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BBP 068 How To Use Data From Google Analytics To Improve Your Affiliate Marketing


If someone told you the secrets to improve your affiliate marketing strategy, you would make those changes today, right? Well, that’s where Google Analytics comes in! In today’s episode, we are going to learn how to use data from Google Analytics to improve your affiliate marketing conversion and revenue. 

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Founder of Entertaining entrepreneur, website wizard, podcast producer, music maker, video veteran, and alliteration addict.

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[00:00:08].330] – Liz Stapleton, Host

Google Analytics is a great tool for blogging, but have you ever thought it could help you improve your affiliate marketing? Well, when you’re trying to improve your affiliate marketing, Google Analytics is one great place to go.

[00:00:20].450] – Liz

Hi, I’m Liz Stapleton, host of the Blogger Breakthrough Summit, and this is the podcast where I share some tidbits from our amazing Summit speakers on how you can improve your blogging so that you work less and earn more. Let’s go ahead and get to it.

[00:00:33].050] – Liz

Today, I’ve got some info from the awesome Matt Gionvanissi of MoneyLab Co and the co-founder of Lasso, which is an awesome affiliate marketing plugin that I do enjoy using. So let’s go ahead and dive in!

[00:00:46].490] – Matt Gionvanissi

Every single time I send out an email on MoneyLab. I have Google Analytics Real Time Analytics open just to see how many people come to my site, or if I tweet something, I will just look, it’s not helpful. I learned nothing from it. I just get dopamine, this huge dopamine hit.

[00:01:04].190] – Matt

So, for me and I’m assuming for a lot of other people, that is what analytics is. It is just a time waster. There are things that I have started using it for, like, slowly but surely finding out which pages on my website get the most traffic and then work on those to maybe get more email subscribers before going and trying to optimize the entire website. I’m going to optimize just one post and see if I can get more subscribers and then you’re like, “Well, okay, am I getting more subscribers if I optimize this? Wait, how do I figure that out? Oh, I have to set up a goal. Okay, well, how do I do that?” And then you start down like.

[00:01:48].330] – Liz

You’re just like, I don’t know how to tell. I feel like it’s not talked about. You can set up goals in Google Analytics and things like that.

[00:01:57].210] – Matt

Yeah. And the other part of it too, is like for me, I noticed that, I think there’s discrepancies and there will be because people have Privacy things set on their browsers. And so you used to be able to know which keywords people were searching for. But now, because of all the Privacy issues, you see a lot of not set. That’s not really that helpful. And you start to go, is this even helpful? But you have to build out the entire thing. 

[00:02:31].950] – Matt

But what I’ve learned is not to do everything at once or not. To look at Google Analytics as like solving all my problems. It’s I have a question, and you have to come up with the question first, and then go into analytics and figure out how to answer that question with data.

[00:02:45].810] – Matt

And so that is the way when I set up anything in Google Analytics or whatever, I usually write out a list of questions in Asana and then kind of like, Go…I have to scrutinize each question and say, “Well, is that question actually going to make me more money if I answer it?” Is it going to bring you, depending on what your goal is…

[00:03:10].530] – Liz

You’re trying to figure this question out and the answer, too.

[00:03:12].510] – Matt

Yeah. You really need to hone in on the question and then go, like, is this worth my time to answer? And then if it is, you can probably answer the question using free tools from Google, including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Data Studio, which is really just essentially all Google Analytics. And then there’s some questions that you’re like, “Well, maybe Google Analytics isn’t the tool to solve this answer.” Like, “Are people subscribing to my website on this page?” Well, maybe your email service provider answers that question, not Google Analytics, and they both can. But there’s going to be discrepancies. The thing for me is, I just need one set of numbers to trust because or at least one KPI to trust that I can go, “Okay, well, I’m just going to make that number better,” right. And when it comes to affiliate marketing, which I know that’s primarily the reason we’re talking about analytics.

[00:04:11].670] – Liz

There’s got to be a way for me to figure out where people are clicking on my affiliate link.

[00:04:21].250] – Matt

Yes, there’s definitely a way to do it depending on the affiliate program. The part of the issue that I always run into with affiliate marketing and measuring is finding out, like, the actual dollar amount conversion rate number. Again, …

[00:04:38].890] – Liz

 You could look at how many of those clicks from that page converted? Maybe it’s a small number and a page that doesn’t send as much, but converts to people better.

[00:04:49].190] – Matt

Yes, 100%. And so there are clever ways to do it. And the biggest question you have to ask yourself is like, is it worth my time to do it? Because the gathering of data and building out these spreadsheets or these data Studios or whatever is a lot of work. But once you do the work you’re like, okay, well, then once you do this work to figure out the answer to your question, like, okay, the answer in my case would be like, which page on my website is bringing in the most affiliate income?

[00:05:26].570] – Matt

Or which pages on my site are bringing the least amount of affiliate income? Because maybe that’s a better question. Because let’s say if I went with the first question, “Which page on my website brings in the most money?” It’s already bringing in the most money. So what would you do knowing that information? Well, I would go, cool. I would be like, yeah, dopamine hit. But…

[00:05:49].790] – Liz

Create some new Pinterest Pins for it maybe.

[00:05:54].690] – Matt

Yes, you could say, well, I’ll just drive more traffic to that blog post, and since I know it converts the best. So yes, you’re right. That’s one way to do it. Or the other question you could ask is “Which pages on my website are bringing in the least amount?” And go, well, that’s an easy win, because then you can say, “Which pages on my website are bringing in the least amount of affiliate links, but get the most amount of traffic?” So just going onto those pages and adding useful affiliate links will actually earn you more money like that day.

[00:06:28].110] – Matt

And then you can start getting more nitty gritty like, “Well, okay, which affiliate links on this page are bringing in the most clicks and which aren’t?”

[00:06:36].510] – Liz

So we talked about it a little bit. But how do you kind of build that into a system? Because you said, “I used to check my stuff all the time.” So how do you build it into a system to work on your because I feel like if you’re going day by day. Oh, which post today the results not going to be there. So how often are you looking at it? Making adjustments. How is that sort of system you use?

[00:07:01].770] – Matt

You could do it a few ways. Like you could have, like, Stats Saturday, Stats Sunday, whatever. Where you take a very specific, right? Yeah, I do. I was like, it could be that’s Friday. That’s fine. But you could take a single day, once a week if you wanted to. Bi-weekly, once-a-month, whatever.

[00:07:26].130] – Matt

And as far as the system is concerned, I heavily use Asana. I kind of live and breathe by it. And what I love about Asana the most is recurring tasks. So basically, I will do the work to set up all the things that I need to set up to start tracking the stuff, but when you initially set something up, it’s going to take some time to collect that data.

[00:07:54].190] – Matt

And I’m the worst at this, but I also know how to fix it. So the worst I am is like, I added a new thing, a new affiliate link on this page. I’ll check it in 2 hours. I’ll check it tomorrow. It’s like, give it a month or give it a couple of weeks, depending on how much traffic you have. If you have not a lot of traffic, give yourself at least a month. But if you’re doing well and you’re getting thousands of people a day, well, then you might be able to check it quicker.

[00:08:22].630] – Matt

So what I do is basically set up a recurring task in Asana that has a link to whatever exact thing I need to check. So I can just say I can basically set it up in Asana and then forget it. Now that means, don’t bookmark it, just like pretend it doesn’t exist. Try your hardest and then trust that Asana on that day will pop up with a task like, check your stats. It’s like, oh, okay.

[00:08:47].110] – Matt

And then check for this answer and then do this, if X. Even in the task, you have to be incredibly specific. So that way you’re like, oh, on that day this popped up, I know exactly what I have to do. And I’m going to go in and you’re going to do that task and it’s going to be like, okay, repeat the following month or repeat the following week, and so that you’re doing it over time. Because you can get overly consumed with trying to optimize your site all at once and then you don’t really know if things are working.

[00:09:24].290] – Matt

Another thing to do is you can add annotations within Google Analytics, which I don’t do. But you should or at least journal about what you’re doing so that you know that like, “Hey, I went in and I moved this affiliate link up,” or “I took this page and added two more affiliate links.” I set myself a reminder to go back a month later and check to see if the KPI or the number that I really wanted to increase, increased or not.

[00:09:54].470] – Matt

 So there’s a lot of discipline, and there’s a lot of, like, if you could set up a spreadsheet for yourself or an Asana project where you’re just, like, all you’re doing is like, once a month you’re going in doing that.

[00:10:08].450] – Speaker 2

I have an Airtable, I go in. So I use ClickUp now, not Asana but same idea. The recurring task has kept me from constantly checking my stats. It really does help a lot. It’s weird because you’re like, “Oh, well, I know I’ll do it,” but yeah, and I think in Asana, too, if I remember, you could do comments. You could even journaling could be in the task if you want,

[00:10:27].950] – Matt

Right. Yeah.

[00:10:28].670] – Matt

Especially if that task is recurring and it’s just you or if it’s somebody else. Great. But yeah, you can keep notes for yourself, which is something I definitely should do, used to do. I don’t do as much anymore.

[00:10:42].110] – Liz

I should be doing a lot better at Analytics and other things, right?

[00:10:48].270] – Matt

I have it all set up, and I have it all tracked, and we do. Look at it. We make sure that things are working. It’s just optimization is not really like we’ve done so much of that over the years that it’s like, how much more can you possibly optimize? You can always optimize, but at what point does it make financial sense on investment of that time? Yeah, it’s like, well, yeah. Why not write a new blog post that can gain way more traffic? You have to kind of weigh it out, which is why I say, do it once a month, do it once a week if you have time, but try to keep it to like, it’s a slow growing process to optimize over time.

[00:11:32].250] – Liz

Blogging is a long game.

[00:11:32].250] – Matt

It’s a long game. 

[00:11:33].930] – Liz

Okay. Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of how Google Analytics can help you improve your affiliate marketing marketing. Be sure to join me next time to find out how you can learn all the latest blogging trends from some of the top names in blogging for free. I’ll catch you then.

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