thing um that I think C can maybe sort of forget because you know like when you think of CR you think of okay the gold standard it’s going to be an AB TS then you sort of start thinking okay we’ve got to have a you know a certain amount of traffic and that sort of thing before

(47:16) we can even touch this page um anyway look Chris it’s been really good talking to you how how can people reach out to you how can they contact you on the interwebs absolutely so a couple different ways so measurement marketing. is the main site so you feel free to go there uh obviously this being on YouTube

(47:32) measurement marketing. for yoube subscribe to our Channel we have a ton of free training there for those that want that uh and we do have a free level of our membership uh called the toolbox uh membership so if you go to measurement marketing. iexpert Nation you will take you to a page where you can create your free

(47:49) membership there and that’s got some some courses that you can you know play around with and learn just measurement as a framework uh we put back there we have about 50 different tools there’s a split test optimization planner back there for things a forecasting tool there’s lots of stuff that uh C and

(48:02) experiment uh experimenters can play with for sure awesome awesome thanks thanks thanks a lot for being on the podcast and um yeah and hopefully we’ll see you in the future when maybe G five comes [Music] up maybe in years count count me in me in thanks for Rich appreciate it this is Romo Santiago from expent

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Rommil Santiago