Dana Ditomaso, President & Partner Kickpoint

Friday May 03, 2019 2pm - 3pm MST

Watch on YouTube:YouTube

Dana DiTomaso, President & Partner Kickpoint

Dana DiTomaso is a prolific speaker from Edmonton that we are *giddy* to have on the Hangout. We'll be discussing Automated Reporting and More.

Show Resources

  • Sample Local Digital Marketing Results Dashboard by Kick Point - The Local Digital Marketing Dashboard Dana Shared during the Hangout.
  • Little Warden - a robust site monitoring tool that allows you to monitor your site for critical mistakes that could destroy search rankings.
  • Local Falcon - a killer Local SEO tracker that overlays ranking performance on a map.
  • The Expert's Guide to Local Seo from Joy Hawkins. It is the best resource for practicing Local SEO. It is constantly updated and highly recommended.
  • Notion - Helps you,"Write, plan, collaborate, and get organized."
  • Yellow Lab - another great tech SEO page testing tool that checks for front end quality, Web Performance and JavaScript.
  • Batch Speed - tool that allows you to batch process multiple pieces of content to Lighthouse.
  • Integromat - A zapier competitor that offers some innovative tools.
  • Lee Hurst - our favorite Data Studio Evangelist.
  • Tom Anthony - An SEO who works at Distilled who is doing some amazing SEO tests that hack Google's algorhythm.

Hangout Transcript

Noah: The Agency Automators hang out with Noah Learner, Jordan Choo, and most importantly, we're super stoked today to have Dana DiTomaso join us. We're going to be talking about automated reporting and all kinds of other fun stuff that go along with owning an agency. Dana, it is so great to have you here.

Dana: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Noah: For me, this is kind of a dream. You've spoken at literally every conference I've ever gone to.

Dana: I find that difficult, but sure. You need to go to more conferences then.

Noah: I know. I was thinking that that would be the witty retort, but it's actually true.

Dana: That's hilarious.

Noah: Yeah, isn't that funny? So, what I was hoping is you can talk with folks and just give us a sense of a little bit about your background. Not everybody has seen you speak, so they don't know a ton about you or maybe about Kick Point. I'm hoping that you can share a little bit of information with us.

Dana: Yeah, for sure. I started in the field in 2000, so I've been doing this for 19 years. Originally, my background is in geography. I have a geography degree, which I obviously use every single day. I also have a diploma in ecosystem restoration, so if you need your river restored, give me call. What ended up happening when I graduated, there weren't really a lot of jobs in my field, so I ended up getting a job at a software company because I've always been a big nerd. My dad taught me how to code in BASIC when I was eight, and I've been fooling around with computers forever. I just didn't really think of it as programming was a good fit for me, which it is not. It turns out I'm not really a developer. But, there wasn't really a lot of options for non-developer's working with computers from my mind when I went to university.

Dana: When I started university, the first web browser came out in my first year of university, so really for timing wise, it was a little too ahead of where I should have been. Then, when I ended up working at the software companies ... I worked at two different companies. One did environmental management software and the other was a Lotus Notes CRM software. I got laid off from the second job in 2000, and took that severance and decided I'm going to teach myself how to be a web designer, which was before Word Press, before Google Analytics or Urchin or any of those things you're using log file analysis to figure out how people were coming to your site. I spent few months teaching myself that, opened up a one-person agency, which was just me, which ended up growing to a few people before I sold it, and then from there, just launched my first website.

Dana: I think it was my first or second website where the client said, “How do I get on Google?” I said, “I don't know, I will get back to you.” The, I did some searching and I found Rand Fishkin's blog. It wasn't called Moz then. I don't remember what it was called before, but it was still his agency, and just been following along with the SEO world ever since. Then, when I moved out to Edmonton, which would be, oh boy, in 2010, so nine years ago now, that' when I really started getting involved more in the broader world of marketing, started doing speaking engagements. My first speaking engagement was SMX West in 2012. Thanks, Matt McGee, for taking a chance. Ever since then, I've been doing lots and lots of speaking engagements, which brings us to now.

Dana: Kick Point was started in 2012. When I moved out to Edmonton, I was freelancing, and I just started getting more and more business. I met my business partner, Jenn, and the agency started from there.

Noah: That's amazing. I'm struggling with this slide thing here. I was hoping that you would tell us before we dive in to actual reports that you're building with Data Studio, I was hoping that you could talk a little bit about the Key KPI's that you care about, and then also what clients care about. If you want to shift into also talking about your goal chart first or after, that would be great.

Dana: No, I was going to say that's 100% where I'm going to start.

Noah: Okay, cool.

Dana: The whole idea of KPI's is key performance indicators, right? Often, we approach it when I say make a report, you'll immediately open up Data Studio or your reporting tool of choice, and then you'll make a report that is, say, visits by channel. That's always the default SEO go-to for reporting, but what does that actually tell us? I think that that's really where the disservice in reporting comes from because we're approaching it from well, here's the charts I need, and I'm going to tell you some data out of this instead of saying what actually mattes to you when it comes to goals. So, really answering the struggle with our clients is we came up with the idea of the goal charter.

Dana: If you look at my video, I think from MozCon 2013, I think it is where it's called Prove Your Value, and I talk about taking each goal that the client has and breaking it down into metrics and KPI's, and that's how you build your report. The goal charter is actually the extension of this, and I talked about this at MozCon last year. The Goal Charter is where you take all the goals from your client, and then you figure out how you're going to report on each of those goals. Sometimes, the data that comes out of that is going to be a repeat, so if a couple of goals are with regards to sales, obviously you'll have one chart to tie all that together. Sometimes, the goals are really different and discreet, and sometimes they're not goals, per se, in terms of smart goals, so you can really help the client nail that down to a smart goal.

Dana: I pulled up a goal charter here. For example, for one of our clients who's a home builder, their goal is to sell 250 houses in 2019. In that case, what I really want to see if okay, so what does that mean? How are we going to track how many houses that you sold? We know, for example, for this client, that they track everything in HubSpot. Okay, cool. So, how are we going to track how many of those came from different reporting channels? Now we know that we're going to have to push the CID from Google Analytics into HubSpot so that we can track where people came from, and then when a sale is closed in HubSpot, then we'll push that back into Analytics as a transaction, for example, because you can build your own hits that you then push to analytics. I talked about this at Engage Portland this year, if you want to watch that video. I recommend doing that because it's a half hour talk and we don't have time for that.

Dana: If you want to learn about how to us CID as your unique ID to tie offline and online together, it's very cool. You should totally try it. For this home builder, that's what we're doing. We know that that's what we're going to have to do, but then we're thinking all right, so people often might just pick up the phone and call so okay, we need to have call tracking installed. So, you start to think about all the different pieces that you're going to need, and not all of this is reporting. Some of this is stuff like call tracking or whatever it might be. Or, let's get a tracking on those flyers that you're handing out, or how are with going to be able to track people who come to your website and then come into a show home. Is there some sort of geo-fencing or beaconing, or is there something there we can do?

Dana: Or, do we just count how many people show up and try to relate it back someway to the amount of website traffic that you're receiving? You can't track everything but you can try to nail down as much of it as you can. Then, you can look back to the previous year and say, “All right, so I know that last year we sold 200 houses, and 100 of those came from digital channels and 100 were from stuff we couldn't track, so that means that this year if we keep up the same stuff, we'll have to do this, this and this in order to improve the number of houses that we sell.” Then, because you have this inventory of all the systems you're going to need, now you know what stuff you're going to have to build at the beginning of the project, not the end when you have to get the actual report to make sure all these systems are talking to each other so that you're building from the very beginning a system that you can report on later.

Dana: I think this is the other mistake that people ... They only think about the report when they're at the end of the project when in reality if you knew in advance, you could set up stuff like goals and events and everything else you were going to have to track at the beginning so you actually had data to work off of. Launching the site and then saying, “Okay, let's set up analytics”, that's not going to get you what you need, right?

Noah: It's easier to start that way, too, because the goals align with how you're building your marketing so it would be easy to start with-

Dana: Yeah, for sure. I mean, then from there, you can figure out okay, I know that I'm going to need ... If you're talking about say local search presence, and you want to broaden your local search presence, so you'd be looking at say the number of searches that you get back from GMB, for example. Then, the other half of it, too, is you really need to think about the best way to present this to the client. This is where I think we default to charts way too often. People don't necessarily like looking at tables, and I think we really default back to visual clues. We like to see numbers and data, but that isn't necessarily what our clients like, right? A lot of clients will say I'm a visual learner, so why are we giving them tabular data all the time because it's just like noise to them.

Dana: I think that this is where thinking about picking the right chart, what kind of data are you presenting, and how can you pick the right chart for that kind of data you're presenting? Don't always default to a chart. Sometimes, it's a scatterplot, or sometimes it's a line or bar or comparative or whatever it might be, but don't go necessarily to a chart. The other thing, too, that I try to tell people is make sure that your data breathes. Don't try to cram too much into one single dashboard, which I think is another mistake is they think, “Well, I have this one page and I got to get everything on here.” You can have multiple pages in a report. Just don't have 40 pages of vomit. Have three pages of good.

Noah: 40 pages-

Dana: Well, it's just I think people do tat, too, because they're really insecure about the reporting. They're just like I'm going to give you everything you could ever possibly need, and hopefully something in here will be meaningful and then you'll keep paying us when in reality it's just dial it back, focus on what matters. If something else comes up that they want to know, then great, but it's not is this chart actually going to tell you if you're hitting your goal. I think that's the biggest question. Jordan: So, Dana, a quick question to that. When you're reporting, are you reporting on trailing or leading indicators then?

Dana: Well, it depends on what is going to make sense because I think that reports should both be forward looking and backward looking. You don't know if you're going to get there if you don't know where you've been, but at the same time, you probably can tell if you're going to get there based on how things are going. So, you can do a little bit of predicitive stuff in Data Studio. It isn't great for it yet, but you can do some stuff. What I really like doing is I'll take, for example, they say increase of 20% sales over last year, so that's a really simple you make a calculated field in Data Studio, and you say take last year's sales and add 20% to it, and then you overlay it over this year's sales, for example, and then you can see if the lines match up visually.

Dana: That's a really simple way to tell the client that you're on track on not. We've done this, too. For example, we work with the Edmonton Fringe Festival, which is North America's largest fringe festival. Come visit in August. It's actually a lot of fun. If you don't know what a fringe is, it's a theater festival. It's a whole bunch of shows that's happen at the same time, and the shows aren't juried. It's picked from a lottery system, so you can get something really fantastic or you can get some guy reading the phone book, which totally happened one year. Whenever anything goes wrong with the website, we're like, “But, it's fringe so it's okay.”

Dana: I think for them, I mean, it was interesting for them to see year over year growth when it came to sales, but because their festival falls on slightly different dates every year because days move around, and if you just do a straight day-over-day comparison it won't work, we overlayed multiple charts in Data Studio, one for each year, so they could visually see you're up 5% over last year or 10% over last year, for example, and when exactly it started to pull away from last year's numbers. It could be something as simple as that. They don't necessarily need to know the hard number, and if they do, they'll tell you and then you can give that in addition but just visually be able to look at something and say, “We were here. Now, we're here.” That really makes a difference to people. Jordan: Cool, and how do you keep clients away from obsessing over vanity metrics? What's your process behind that?

Dana: Well, I just don't tell them the balance rate exists. I don't know. Actually, one thing that I do is I educate clients on how a balance rate can be gamed horribly, and I show them examples where if we did something in Tag Manager that if a two percent scroll triggered an interaction event, then your balance rate is basically almost nothing, and they're quite horrified at that. So, I show them how these metrics are actually kind of BS and this is why. I find that that really helps to be honest. Jordan: Cool.

Noah: So, you're active in all types of digital marketing, and you're really good at building out all the KPI's for each of the different channels. Which of them are you finding is driving performance for clients the most right now? And, which are you excited about?

Dana: Honestly, I really enjoyed paid. I actually don't do a lot of paid. I talk about paid a lot because I talk to clients about it, but Brittany and Liz here do ... Brittany's our main paid person and Liz does a little bit of it. They do such a good job with paid, and that converts extremely well. The difficulty with paid is that you're only going to get so many clicks, and you can't make people search for stuff. So, there is only so far you can go with it a lot of the time, but if it's done well, it should make you a lot of money. I think this is where taking the time and investing and setting up your campaigns correctly ... Actually, I just had a Whiteboard Friday on Moz come out today about paid and SEO's so I'd recommend that people watch that because honesty I love paid.

Dana: SEO, of course, always converts really well. Referral traffic, if you can get referral traffic, that'll convert really well. Also, think about sources that aren't your typical, somebody Googled it and showed up on our site. We find that, for example, email is one of the best converting channels out there depending upon where you're sending it to. It doesn't have to be your own email list, as well. You can buy advertising or get another person's email to mention you. I often say to people don't think of link building as just a link on someone else's website. Link building could be a link in someone else's newsletter. Because, links are great and yes, for authority and everything else, it's important but at the same time, you actually want human beings to click on the link and come buy your stuff. So, getting a link in someone's newsletter or doing that local sponsorship or whatever it might be, that's really effective as well.

Noah: Cool. So, we also talked yesterday about how you view reporting as the beginning of a conversation. Do you want to jump into that?

Dana: Yeah. I mean, I think for sure a lot of clients, if you're doing reporting well, clients have not seen a well done report before, right? Whenever we get a new client, we say send us all the reports you've ever gotten from your previous agencies, and they're always really boring. You can totally picture what they are. You probably have made some of them. I certainly have before we really started to get dedicated to reporting. They're just generic. It could be literally for any client, and really that's where when we start to say to them, “Well, what if you could do this or what if you could do that?”

Dana: Often what I'll say the clients is don't ... And, when I say clients, too, by the way I mean we work with agencies, not just non-agencies because when we work with clients, it's actually usually their in-house team who's contacted us, and we work a lot with in-house teams, and really an agency is just like a really big in-house team, so why would we not work with an agency. Often, we'll say, “Tell us your reporting hopes and dreams. Don't think about the limitations of what you have now. In a perfect world, what would you want to know from your data?” Then, from there, we figure out what sort of Google Tag Manager magic we can do to tie these things together or let them know it's not possible, but by asking them their reporting hopes and dreams, it also really shows you a lot about the client and what matters to them.

Dana: That helps you figure out how you're going to structure your reports so you can front load the stuff that really drives things at the organization. Or, you'll learn stuff and be like, “Why do you need this?” And, then you'll find out some story from five years ago that will really help you and that client relationship, for example.

Noah: Cool. Do you want to share with us some of the reports that you're excited about?

Dana: Well, one report that I can give away, and I'm actually just going to put the link in the chat if you want to open it up for us here. There, I put it in the panelist chat if you want to click that and get that up and running. Anyone can take this, by the way. If you would like a copy of this report, you click the little copy button up on the top right, and then you just put it in your own data sources. What this is is what we do for local clients as a basic digital marketing results report. What we're looking at here, and this is for actually Kick Point's data, I think ... Oh no, this is Google's fake data, so that's why the numbers look so weird.

Dana: What we ask the client is what are the things that matter to you? Six months from now, when we're done working together, what do you want to have happen? They'll say things to us like, “Is my phone ringing? I want to know if my phone ringing.” Or, “I want to get lots of emails.” Or, “I want to get lots of appointments.” Then, that tells us what we call their top line metrics. So, usually there's two or three of those, and that will be is your phone ringing, are you getting emails or visitor's booking appointments? Just putting the numbers there, for example. Then, when we're just starting with it, and this is for a one person, really small type business, like somebody like a psychologist, for example, or a dentist. This is where this would be a good report for them.

Dana: What we're looking at here is really starting them on this journey of understanding how people engage with their website. I just said channel by [inaudible] is probably not the best report for them. I do have it in here because I find that it's a nice segway into getting clients thinking about deeper stuff, so particularly if you've had a client who this is the charts they've gotten in the past, you don't necessarily want to get away too far from it right away. Think of it as sort of a gateway into thinking of other data a different level. So, often when we just start working with a client, we'll show them what pages do your visitors look at, and this will help them incentivize their blogging, for example, or actually doing the things that we want them to do. Then, how do visitors get to your website, and just having an understanding of how many people come from those different channels can really make a difference.

Dana: They'll say things like, “Oh, I know I obsess a lot about paid, but percentage wise, it's actually a really small percentage of my traffic”, for example. That can help them not obsessing over paid so much. Then, local searches. That's actually pulling using the Supermetrics Google My Business connector. In there, brand searches are the ... I believe there's a column. I'm just going to do a quick edit. I'm trying to remember the original. I also rename fields a lot to show people what they ... That is direct search impressions is what it's called, and I've renamed it to brand searches. That's easier for clients to understand than direct search impressions, which means nothing to anyone except Google.

Dana: Unbranded discovery search impressions, for example. That really helps the client see how many times you're coming up. I think that also it's effective for them in order to see, and honestly, up and to the right is always good. On other reports it'll give, which unfortunately I can't show because this one's got client data all over it, I will often do a year-over-year comparison of Google search data for impressions and clicks. I'll explain to them, “This data is not accurate but it's the best that we can get”, and show them this is what it looks like. That can be really effective, too, because then you're showing hey, we are actually giving you more impression share, for example, or you're showing up a lot more than you used to. That's very effective for clients in order to see the real benefit of SEO because it can take a while, obviously.

Dana: If they start in search consoles starting to see themselves come up for a lot more impressions or a lot more clicks, but it hasn't quite sunk in yet, that chart can really help them get there in their minds.

Noah: Does it sound to you guys like I have a dog fighting pit behind me?

Dana: Not a dog fighting pit, but there's definitely a dog.

Noah: You can hear it? Okay, cool. Give me just a second.

Dana: Okay.

Noah: I don't know what's going on outside, but it's active.

Dana: We have an office dog sometimes, but she is not here today or else I would probably be hearing barking here, too.

Noah: It's a beautiful May day in Colorado. It's like the sun's finally out. I get to go see my first concert ever tonight at Red Rocks. I'm going to see this group called Shpongle, which I will share in the show resources because it's the best group ever. Jordan: And, speaking of sharing resources, we will also include that Data Studio link-

Dana: I'm just tossing it in there now, so it should be in the chat, but then you guys will share it afterwards as well.

Noah: Yes, we will.

Dana: Anyone can make a copy of this for sure. I think for other charts, something that ... Oh, Lee, you're going to take this, huh? Lee is someone great to follow, by the way. He shares some great resources. I think that that's where something that I would do in the future for this client is then I would take this channel, the channel chart, and I would actually change that into say a scatter chart or a bubble chart, for example, just so they start to see things a little bit differently and then see how they respond to that. I mean, the great thing about Data Studio is that you can change stuff. The client sees it immediately, so I could be on the phone with them and just change it right there and say, “You know, what do you think?”, for example, and get their feedback and see if that makes sense to them.

Dana: I'm also a big fan of doing video calls because I find that with phone calls you often end up talking over each other because you count on visual cues when someone wants to talk, and you can't really read body language. I think when you're presenting a report to someone, seeing their body language is really important. If you work with remote clients, as we often do ... Very few of our clients are here in Edmonton ... have that body language sense when you're showing people a report, you can get a sense if they're enjoying it, if they hated it, what part of it did they look puzzled at, that sort of thing.

Noah: Got it.

Dana: Yeah, it takes more work. Everyone's like, “Ah, this is a lot of work.” It's like yeah, but anything worth doing is worth doing well, right? It's the difference between having a client you're going to have for a while versus a client you're going to have for six months.

Noah: Did you notice anything interesting in that channel chart that you're sharing?

Dana: Well, this is Google's fake data so it's a giant disaster. This is just using Google's data. Originally, I had it to be ours, and when I look at it for ... Let's see, I'm going to open up actually for one of my clients, not in a window you guys will see because clients are not huge fans of it. One of the things, for example, is what we'll look at is when we talk to the client and say, “Hey, you know what? We feel like your paid could be doing a big better. We're going to go in and shake up some of the campaigns and see what we can do.” Then, I go in and look and say, “Hey, Tom, your paid search is up by 26%. Great.” That's the kind of thing that they want to see.

Dana: This is a thing that we're going to do, and now on the chart we're showing you that it is actually happening the way you expected it to. Or, you can have a chart that's like best converting pages for example. We have a vet client, and saying, “Your spay and neuter pages convert but we find that more clients actually end up closing with you on dental services, so maybe we should put more of our spend effort towards dental as opposed to spay and neuter”, for example. That's where transferring that CID back and forth between the website analytics and their internal sales can be really helpful because really if you're just looking at it from the website side of things, you might just see the conversions but you won't necessarily see if they really closed.

Dana: You see them filling out the form. You don't know if they actually bought the thing, and that's where getting feedback back from their own [inaudible] is really helpful to know what was truly a good lead. Jordan: So, with these insights that you're providing them with, are you including that in the Google Data Studio report, or are you going over with it, and I think that-

Dana: A bit of both. You'll see that we have the What's Next and How to Use This. How to use this is generally filled out on a client-by-client basis, and it usually stays pretty much the same. What's Next is something we would update on a regular basis, and just tell the client what's going on. We also have client areas, secure areas, for them to log into and take a look at their stuff, so we try to include a little bit of information there on what's going on and send regular emails saying this is what we worked on. We don't have a lot of monthly ongoing clients in the SEO sense of monthly ongoing clients because it isn't something that we really like doing, to be honest, unless we really like the client because honestly after six months of link building or three years of link building, you're going to run out of ideas.

Dana: So, we find that if they have an in-house team, we'll train them on how to do it and then off they go to the races, and if it is someone who wants us to do monthly ongoing work, then it really has to be a very collaborative relationship because otherwise we're going to run out of ideas, quite honestly. Especially when it comes to local SEO, which I do a lot of, honestly we end up with a lot of clients, where it's like in local SEO, sometimes you're just like, “Hey, you're number one. Congratulations.” Then, you don't need to do much for a while. You'll keep an eye on stuff, and that's where the monitoring really comes in because if they suddenly dropped to number two, we want to do something about it, but it's not something really where you necessarily need to do a lot of stuff all the time.

Dana: If they're in a competitive niche and they're doing extremely well, then maybe they're just at the point where they're happy with where they're at, you know? Or, we'll have clients where they're number two or three, but they're a smaller company so they're totally fine with being number two or three because if they were number one, they would not have the amount of capacity to handle the amount of the leads that would come with number one, for example. Jordan: Makes sense. So, [Legis] asked what are some good things to demystify by changing and explaining your jargon?

Dana: This is when I'm talking to the clients and figuring out the goal charter. I write down what they say to me, and usually that is what I will rename these things to. So, if they say I would like to know my phone call conversions, then I will call it phone call conversions. If they say I want to know if my phone is ringing, then I'm going to call it “Is my phone ringing?” That really does depend on a client-by-client basis, as well. Jordan: Very interesting. One thing that I think that you've spoken about quite a lot is dashboards versus reports. What exactly are they? What's the different between them?

Dana: I think a lot of people think of reports as this fixed moment in time, and here's the report for January, February, March and blah, blah, blah. The dashboard is what we actually provide now, where it's Data Studio and you can change the time period to whatever you want, and if you do want that snapshot to look at later, then great, you can grab a PDF of it and off you go, but it's the idea that it's not necessarily useful to have a report in that way for every single month. We also find, too, with clients is a month is a really artificial measure of data, especially when you think about, say, April because Easter happened in April and it's a weird month because I'm pretty sure Easter was not in April last year.

Dana: Or, you end up in a situation where Easter is in March one year, and April the other, and then you compare month over month and you're like, “Oh, April was crap but it was great against last year, for example.” Or, whatever it might be. It's not a real measure of anything, so typically I try to look at, say, six weeks of data if I possibly can. That isn't a default period that Data Studio has in there yet. I think you can just do custom rolling, which I think came out pretty recently. I'm just looking right now. Lee, you're probably going to correct me ... You can do an advanced date range and it's like this minus 28 days. You can just do that, and that's pretty new so sometimes I'll put it in and say today less six weeks, for example.

Dana: I think that that is super helpful but I think, again, that's pretty new and we had to go back in and fix all of our reports when that came out. Normally, we would report on a two week basis before this.

Noah: Got it. The thing that stuck out to me on that channel chart that you have in the center was if this is Google's data, the thing that was interesting to me was that they have a paid search column. Are they really paying themselves?

Dana: Well, it's there. I think they do because I think this is Google Store where you can buy Google stuff is I think where this fake dataset comes from. If you want to build your own fake dataset, there's a great Google Tag Manager recipe from Simo Ahava on how to do that. You have to do a little bit more complex. It involves a thing called Custom Task, which is part of the Google Analytics measurement protocol. It's a little bit more technical advanced, but if you're working with clients all the time and you usually have pretty similar datasets, it's a really nice way to demo stuff without it looking trashy as this report can because it's Google's weird data.

Noah: That's really interesting. I found that when I was trying to share a dashboard, and Lee and I have talked about this extensively both on screen shares and in Twitter, Google's data doesn't allow you to transfer ... I forget what it was but I could share a dashboard populated with Google data, and the blends would be broken when someone put in ... Oh, okay, so he's chiming in ... calculated fields.

Dana: Yeah, yeah. Calculated fields don't carry. You have to recreate them.

Noah: I wonder if that data that you're talking about, if we used his techniques, Simo's technique, if that would get around it. Lee, what are your thoughts?

Dana: You know, Lee, while you're typing, I think it would probably work. The problem is that if you make a copy of it, you're still going to have to recreate the calculated fields. Those are always going to break when you move it to a new data source, so I don't think there's anything you can do about that. What I wish you could do is you could pre-populated calculated fields and then Google would say, “Well, what field do you want this to be?” But, for right now, it just completely breaks when you move stuff. If you have a lot of calculated fields in your template that you're copying, you're just going to have a bad time. Then, you make new reports.

Dana: Yeah, you can't create new fields in Google Sample Sources. So, it is best to make your own sample source, and then you can create new fields on that, but even then, if you copy it to a new report, you're still going to have the same problem.

Noah: Okay, cool. Then, can you share with us how you got into doing an automated report and what that thought process was like, and what the steps were like? I think a lot of people are using Data Studio or maybe Tableau, or another toolkit like it, or they're using something like Databox, but I'm interested in learning, or helping people transfer from doing the copy/paste nightmare or just reporting inside Excel, or-

Dana: It's just like there's such a bad time, honestly. I was like this should be less of my day. Nobody's excited about making report day. This is the idea. My rule for when you automate is if you've done something more than three times, you should automate it. So, that's where the time really goes. Honestly, again, it's nice to do it at the beginning of the project because that's when you're in the honeymoon phase and everything's great, and you still like each other and everyone's paying their bills on time. Then, you can actually make the report and that's a thing you can rally behind is having this report. One report to rule them all, but a report that the client's got, that they've never actually gotten a report that good before.

Dana: I think it really makes a difference for them, and it also makes them frankly look like a superhero if they give that report to someone because again, they've also never delivered a report this good. I have a couple of rules, as well, for reports. I'm just looking them up now. I think one of the things for reports in terms of effective report design is remember your client is looking at this, not you, so the report is not about you. But, you also don't need to be like such and such organization because they know who they are. They are opening up the report. So, typically again, you don't necessarily need to put in such and such company name, monthly report, for example. They don't actually care cause they know who they are.

Dana: Then, assume the people just aren't going to look at either. Just assume that they might look at it for two seconds, so you really want to put this important stuff really up front for them. Then, also think about, too, ask the client how they usually present stuff because if they usually present via PowerPoint, then you want to do a landscape report, for example. And, if they usually report via a printed report, then you'll want to do this in not landscape, portrait mode. I think that that's again important questions to ask the client. Try to make it really easy for them in order to make these reports.

Dana: That's really some goals you should be asking yourself like often are they going to be giving this to someone else? Who are all the different people that are going to need to see this? We'll create multiple dashboards, for example, for multiple departments.

Noah: Got it. How do you deal with data sources? Are you at that point where your data sources drive you crazy?

Dana: Like in terms of finding them or naming them?

Noah: Finding and naming. What are you-

Dana: Yes, we have a naming ... I'm going to see if I have a list of it here. Yeah, so we do have a naming scheme that we go for for data sources. Currently, it is, lets see, the name of the client and then I like putting in two slashes, which I know probably breaks some OSs but I think visually it looks better than a bar or a dash. I'm going to type in the chat here what it would look like. This would be for us, for Google Analytics, and then I will put in the name of the view. So, Kick Point GA 1 Master, because that's the name of the view, for example. Or, if I'm dealing with say our super metrics, so I will put in Kick Point GSC, and then I would put in super metrics so that I know it's the super metrics plugin, for example.

Dana: That way it makes it really easy for us, and we have a number of standard GA, GSC, HubSpot. We'll always put in the name of the tool and what it is, and then if there's a special note for the filter or the view, or it's coming from a different place or whatever it might be, we always write that in there. And, if there's a special format for it. So, for example, if we're using Supermetrics as JSON connector to connect STAT data, then it would look like this. STAT.

Noah: So, I'm hearing enterprise client when I'm hearing STAT.

Dana: Yeah, we definitely have some clients who can afford STAT. We have our own accounts where we definitely put our smaller clients in it because I really like them for local rank tracking, and the cost of that just gets rolled into our fees, and then we have some larger clients who use STAT quite extensively.

Noah: Got it. Cool.

Dana: They have a decent API that you can pull the data into DataCo with using their JSON. It's something that I'm still tinkering with but definitely once I get to a point where I'm happy with it, I'll do a blog post or Whiteboard Friday about it because Moz is always like please tell more stories about STAT because we love STAT. It's honestly one of the best ranked tracking tools I've ever used.

Noah: That's pretty amazing. Can you share a little bit about how you were talking about managing relationships with clients. Are you letting them into RIC? Do they have visibility into your team management software at all?

Dana: No, they don't get to see RIC only because we use RIC in a really specific way, which is just task tracking and effort tracking. It wouldn't really make a lot of sense for the client to see RIC to be honest. But, they do have an area. Every client has a shared folder, and we've just started using a tool called Notion, which is like a shared wiki sort of deal where we'll set up client portals for everyone in Notion. We've only just started doing it, and I don't know if some clients are super in to it or not, so this is something where I don't advise you necessarily go ahead and do all this until we know for sure that it's working, and it's not for everybody, but certainly for every client we'll have a shared folder for them on drive and all of their stuff lives there.

Dana: We always present stuff as Google Docs whenever possible. We rarely do PDF's because we want the client to be able to go in and make comments and edit as time goes on because the document should be living, not just here's your brand PDF and it's going to get dusty on a shelf somewhere.

Noah: How do you push your insights into your reports? Do you automate that pulling out of a Google sheet, or do you have a little frame inside of a page that's showing a Google Doc on the inside so that you can have it-

Dana: Sometimes, we'll put a link to the Google Doc here. Yeah, we tried Google Sites, too. Notion I think is the closest we've gotten to something that we're happy with. Lee just asked if we tried Google Sites. In Notion, for example, we might embed the report and then we'll have a notes about the report, for example. But, again, because the client can pull for anytime period, you also have to be cognizant of the fact that they might be looking at a different time period than you're talking about, so you have to be really clear like, “In the two week period from date to date, here's what we noticed and here's the things that we want to do as a result of that.”

Dana: So, that insight that you give the client, remember your job is not data, it's insight. Thinking about looking at this and your job is not to say, “Oh hey, look, your paid search is at 4.5% from April to May.” Yes, they can read that. They are human beings with eyes, and they can see that themselves. It's like what does that mean for you. I think that's the biggest thing is that people mistake that part of the insights and just don't read it back to the client. They're not paying you for that. They can do that themselves. It's what do you bring and how does this information that you see change or not change what it is you're going to be doing. You can look at it and say, “Hey, we are increasing paid search. This is what we were aiming for. The percentage is actually higher than we were expecting, so we're clearly doing a good job. We're going to keep it up, and let us know how the leads are feeling on your end.” For example.

Noah: Can you give us some examples of big wins that have come into place after moving towards an automated reporting solution?

Dana: Honestly, it's like less time spent pulling crappy reports and taking screenshots and copying and pasting, and go through suffering in your life. I think honestly it's just like spend your time on better things. That's the biggest thing with going to automated reporting is just like this is not a good use of your hourly rate, and you're probably honestly losing money because you don't necessarily want to charge a client for the six hours you spent making this kind of mediocre report. Then, you could use that time actually say making them money, which is what they hired you for. That's the biggest difference, just time.

Noah: Yeah, that's what I've experienced, too. Have you been able to leverage your reports to help drive ROI in a way that you can talk about?

Dana: Oh, yeah. For sure. Especially for some clients, like one client of ours is a property management organization, and for them, just being able to see from all the difference places where they would advertise their apartments for rent. They have their own website and we do ads as well, but they would also be on those third-party websites, Craigslist or in Canada, Kijiji, for example, where they're listing their apartments for rent. From there, they want to know if I'm paying for, say, rent faster than I want to make sure that I'm making money off of that, so this is where it's a pretty complex amount of work at the beginning to set it up but it was totally worth it because we could take the amount of money that they were making off of ... We knew what percentage of people who filled out the form ended up renting an apartment.

Dana: Unfortunately, we still can't do the Google Analytics CID push back and forth for them because their CRM is so out of date, but we can say, “So, we know that 24% of people who fill out the application form end up renting an apartment.” We know that if they're in this building, and this size apartment, then we're going to make this amount of money on them gross, for example. I don't know their margin. I don't need to know their margin, and then we can tell them here's the amount of gross revenue you made off of RentFaster in this month, for example. This is the number off people that came to RentFaster who filled out the form. They're knowing that there's only a certain percentage of people who would necessarily fill out the online form after coming from Rent Faster, so it was probably a bit higher than that, but is it enough that it is justifying your spend? Yes or no?

Dana: You're not just looking at the number of conversions. You're actually looking at real physical numbers, and the client knows that their profit margin is 10%, 20%, whatever it might be. They can take it from there. If they tell you it, which they rarely will and don't push them for it. Sometimes, I'll ask and say, “Are you comfortable sharing your margin? No? Okay, cool.” If they are, then you can add that into your calculated field as well, but if they're not then you can just report in gross revenue.

Noah: Got it.

Dana: You can use a table in Tag Manager to assign different amounts to the form fields as well.

Noah: I get the sense that you're in love with Tag Manager. A lot of the formulas and recipes that you've been sharing target that. Let's say you're stuck using universal analytics. Is that just coming up with Java script based solutions?

Dana: Oh, man. I can't find a situation where you could not do Tag Manager. I would really make that a compelling case held to die on kind of situation honestly. Just like what is the roadblock in you getting Tag Manager set up, and if it's the client, show the client what you can do. What's your roadblock for Tag Manager?

Noah: My platform that I do most of my work on that I'm not allowed to say the name of has that as an issue where it's-

Dana: That they won't allow Tag Manager?

Noah: Yeah, they'll strip it out. They'll strip the code out in the checkout process, so you can't get it inside-

Dana: [crosstalk] Yeah, I would fight them honestly, and explain. I know why they're not. They're like, “Oh, well you could put in malicious JavaScript.” Yeah, of course, I can. Also, so can cross scripting site attacks. It's honestly a hill that I frankly will 100% happily die on with clients and have in the past, where it's like the amount of insights that you get from a Tag Manager implementation are so much beefier than what you get from regular analytics that it is completely worth investing the time to make sure that that happens. Often, too, if it's a tool and they're being really weird about it, I'll show them how if they offer this to their clients, the amount of better insights they can give and often that can be the selling point for the toolmakers. This is not just for me. This is for all of your clients.

Dana: If they won't, then yeah, you have to go to JavaScript, but if they let you put on custom JavaScript, why wouldn't they just let you put on the Google Tag Manager. That seems dumb. That's my feelings.

Noah: I agree a hundred million thousand percent.

Dana: Find a new tool.

Noah: So, share with us some of your losses that have happened through getting started in the process. It is mainly just the time suck in developing a solution or anything go horribly wrong?

Dana: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest issue is not checking the reports to make sure that stuff's happening. That's really where monitoring became our big jam because I don't want a client calling me and I haven't looked at the report in three months and them saying, “Hey, everything is shit. What's wrong with you?” So, certainly we've had that kind of situation. This is why, for example, we'll use automated analytics updates to push to site channels through Zapier. Or, we use a tool called Little Warden, which is amazing. Story here, for example. We had a client who had just rebranded, changed from an old domain to a new domain. Huge site, big project. I think it was the third of the month, and their Google Tag Manager code was removed by the developers because they're dumb asses.

Dana: We found it, I think, on the fourth or the fifth when we went in to look at their analytics because it was a weekend, removed on a Friday, because of course idiot developers deploy on Fridays, right? Then, we looked on Monday and we're like what happened? Then, we immediately realized that they ripped out the GTM code. Emailed the client, client was like you know, and went and fixed it and everything's great, except for missing three days of data. So, you look back and now you always have to have an annotation to say, “Hey, developer's removed the code. This is why we have no data for these days and that month is always going to look weird.”

Dana: So, we use Little Warden now, and we actually just have it set up and it will immediately send a message to Slack, and we have a channel called Red Alert, and any Little Warden events go in there and whoever is available will take a look at it, and then let the appropriate person know if something has gone wrong. Little Warden will keep an eye on stuff like is the site live, are [301 Reader X 00:43:57] working the way that they are, our dub-to-dub to non-dub-to-dub or vice versa redirects working the where they should be or did they change their MX records? Is their SSL certificate about to expire? Is their domain about to expire because you know with some companies, they forgot who registered the domain originally for 10 years, and then 10 years comes up and that employee's gone and took their domain registration account with them, for example.

Dana: Having that, even though it's not necessarily what you do but having their back can really be effective for a client and make you look a super hero. And, also it saves you time and suffering because you don't need to try and figure out where the domain is. You can tell the client to figure it out.

Noah: I don't do any black hat stuff in my practice, but I went to a conference recently, and they had two to three hours of black hats talking about how they grow relevance for websites, and then also how to do negative SEO attacks. That was really enlightening as a white hat person to hear how they approach the craft of making their clients money. One of the things that it got me thinking about was trying to show on a monitoring side versus a reporting side. What's going on on backlinks and what do we need to take action on? Do you track that?

Dana: Yeah, we do. We use Ahrefs for that.

Noah: And, do you classify them by these are all just a bunch of spam-scraped images? Do you put them in different categories? How do you ...

Dana: Yeah, it depends on the client. We'll look at it as they come in. Another good tool for this, by the way, is called [Acrewbo 00:45:35], but apparently they're coming out with ... It's from the same people who brought you Little Warden ... they're coming out with a light version of their tool because right now it's a bit enterprise heavy, but I did really like it when I was using it for an enterprise project, and I will sign up for it once they come out with their light version of the product. But, yeah, for sure just keeping an eye on links. I mean, the problem too with black hat links is if somebody's doing a negative SEO attack and they're good, you're not going to find it in most tools. It's just not going to show up, and I think that that's something that you really need to consider.

Dana: It's funny because Google's like, "Oh, you know, black hat SEO, those negative SEO attacks, they don't work." Well, we've seen from examples that they do work. It's just what's the best way to pick that up. So, looking at the inbound links and Google search console, if this is something that you're worried about for your client, you're going to spend a little bit more time doing this and it may not be something you can fully automate because, for example, the links information that you see in search console is not accessible from the API, for example. I honestly think if it's a good black hat SEO, and they're covering their tracks, you are not going to see those links pop up in any of the link tools out there no matter the coverage that they guarantee. It's just not going to happen because they're doing their jobs.

Dana: I think that's something where I think you just have to pay attention to what's going on, and this is where monitoring, for example, could be ranking so if you do suddenly see a drop, and I think a lot of people saw, for example, big drops for that big algo update for example. I actually just had someone contact me yesterday and it was just clear as day. On the second or the third, it was gone. Something like that, if you had monitoring set up, then you would know immediately that something horrible had happened and you could jump in and deal with it. With any sort of attack, whether it's an algo update or if it's a negative SEO attack, or DDoS, whatever it might be, just hopping on it faster is how you fix it faster. That's really here paying attention to it is.

Dana: I really separate monitoring and reporting in my mind. Reporting is like what can I do with this, and monitoring is what do I need to do about this. So, reportings like here's all the insights from this information and monitoring is this is a thing that has come up, what do I need to do about it, if anything?

Noah: I'm going to switch windows here. Yeah, they were sharing with me a tactic that they were doing whereby they would post content that's copyrighted two tiers below the money site.

Dana: That's smart.

Noah: And, then they would flood the money site's inbox with emails.

Dana: Yes. Oh, so this is actually quite a common ... If you suddenly get a whole bunch of emails [crosstalk] or span, somebody's about to steal some money from you, so keep that in mind. This happens a lot, too, with PayPal. If someone's hacked your PayPal account, they're about to do big bank transfer, you'll get a whole bunch of emails. Yeah, I do the technology column on CBC Edmonton AM in the mornings, and after I talk about a hacking attempt, usually somebody's trying to hack the thing that I talked about. It's like I have two-factor set up, but good try. I'll see a whole bunch of emails come in and then I'll just go and change my banking password.

Noah: Oh, man.

Dana: I know something's about to happen, and I think honestly when you start getting spam like that, shit's about to go down for sure, so you just have to keep an eye on that.

Noah: Yeah, they were saying basically that if this happens, you're done. You can't come back.

Dana: Well, and I think you need to just pay attention to the black hat SEO's and see what they're doing. I actually find it really interesting reading what they're up to because it tells me what's Google's going to do next to try to shut this down, because you know Google's reading that stuff, too. So, yeah, that'll work for a few months and then they'll move on to something else and Google will plug that hole, but then it tells me this is the thing that Google's going to be focusing on next, for example, is what the black hats are up to.

Noah: They were saying that any time Google releases anything on the Webmaster blog, that that gives them insight as the next way to do negative SEO attack on someone.

Dana: Yeah, someone really good to follow is Tom Anthony, who works at Distilled, because he does all sorts of weird little hacks of Google and will publish them on his blog. He finds the craziest stuff. He's fun. I think honestly in most cases, it's very rare, I think, that you'll run into ... I say this now and somebody's probably negative SEO'ing our site right now, but I think it is quite rare that you'll run into a negative SEO attack. So, I don't think it's something that honestly a lot of people on a day-to-day basis need to worry about, and if it is something where you have had a negative SEO attack, reach out to other people in the community because there is nothing SEO's love more than doing a case study on someone else's website, and I'm sure that people would be happy to jump in and help you with you having a problem with this sort of thing.

Noah: This is one of my favorite questions to ask clients because it helps me drill down into the opportunity, but what keeps you awake at night?

Dana: Cash flow. Yeah, I mean it's just the life and death of any small business is cash flow. I think that that's always the thing that worries me is making sure that we've got the right ... Who's late paying us? Are we getting the right amount coming in? It's tax season and you got to pay your remittances, and all that other crap, so yeah, it's always cash flow.

Noah: Got it, got it. What else do we got here? Oh, project management and automation. Do you automate your project flows?

Dana: No.

Noah: Do you have alerting and notifications in helping you push it through the process?

Dana: No. That's all set up manually. Actually, it takes a while to set up our projects initially in RIC, usually about an hour or two because we set up everything manually. I like idea of not having a template because actually very few of our projects are the same from project to project. Other agencies, you may have very similar project outlines and that's how you've decided to run your agency, and that's totally cool, and then you can copy stuff, but just because of how we structure project, and every project is very different, we usually can't copy from one project to the other so we just stopped trying.

Dana: But, a step in the set up is thinking about automation and monitoring, and what do we need to set up now to keep an eye on stuff for this client? Jordan: So, what's your workflow for determining what needs to be automated and doesn't?

Dana: Yeah, so we'll figure out what is all the stuff that we're doing for this client and then we'll just write it all out and think does any of this need to be automated or monitored in some way? So, if they have a website now and we know we're redoing it for example, but we still want to keep an eye on it to make sure nothing goes to trash in the meantime, so here's all the different alerts we have to set up and here's all the different tools we have to set them up in for example.

Dana: If we're not worrying about reports until the new sites launch because it's not focused in that way, then we know we don't have to do a report now, but we really do want to write out the measurement strategy pretty early on in the project so that we're making sure that that's included in development, for example. So, it just really depends on what the project might be.

Noah: So, I think there's probably a bunch of people who are working with smaller clients and there's probably people in the room who are dealing with larger clients. It seems like, for me, a lot of my projects are on the same platform with the same type of client. They have similar needs. The differences between them happen to be what type of geographical market they're in, how much revenue they have, and how many physical locations they have.

Dana: Yeah, so in that case, I would 100% set up templates that you would copy in RIC when you do your setup, and just go through a checklist of information that you need to set up.

Noah: Which is another reason why people who are thinking about starting their own agency should niche. Do it.

Dana: See, and we refuse to, which I know makes it harder, but honestly I like the variety. I really do. I love talking to one client who is like we just need you to look at our Tag Manager and make sure we haven't screwed it up, and then somebody else is like our ads are trash. Can you help us with that? Those are the two phone calls I had today, and we're kicking off a website project next week. I had a call about content strategy earlier today, so it's like we're small but we like touching in all these different pieces and it's something that I love.

Dana: Then, when we have clients that come to us and they're like, “I actually don't want to be super collaborative. I just want better ad words”, I'm like, “Okay, here's who I'm going to send you to.” We know that there's agencies out there that are really strong in that sort of thing. We don't have a niche in terms of industry or what we do. Instead, the niche is like how involved they want to be, and we work with clients who are really hands-on with this stuff because we really do want to treat it as collaboratively. It's not like you put money into this marketing machine and marketing comes out the other end. If you want that kind of relationship, I know several excellent agencies that I will 100% refer people to, and they'll do a great job with them, but we aren't going to be a good fit for them.

Noah: So, you probably find that the ROI happens a lot faster, too, and larger when they're actively engaged assuming they-

Dana: It really depends. Sometimes, too, we've got people who just got screwed over by a previous agency. They're like, “We have no money but we still need to finish this project.” That's always fun. Usually, those people end up being long term clients, so it's just like you're not making money right away but you will eventually. Part of it, too, with our ROI is just make sure your hourly is high enough that it makes sense. Some clients, for example, are Project Milestone billings, some clients are monthly billing based on what we did for them that month in terms of hours, so we'll have a consultative arrangement where they just ask us questions or we'll look at stuff and get back to them about things, and then we just bill them based on actual time spent in advance.

Dana: It isn't like a retainer where they pay us an amount and we just use it up. It's more post-billing.

Noah: Got it. So, that's a challenge with that model, right? Of not doing tons of retainer ongoing stuff as the cashflow-

Dana: Yeah, it's the cashflow. Yep, because we don't do tons of retainer. Our retainers are very small. I would say it's like 20%, I think, of our monthly billings currently, or monthly billing goal. So, certainly a lot of that is project based billing, so if 80% is project based, you got to make sure you're on it when it comes to projects or else you can't bill them.

Noah: I'm the exact opposite in terms of ratios.

Dana: Yeah, I used to be the other way around. It was just I don't know, I find this more enjoyable honestly, but there's room for both. It's not like I'm not preaching this is the one true way for agencies. I think the other way's probably easier. I probably made life harder for myself on purpose, but it's just what I've chosen to do.

Noah: It gives you pleasure, so I mean you're going to stick with it. Give us insight into some of your favorite tools. We've got a couple minutes left. Jordan, I feel like I've been running the show the whole time. What do you got? Jordan: I've been peppering questions here and there for Dana, but she's been providing a whole ton of insight and I'd be interested to hear what her favorite tools are.

Dana: Yeah, so we use STAT Search Analytics, of course. I like Ahrefs. SEMrush is fine. I think we've just been using Ahrefs for a long time and so it's a more familiar tool for us. Then, there's a new tool that we've been using a lot for local SEO called Local Falcon. What Local Falcon does is you put in your address for the client, and you say the radius, and it'll tell you where that client is ranking in the map for that particular search. Also, related to local SEO, as well, is Joy Hawkins has this amazing expert's guide to local SEO, which if you do any local SEO, you should just buy it. It's not cheap. I think it's like $1500 or something like that. It's worth every single penny and she updates it all the time. She is just on local SEO in a way that I can not possibly be, so she is the go-to there for sure.

Dana: I'm just looking at my tools folder to see what else I'm really in love with.

Noah: I think she just dropped the price, too. I saw it online last night for like $500. I might have found some weird landing page somewhere, but-

Dana: Maybe. She sometimes gives discounts. Then, I'm putting another tool in here, too. Yellow Lab. That is a test to figure out site speeds. There's lot of different site speed tools out there. Another one we use is called GT Metrics, but I like Yellow Lab because it'll tell you things like this site has jQuery loaded in twice. Weird crap like that that always ends up happening, and I really like that for when you're going through stuff and saying what is actually genuinely holding up this website from being fast. That can really help you with that.

Dana: Then, there was also another. There's a batch speed tool which is also super fun, which I've also just put in there. You put in your website and it will run a whole bunch of pages on the site through Lighthouse at once, so you can see how you're ranking, which was great. I did that with our site and every page was 98, except for where we had to redirect to Google Maps, which I think was 20 which was hilarious.

Noah: I've only had one site where I had 100 across the board, and when I saw that in Lighthouse, I wanted to just click my heels and jump up. My wife kind of cackled at me, not with me, from the other room.

Dana: It's funny because I'm okay with 98. I don't think we need to get to 100. It's just like I feel like I'm okay with ... I was always the “this is good enough student” in school, so that feels good enough to me. It's like we can spend our time elsewhere other than getting that last two percentage points.

Noah: I know I'm such a tool, but I wanted to just see if it was possible.

Dana: Totally.

Noah: Is it even possible?

Dana: Then, I mean in terms of tools, Zapier is a really good go-to particularly when you're pushing stuff back and forth between different systems. Google has a hit builder that you can use to build your own hits, so you can trigger in, for example, in Zapier say when this sales force opportunity is closed, then you grab these fields in Sales Force and use that as part of the hit that you build and then push off to GA with the transaction ID and the sales ID and the client ID, for example.

Noah: That's off the hook. Have you tried Integromat at all? Have you heard of that?

Dana: No, I haven't even heard of that. Integromat?

Noah: Integromat is my favorite automation tool that I've been using recently, and the reason why I like it over ... I pay crazy money for Zapier and I use it like crazy, but with Integromat you can do more things. A couple of things that it has that are cool-

Dana: Oh, interesting. Yeah, I'm on the site now.

Noah: It has error handling built in so if something fails, it lets you know which. With Zapier, it's not exactly the same thing. You'll get notifications but not necessarily right away. Also, with Integromat, you can interact with the server.

Dana: Hm, interesting.

Noah: Which is really cool. I have an onboarding process for one of my tools, or one of my products, where I need to build out a configuration file and I need to build out a code block ... actually, two code blocks ... that'll live on each client website. This Integromat tool will take data that I grab through the onboarding process, and it'll build a router. Part of that gets pushed off to build the configuration file that lives on the server, and the other part of the data gets pushed into an email that sends the code blocks to the customer.

Dana: That sounds interesting.

Noah: And, it's easier. You know when you're building an email in Zapier, or when you're building code blocks in Zapier, that interface is kind of weird sometimes inside that little text area-

Dana: Yeah, it's not the best interface.

Noah: Yeah, and the way that Integromat builds it, and allows you to preview what the data looks like, to my mind makes it a little bit more intuitive when I work with it. I just think it's super cool and you can use them together if you ever have to. You can push web hooks back and forth, which I've had to do occasionally but, yeah-

Dana: And, it has Google Data Studio as a service. That's cool. All right.

Noah: Yeah, and it's also less expensive, too. I think it cost me $9.00 a month with pretty cool functionality whereas with Zapier I think I'm paying $115 a month for top of the line, do whatever you want functionality.

Dana: Okay, cool. I will definitely check that out. Jordan: We are at the top of the hour now. Dana, before we go, how can people reach you?

Dana: Twitter is probably the best place. My DM's are open, which I regret sometimes doing but you know. So, if you have a question or comment, or would like to share something or have a question about links or whatever, just feel free to DM me or @ me on Twitter. It's DanaDiTomaso ... And, if you can't spell that, I do check my search console. There are many different ways in which people spell my last name, most of them will lead to me. Google has figured it out.

Dana: There is one other Dana DiTomaso in the world. She lives in Colorado. She's a teacher and we're friends on Facebook. We're the only two Dana DiTomaso's in the world. Yeah, you will get to me no matter how you spell my last name.

Noah: Excellent. Dana, I'm so pleased you were willing to join us.

Dana: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Noah: ... and helped bring up the conversation, elevate it up to another level. This has been really great. Everybody who joined us, thanks so much. If you want to catch this show after the fact, it's going to be on our YouTube channel, which is the Agency Automators YouTube channel. It'll also be on our website, AgencyAutomators.Com. Everybody have a fantastic weekend, and we'll catch you in two weeks, which is going to be a really interesting episode. We have Garrett French, a link building legend, and we also have Venchito, and I don't know how to say his name correctly so please don't get mad at me, Tampon, T-A-M-P-O-N. He's from the Philippines and he's another link building legend.

Noah: We're super excited to have them join us. Everybody have a great two week and we'll catch you soon.

Dana: Thanks so much.

Noah: Thanks.

Jordan: Take care.



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