As a SEO professional, it can be downright painful to hear the customer utter their first words of doubt regarding your recommendations.
If you’re recommending some analytics audit action items, or even a full analytics audit, this can lead to uncertainty and doubt on your behalf. Despite all of your best intentions this can and does happen, even though you may be very certain you are correct.
We want to examine some all too common objections to show you that they are not all rooted in reality.
While the last thing an SEO pro wants to hear is that their proposal fell flat, in reality the customer probably just wants you to help them justify their purchase, so that they don’t have to worry if the money they’re spending on an analytics audit is worth it.
There are several common objections to Google Analytics audits, such as:
- “We’re not doing anything wrong.”
- “It’ll take too much time.”
- “What’s the point?”
Google Analytics audits are a crucial step in SEO and digital marketing.
We will explore objections to performing these audits, as well as how they can improve your website performance and lead generation efforts.
“I Don’t See the Point of Auditing My Data”
Audits are the most effective way to understand the current status of a website, and what can be done to improve it.
Auditing data gives insights into the effectiveness of your keyword strategy by looking at content performance across sessions, traffic sources, device usage rates, geographic information and more .
By identifying which pages are getting lots of visitors, but not converting well or making sales, an audit will help in developing new strategies for improving conversions and lead generation efforts.
They also help identify any potential problems that might be hiding within Google Analytics itself (such as reporting inconsistencies). Finally, analytics reports provide an excellent benchmark when showcasing a business’ success story internally or externally.
Audits demonstrate just how powerful data can be if used effectively! For example:
Say that you ‘re a company with multiple locations around the world.
You might want to use Google Analytics for each location so that you can track your website’s performance on an individual basis and make more informed decisions about how, where, when, and why people are visiting your site.
Without adequate analytics data, you may not be able to correctly analyze your site’s performance by location.
“I Don’t Even Know What a Google Analytics Audit is”
A Google Analytics audit is a deep dive into a website’s analytics data.
A good auditor will help a company make sense of its data and identify any problems that may be causing a site to under-perform or misreport its traffic.
For example, if it’s discovered that a site has duplicate tracking codes on every page, it could affect how the site appears in search engine results pages (SERPs), as well as potentially change the number of sessions reported by each visitor.
This would show up on an audit report as more ‘true visitors’ than originally expected!
Needless to say, inconsistencies such as these can lead to some pretty serious trouble with Google Analytics.
“How the Audit Can Actually Help Me?”
The purpose of an audit isn’t always made clear, which can lead to people not taking advantage of this great opportunity!
An auditor will identify your site’s potential problems so you know where you should start, be it simple web design or advanced SEO strategy.
“I Don’t Want My Readers’ Data Shared with Third Parties”
Clients or those considering an audit will often object to the sharing of their readers’ data. This concern is understandable but ultimately a fallacy, as Google Analytics doesn’t share any privately identifiable data.
Similarly, a good auditor won’t share any personally identifiable or sensitive data they may use for their audit without explicit permission from the client.
Auditors establish trust over time by being meticulous in their work and fully transparent about what they’re doing.
It’s important to note that while Google Analytics is free, audits are not!
A well-documented audit can be an invaluable investment in your business and provide you with concrete insights into how you should approach SEO or content marketing moving forward.
“The Audit Costs Too Much”
It’s a misconception that audits cost too much. In reality, not auditing your data can cost you much more.
Google analytics audits are vital because the actionable insights they provide offer concrete benefits as opposed to guesswork, which may never pay off.
These benefits include being able to identify and mitigate risks, optimize conversions for website users, increase user engagement levels (particularly with mobile visitors), track customer behavior on websites or in apps, and conserve marketing expenditure.
Any auditor worth their salt will include in their report:
- a review of the site’s technical configuration from a Google Analytics viewpoint;
- an analysis of preconfigured reports within GA accounts including those that are not running properly or taking advantage of opportunities identified by competitors’ profiles;
- review of any custom reporting requests made through analytics.js API calls as well as the standard Google Analytics report suite provided by Adwords/Doubleclick Bid Manager (DBM);
- recommendations for updates that make changes consistent across all web properties;
- an analysis of UTM tags for any campaigns or marketing efforts that include website visits; and
- best practices for account management, including the following:
- account sharing with colleagues/team members;
- configuring alerts to notify of new users in your organization, as well as when an account needs access modification;
- using shared dashboards and permission settings for team members who do not need access rights on accounts they only use occasionally, but still want visibility of KPIs through reports, graphs, and tables; and
- sharing email notifications across multiple users so that no one person has sole responsibility for monitoring a given dashboard or set of metrics.
“I’ve Already Had an Audit Done Recently”
If a site has already had an audit performed in the past year, why might it need another one?
Unfortunately, one can’t always rely on a previous audit, even if it was done recently. That’s because it is possible for metrics, data, and suggestions to become out-of-date over time—especially if many changes have been made since the last audit. Because of this, audits should be a fairly routine part of your SEO strategy.
Updated audits ensure that everything is up-to-date and working properly, and that your strategies are relevant. That way, there won’t be any surprises down the road!
Furthermore, if you rely on a previous audit you may be missing out on some important changes regarding updates, algorithm changes, or technological advancements which could set your site behind the competition.
This is why it is important to have Google Analytics audits done every year.
The time and cost of a routine audit is peanuts compared to if you wait until your content, web design and SEO are all no longer relevant.
“I Don’t Want to Share My Competitive Data”
Most auditors who specialize in Google Analytics are used to handling privacy concerns and keeping the information you provide confidential.
This is why it’s important for your company to have a certain level of trust and understanding with the person performing your audit, since they will be accessing sensitive data about how well or poorly your site performs.
If this doesn’t alleviate all of your worries, then consider making a conversation about data privacy part of your hiring process. This could range from an informal mention of your concern to a legally binding non-disclosure agreement, depending on your comfort level.
“Last Year’s Audit Didn’t Turn Up Anything Major, So Why do I Need Another?”
It’s important to remember that while it’s possible for an audit to uncover changes that should be made, an audit doesn’t guarantee that there are significant margins for improvement.
A more competent auditor may be able to find room for improvement where others would see nothing to change. The efficacy of an audit depends on the professional that is hired, but also the team that surrounds them.
Before hiring an auditor, think about what your needs are and if they’re met by this particular auditor or company. For example: do you want someone who specializes in content or someone who can analyze technical aspects?
Do you just want one comprehensive report at the end of the project or would you like multiple reports throughout to assess progress?
How many hours per week do you have for a potential project?
Will there be any other team members involved with this process (like marketing managers)?
It’s also worth noting that Google Analytics Audits take into account more than just traffic data; they gather information about many different facets of your business to help you find the areas that need improvement.
“I Can’t Look!”
A lot of people don’t want to measure their goals because they are afraid of what their data might say about them.
Google Analytics Audits may reveal that you aren’t as successful as you thought, but in order to make improvements and grow your business, it’s important to know where you currently stand.
If analytics show a decrease in traffic or engagement metrics, take time to evaluate why this happened so these numbers can rebound again!
Google Analytics audits can also help you identify the root cause of the drop in these numbers.
Don’t think that GA audits are all about showing your failures! They can, in fact, reinforce your strengths and show you a better route forwards toward success!
Our Advice: Don’t Let Fear of Failure Keep You From Moving Forward
A Google Analytics Audit can be a great way to identify and measure areas of your business that need improvement.
It may take some time before you see the difference, but in order for your company’s success to grow, it is important to know where you currently stand!
If GA audits reveal a decrease in traffic or engagement metrics, remember that these numbers can be remedied with some adjustments.
A GA audit allows you to find the root cause of those drops so you have an even better route towards success!
Audits aren’t bad. They are simply a diagnostic tool that will help you determine what is causing certain metrics to be lower than you’d like them to be.
They can indicate content fatigue and consumers who are switching their attention elsewhere.
For example, if an audit shows that people are often clicking on content but never making it to your site’s homepage/landing page (or vice versa), this could be an indication of a broken link somewhere.
Audits will help light the way towards a better, more effective site!
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Apr 2021