Some people call me an OG of wedding business marketing, but deep down I'm just another person wearing PJ bottoms on Zoom. I swear a lot, I share my struggles, and I don't pretend to be better than anyone else.
Imagine having a virtual detective on your website. Someone who can tell you how your visitors found you, what pages they looked at, what city they live in, and how long they stayed on your website.
Imagine being able to make informed, data-backed decisions for your business. No more throwing spaghetti at the wall! Imagine knowing exactly what you need to do in order to get more inquiries and bookings and what isn’t worth your precious time.
The secret? Google Analytics.
You might think “Oh that’s just numbers and data” but when you know how to use Google Analytics, it’ll make running and growing your wedding business SO much easier. It’s a free tool that can tell you exactly what to do to get more inquiries. How amazing does that sound?!
How do you do that easily without being super tech and data-focused? Listen to this episode to find out!
Today I have a fantastic episode for you with a great guest, and I want you to imagine for a moment that you had a sort of virtual detective on your website.
Someone who could snoop around and tell you how the people on your website found you, what pages they looked at, what that meant about your website, where they lived, how long they stayed on your website, and what that means about what you need to change to get more bookings.
Now imagine being able to take that information and make informed data-backed decisions in your business, like no more throwing spaghetti at the wall, just randomly and not knowing what works and what doesn’t work.
The secret to doing that is tapping into the power of Google Analytics. Now, Google Analytics has been around for quite a while.
They’ve made some pretty big changes recently that made things a lot more confusing for many of us, and in today’s episode, we are breaking down exactly what Google Analytics can do for you, what you want to be looking at, what you don’t need to be looking at, and how it can be just not Numbers that show up that you don’t know what to do with, but how you can use this to make better decisions to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
My guest today is Adrienna McDermott from Ava and the Bee. She is going to be talking to us all about Google Analytics. I’m so excited for you to dig into this conversation. We both just got to nerd out because I’m not necessarily what I would consider a numbers person, but I really love what those numbers can do for me. The way that they can give me clarity and certainty and direction about what to do next in my business.
That’s something that I want you to have as well.
Adrienna is also going to be joining me for an in-depth masterclass about exactly how to implement what we’re talking about today so that you’ll understand those metrics that you should be tracking, why they matter, and how to make informed decisions with them.
And you can grab your seat for that. It’s happening on October 18th. There are two different ways to get access. You’ll see them both over at www.theweddingbusinesscollective.com/analytics.
Today I’m joined by Adrienna McDermott, the founder and CEO of Ava and the Bee, which is a marketing agency for wedding pros that builds connections with dream couples through inclusive results-driven marketing. Adrienna has all sorts of interesting pieces to her background as a former bridal boutique owner, a wedding planner, and a florist, but something that I came to her for recently is the thing that allows her to do results-driven marketing in her business.
And that thing is Google Analytics, which is what we are going to be digging into today. Adrienna, I’m so excited to have you here to talk about this.
Adrienna and I both recall being confused about what Google Analytics even was and how it worked back when we first started our businesses. It’s really important for wedding pros to know how to make use of the basics of Google Analytics because when Adrienna was a wedding pro, she was blown away by how much better her business did as soon as they just understood what the heck Google Analytics even was.
Google Analytics is it gives you so much insight. It can tell you. how people found you where they’re looking at, and it really allows you to make these informed, data-backed decisions. This is how can we make decisions that have something to back it up instead of just throwing spaghetti at the wall.
And the best part, guys, is it’s free Google makes this available for free. So Google Analytics or G4, which we’ll talk about in a minute, is simply a free tool that Google created to track websites.
You can get it set up in under 5 minutes. You take this little snippet, you put it on your website, and it does the work for you.
Every time someone goes on your website, Google can gather that information and then give it to you pretty quickly. You add Google Analytics within a few days, you have metrics. It’s great.
It’s insanely powerful, and that is part of the reason why so many people are overwhelmed by it. You log in and you’re just kind of faced with all of this information and it’s hard to know exactly what you’re supposed to do with that.
A lot of people that already have Google Analytics set up, they’ve maybe heard about like GA4, about, okay, you have to transition this. It’s not going to be tracking anymore. Tell us a little bit about that. What is different?
If you have Google Analytics, you’ve been getting emails for over a year now about it’s sunsetting.
Google has changed some of the way it’s tracking data. They have a new interface and you do need to have a new code. So the biggest thing is there’s a new code involved. So if you’ve been getting those emails, but you haven’t changed the code on your website, your website’s probably not collecting data anymore. It pretty much stopped after early July.
You can go ahead and put it in now, but you do need to get that code. And that’s the biggest question Adrienna gets: does it automatically transfer? And the answer is no.
It’s changed for a few reasons and it’s really for the better. The thing with Google Analytics is it can be overwhelming because there’s a lot of data but you only need to know the main pieces. A few of the changes Google has made that you should be aware of are…
Google is changing to a mobile-first approach.
So your mobile is more important than your desktop. Adrienna is seeing something like 60 percent of her client traffic coming from mobile now. Your website’s mobile view is more important than ever before, so that’s definitely the biggest thing to keep in mind.
No more cookies
A lot of countries are changing their privacy laws and Google had to change the way it tracks data to adhere to those laws. So it’s tracking things and events. It’s not tracking page views anymore. It’s just a slightly different structure.
The new backend is completely different
It actually has fewer features, which is interesting. If you look at G4 on a dashboard, it looks more confusing, but it technically has fewer features but it’s creating more robust reports. But now, you have to create a lot of the reports yourself, which is a bummer.
The metrics are going to be mostly similar, but the way it looks is just what’s going to be different right now. Everything is more hidden.
It’s not just on a dashboard anymore. You have to kind of tell Google what you want it to track every time, which is a little frustrating.
Your website is the most important piece of marketing you have 100%. Adrienna and I both want wedding pros to really understand that, especially, younger generations. Having a mobile-friendly and having a good website will be the most important tool, not Instagram. Not Tiktok, none of that.
If your website isn’t working, your marketing doesn’t work. And that’s because as a marketing company, every single thing Adrienna does leads people to your website. She wants them to go on your website and contact you because we know they’re not going to just hit you up your DMs. That’s super rare.
Our goal is to get them on your website. Your Pinterest goes to your website, your blog SEO for your website, your Instagram, you get them to click the link in bio. Right? So when you’re able to understand that your website is that important, understanding the visitor data becomes that much more interesting because if you are obsessed with your Instagram metrics, you should be just as obsessed with your website metrics.
Why? Because your website metrics are going to tell you 100 times more information than your Instagram is. Your Instagram is going to tell you how many likes you got, but your website is literally going to tell you every single piece of your marketing puzzle every single month, instead of like, “huh, my algorithm’s not working”.
So at the end of the day, we want your website to get more information, warm the audience up, get them to contact you and to separate you from the competition because Instagram looks the same. Every profile looks the same. It’s just true. It’s super rare to even find photographers, if you all have the same similar filters or style, you will look the same, but your website is what’s going to separate you.
Your website is what they’re going to remember. And they’re probably not going to remember your feed.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at TikTok. If you’re leading people to a website that doesn’t convert people into inquiries, into consultations, into clients. It’s like pouring water into a bucket that has no bottom on it.
We’re such a visual industry so it’s hard sometimes I think to remember that Instagram is more of a portfolio and a brand awareness and we need to emphasize our website, which is truly for pretty much every single wedding person out there.
It’s really important because it’s also SEO. At the end of the day, how are you going to get found? And for a lot of Adrienna’s clients, even the ones with upwards of a hundred thousand followers, SEO is still going to be their number one referral source.
Your website is a sales mechanism. It’s not just to be like, here’s a list of stuff I can do, but to actually be a sales tool.
Many wedding pros hate selling but imagine having your website sell for you. That’s what’s so great about it is a well-performing website will sell for you.
So that way, when they’re on the call, they’re not asking a million weird questions, they feel comfortable with you. It can transform your sales process to have a website that works for you.
There are so many things that Google is going to be able to tell you, but Adrienna wants to focus on the most important things for wedding pros.
So, first is, are you attracting the right people? If you are a wedding pro, you’ve raised your rates, you’ve adjusted things. This is going to be so important, right? Because you want to know why you’re still getting price shoppers. Your analytics can help you see if you are attracting the right people.
We think about it as a numbers thing, but we don’t think about it as being able to diagnose, which is what it can actually do, which is amazing. It can tell you exactly what you need to change.
It can also tell you how your social media is actually performing. A lot of people spend all this time on Instagram or they invest in Pinterest or they invest in ads and Adrienna asked them, how’s it going? And they say, well, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m getting any clients.
Well, your Google Analytics can tell you if those sources are bringing your traffic and if they’re going to your contact page. Are they filling out your contact form or are they just visiting your website and bouncing off of it?
It can tell you how effective your marketing platforms are.
Maybe you are doing paid ads. You hired a paid ads person and they’re telling you that you’re doing great. You got 7 billion clicks on your stuff. But then we look at your data and we realize that’s not actually converting to a lead.
That’s the power of Google Analytics. It can tell you if your visitors are actually becoming leads and clients and what source they’re coming from so you know what is and isn’t worth your time and money.
It’s very easy to get hung up on vanity metrics like impressions or clicks, but at the end of the day, the reason why we’re doing any of this marketing is to get more leads and turn more of them into clients. And if it’s not working to do that, you either need to change how you’re doing things, or it might be that that platform isn’t worth it for you.
Adrienna likes to see data before she even starts working with clients because it lets her know if they even need marketing. In some instances, they don’t need to be spending money on marketing. They need to be focusing on messaging. They need to focus on getting new portfolio pieces photographed or updating their website or updating their copy.
And again, the data from your website can tell you if you’re targeting the right people. Maybe we need to not blog every week. Maybe we need to take a step back and focus on your messaging or, or focus on your website design and then start blogging and then start working on Pinterest.
The whole process of getting a client is like one long pipeline. There are leaks that spring at different points. And what I see most people want to do is like dig up the whole pipe and throw it away. You just need to patch it. You’re like 98 percent of the way there.
That’s again, the power of data. Adrienna has never decided that they need to just burn it down. They just simply have to make some adjustments and then move forward.
A lot of people ask Adrienna if they should continue to advertise with The Knot or Wedding Wire. Well, what does the data say? If it more than paid for itself and is bringing good people to you, then you don’t even have to think about it because the data answers the decision.
The data answers the question for you and makes that decision. A lot of times we get stuck in FOMO and worrying about, what if I don’t renew this? Will my whole business falls apart?
What are your numbers telling you? Did you book more than you paid for it? Then yeah, it’s totally worth it.
For example, Adrienna had a client this year who wanted to be in The Little Black Book but wasn’t sure if they should do it. She knew those clients super well and could say, your audience is on there. You’ve been featured a handful of times. Adrienna recommended testing it for a year.
Marketing can be scary too sometimes when you have to test it. But because they had the data from the features, they knew they got a ton of website hits from it. With that data, your decision is actually backed up by something so the client decided to test it for a year and see what happens.
When you can enter decisions like this with data, it makes that decision a little bit easier financially to be like, yeah, we’re going to go ahead and test it because we’re pretty sure based on data that it’s going to work. It can give you so much more confidence and certainty.
There’s no one fix for anything in life, but when you’re able to at least have something to back it up, it definitely makes things a lot clearer and easier for you in the end.
Google Analytics can tell you what content is and isn’t working for you. You can see how people are moving through the pages of your website and where you’re losing people so you can actually do something about it. You may find that 3 of your blog posts are killing it so how can you start doing more of that? What can you learn from it?
Your Google Analytics helps you repurpose this content. We think that have to create new content every day. No, if you have a blog that does great every year you can say, oh, my gosh, this blog kills it every year in engagement season.
Well, then why don’t you talk about it every single year? Let’s get it out there. It really can help you make content easier because you can see these are the topics your audience cares about. So if you’re ever wondering what to talk about, your data can literally tell you. You can either write more about those popular topics or share what you’ve already created again.
There are so many areas of uncertainty where you as the CEO of the business are the only person that can make the decision. Your data can just tell you to do a certain thing and you don’t even have to think about it. It just makes your life and wedding business so much easier.
It also makes you more confident in the decision, because as a solopreneur, we wear 15 hats. So when you’re able to say, “Hey, I know this content will work”, it makes you feel so much better. That analysis paralysis and overwhelm fades away.
It makes it so much easier to sift through all of the possible things that you could be working on to do the things that are most likely going to get you the results you want. Your data helps you focus and prioritize because there are so many things you could be doing.
Conversion tracking just means tracking people who went from Step A to Step B. So for most wedding businesses, that’s going to be, they went from visiting the website to filling out the contact form.
This is a little bit different in G4 and it’s a bit more difficult to set up now. But you can see the journey users take through your website. So when they come from Instagram, where do they go next? Do they look at your services page? Do they exit? Do they go to your contact page?
Google Analytics can tell you how many people visited a page but it can also tell you how many people submitted a form. If you have 100 people visit your contact form and only 1 fills it out, you know there’s some kind of error there. Maybe the page isn’t loading or sometimes it’s as simple as that.
Adrienna had one client that wasn’t getting many leads and it turned out that something was wrong with the mobile view. Something was blocking the contact form. But they would have never known that if they didn’t see the data, think about how many years might’ve gone by without them realizing it!
So your data can also tell you things aren’t working. It can be something as simple as an element blocking the contact form. Or is your contact form too long? That’s a huge issue for some wedding pros. Google Analytics can show you where to focus to get better results.
It also gives you a metric to focus on. So let’s say for every hundred website users, one person inquires. When you make some changes you know exactly which metric to look at to see if that’s working. That’s just so much focus.
So it’s not like you have to spend hours every single month running reports. There are only a few metrics that you need to focus on.
Google Analytics can be a great indicator for keywords. Google Analytics will give you some data on what people are searching for to find you but you can add another free platform to give you even more information. It’s called Google Search Console, it’s free, and it takes just a few minutes to set up.
You can link to your analytics account and it can actually tell you what keywords people are using to find you. So if you’ve ever wondered “I’m keywording for Savannah wedding photographer. Am I getting found?” it can tell you how many people searched that and how many people clicked on it and can even tell you what page they clicked on, which is fascinating.
You’re able to say. Is this working? Is this not working? And if it’s not working, what do I need to change to make it work?
The thing I love about Google Analytics is the information is there. The thing I hate about Google Analytics is it can be kind of difficult to find that information, which is why I have invited Adrienna to do an in-depth masterclass for you. That is happening on October 18th and I am very excited about it.
This is something that has been requested by a lot of the wedding pros inside The Wedding Business Collective, and all The Wedding Business Collective members will get access to this. We have two different ways for you to get access to this masterclass, you can go to https://www.theweddingbusinesscollective.com/analytics/.
You can sign up for just the masterclass or you can sign up for The Wedding Business Collective. In this masterclass, Adrienna is going to take you through the how-to of all of this so that you actually feel confident about how to use Google Analytics, how to understand those metrics and what ones you should be paying attention to and why they matter, and how to make decisions based on your website metrics.
So, if this has piqued your interest and you want to understand what’s going on with your website. If you want a tool to tell you what you’re supposed to be focusing on and doing, you are definitely going to want to come to this masterclass. It’s happening on October 18th at https://www.theweddingbusinesscollective.com/analytics/.
You can head over there and get your ticket. I am so excited to have Adrienna teaching this because she is coming at it from a perspective of not just someone who is certified in analytics and spends your time in it, but also from the perspective of working directly with clients on this and explaining to them
What Adrienna does every day comes down to the data and she loves sharing it. Feeling empowered and confident by understanding your numbers makes her clients feel a lot less overwhelmed when they start understanding what the data means.
It’s like your data is kind of giving you your to-do list. Here are the things that if you change, if you improve, if you work on sometimes quit doing, do something else, you’re going to get better results. You’re able to look at it as a barometer of okay, how, how are things doing here as opposed to having no idea what’s happening and doing a bunch of random stuff.
That’s overwhelming and you don’t have to work that way.
When clients come to Adrienna, they usually have a bucket list of things they think they need to do. When they look at the data, they can see what actually gets inquiries and bookings. You don’t have to be on all the platforms1
You don’t have to do all of the things. And something I find really empowering is knowing what to stop doing and not feel guilty about it. It gives you permission to stop doing things that don’t create results.
Running a wedding business is a LOT. Why not use these free tools to figure out exactly what you need to focus on and what works for you?
Adrienna will be answering your questions live during this Google Analytics Masterclass on Oct 18th and she’s also going to give you a PDF that shows you what each metric is and gives you the vocabulary you need to understand your analytics.
You’ll also get access to the replay so you can re-watch the masterclass whenever you want!
Adrienna McDermott is the founder and CEO of Ava And The Bee, a marketing agency exclusively for wedding pros that builds connections with dream couples through inclusive, results-driven marketing.
With a rich background that spans beyond the realm of marketing, Adrienna has walked in the shoes of wedding vendors herself. As a former bridal boutique owner, wedding planner, and florist, she intimately understands the challenges that vendors face when it comes to creating new and engaging content to grow their business.
When she’s not diving deep into analytics reports or crafting marketing strategies, you can find her cuddling on the couch with her cat (the Bee in her business), walking her tripawd black lab, or watching Formula One with her husband.
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