Episode 384

Fast-track Your Digital Marketing the Data-driven Way with Google Analytics Expert Julian Juenemann

Today we have Julian Juenemann from Measure School in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett. Their whole platform is built and maintained on WordPress by Julian himself. Julian creates and sells Google Analytics training courses through his website. But not all learners get their questions formed during their course time. So, for people with a longer learning curve, he also has memberships to his site where they can ask their questions to their experts and the community they have built as the learners encounter new problems or discover a new way to use Google Analytics on their websites. However, Julian still gets a lot of consulting requests. 

Google Analytics was first introduced as a tool for users to install on their website and give visibility on the performance of all the ad campaigns they were running for their website with Google. As it was first an enterprise solution that was later made free, at that time it was the most advanced tool for the public. But later it became outdated, harder to develop and was also showing security issues. So, they have finally phased it out with Google Analytics 4.0. On the new Google Analytics 4.0, you can now both check data on your apps and your website from the same console.

But Google Tag Manager is where the fun happens. Google tag manager adds a detailed layer to your analytics by installing trackers to different actions on your website or outbound communications. Then these actions when implemented properly will start to light up your Google Analytics dashboards and give you actionable insights.

Google Analytics is a great tool to identify where your users are coming from and what they are doing on your website. Although all user data on Google Analytics is anonymous, still you can extract and segment useful engagement data from your users and visitors. For example, on a course creator’s LMS-powered website or any membership website, you can separate your members in the traffic by when they are signing in and track which pages in your website they are visiting most or first. Based on that user activity, you can send a customized email or a notification to that cohort by triggering it internally.

Talking about where your visitors are coming from, YouTube has been the biggest channel for Measure School to generate more leads. They are optimizing their SEO and posting more blogs to keep ranking up. But also when Julian speaks at a program or a podcast, that is where people engage with Measure School and later start training with them.

Google Analytics seems to be a very technical subject matter to teach, what’s the secret to Julian’s courses where it becomes easy and feasible to learn among people who are just starting? He does two things right. First, he went out of his way to learn about his ideal target audience and their behavior even after being 7 years in this business. Second, he listened to what his learners and members had to say about the experience.
Measure School has an amazing Youtube channel, find them and follow them here. If you feel like you’re a professional marketer and you wanna step up your game of tracking, check out ‘Measure Master’, their program for marketers who want to take data tracking seriously and to an advanced level.

At LifterLMS.com, you can learn more about new developments and how to use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Thank you for joining us!

Episode Transcript

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place! If you’re looking to create, launch and scale a high-value online training program. I’m your guide Chris Badgett, I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay till the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show!

Chris Badgett: Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest, his name is Julian Juenemann. He’s from Measure School which is all about learning to grow your business with Data and Metrics. He’s also a course creator, and a membership site entrepreneur and I’m really excited to get into it with you today. Thanks for coming, Julian!

Julian Juenemann: Thank you for having me, Chris!

Chris Badgett: For the people out there, there’s kind of 2 groups of people that listen to this podcast. We have a lot of do-it-yourself experts, and then we have WordPress professionals who build websites and do marketing for experts. Both of these groups of people want to make data-driven decisions and set up Google Analytics. It sounds easy but it’s not and now we have got the whole new Google Analytics 4 thing that’s dropping. Give us the highest level overview of what Google Analytics is and for us that got to figure it out and now something has changed with GA4. What’s happening, and how do we get ready for this?

Julian Juenemann: Sure! I guess start at the beginning why was Google Analytics kind of invented or its actually a company that Google bought in 2007 and a simple answer was is that Google has bought this company because they obviously sell advertising and adverts and they kind of wanted to just give them the website owners a tool to spend more money on ads by showing them the results of what is going on their website so simply a tool an analytics tool that helps you to decipher the behavior of your users on your website itself. So I would say that in the sense you can use it for many different things but traditionally for small business owners it was just used for uh finding out how many people came to my website where they maybe come from and then you can optimize based on their behavior so obviously there’s stuff happening on the website but also off the website and often times you would look at people coming through SEO maybe um behave differently than maybe people who’re coming through PPC ads or so. And obviously for professional marketers it’s a great tool to actually see what’s happening on the website and track conversion and the most important question that you can answer is that where do my people come from and do they convert? Actually do they take the action that I want them to take? So Google Analytics was a free solution that was out there that people could install, although it was an enterprise solution at first and Google made it free that’s why it was the most powerful tool out there for free that’s actually there for free. Now it has become outdated over the years just because the internet was changing the world was changing more and more people were on mobile devices and Google Analytics universal analytics that is mainly built around that measurement of websites and obviously there are also apps out there that use different use cases nowadays for the information that you might put on the internet. At some point it got harder and harder to develop this product. Now Google has come out with a new version called Google Analytics 4 and that is the 4th iteration of Google Analytics and it’s much more centered around a different data model that is much more flexible that would allow you to track websites and apps in one property in one interface so you’d be able to optimize both of them at the same time for one user experience. That’s the central theme behind it, there are many other reasons why Google Analytics is switching now and turning off the old version in one year is actually the time they kind of announced this. And yeah there’s privacy reasons, there are future development reasons and many other things we could get into but that’s the high level right now why Google Analytics 4 is now out.
Chris Badgett: This is great! You’re really good at explaining this stuff which is awesome. For a website built using WordPress, whether for themselves or for their clients. What’s the best way to get Google Analytics integrated into the website? I know there are some WordPress plugins that help make the bridge easy or what do you recommend for people when they are trying to connect Google Analytics to their WordPress website?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah! I mean there are some great plugins out there on WordPress that you can install Google Analytics fairly easily. The thing is that I think if you wanna have a base layer of data these plugins are all fine, everything kind of works but you might as well know that if there’s any kind of customization to the platform at some point you might not be tracking everything you could be tracking or sometimes data is missed out because you have changed something in the theme for example. And then these plugins are built for use case the standard use case but if you change around then you understand then sometimes they break. Now I’m actually a big advocate of taking control of your tracking yourself. And it was previously it was very hard to manipulate your tracking cause you actually need to know a little bit of coding or javascript in order to build in certain things but the power really comes in if you customize your implementation to your business needs and that’s where Google also brought out the tool in 2011 now already which was Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is kind of a layer of sorts that lets you manipulate these codes without needing to actually code but make changes in templates and the need Google Tag Manager is actually a tag management tool. So, specially if you have not only one code installed like Google Analytics but you have advert conversion tracking, Facebook Pixel many other tools that are out there then you might want to use something like Google Tag Manager because you are managing then these codes away from what is installed on your platform so you don’t have to go into WordPress like where did I find this code where can I make these changes but it’s actually one central snippet that you actually install which is Google tag manager and then through that you deploy all your different uh java script tracking codes and for your marketing. So you’ll be able to for example when somebody purchases your product send that onto multiple tools instead of just Google analytics and needing to go and manipulate all of these codes. So Google tag manager is my preferred way obviously takes a little bit of getting used to and learning. We have a lot of videos on our YouTube channel if you wanna check that out on this topic and it makes opens up the door if you really want to get into tracking to actually customize your implementation into the abilities that Google Analytics 4 or any other analytics solution actually has rather than just standard case. If you think WordPress could be a blog, it could be a membership site, it could be a course and it could be so many things Woocommerce obviously as well so these plugins was built on a certain case and think yeah maybe this user is a WordPress user because he has a blog but he cannot know all of the use causes you would have for your data especially for data and the capabilities of tool like Google analytics from what you can actually do with it, so that’s when you get into customization. I would say first you need to have your base layer set up if you have Google Analytics installed. That’s already great but if you wanna take it up a notch then you wanna maybe look at Google tag manager to install that onto your page and then share codes through that.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome! Well lets well first I just wanna say if this is peaking your interest go check out Measureschool.com. Julian’s been training there on exactly how to do all this stuff which is awesome. And really this is one of the first things you should do in my opinion when setting up an online business. Getting this in place and design with data and tracking in mind from day one is super important. I wanna unpack this idea of tag manager specifically for course creators out there because the word ‘Tag’ is used a lot and gets used in like Marketing, CRM,like tagging contacts it gets used in WordPress for like blog categories and tax something called Taxonomy. But what does a Tag mean in the world of Google Analytics? And then also if you could weave into your answer moving kind of full-funnel like maybe we get some traffic they opt into something and then maybe they end up on the email list they buy something and maybe we wanna over time sell that person more things. So how do we think about what tags are and how to use them across the full customer journey?

Julian Juenemann: Right. Yeah, okay! I guess where we could start is in terms of Google Tag Manager, the Tag is really the tracking code that you would normally deploy so you have something called marketing tags that marketers oftentimes have to just install. Traditionally you would have to run over to the developer and tell him, “Hey! Can you install this tag for me on this website?” and then maybe you wanna track something specific to did somebody click on the ‘Add to Cart’ button, and there needs to be another tracking code installed. So Google Tag Manager gives you the ability to install these data packages that you wanna send over to the tool via a central management console and you can actually customize triggers as, for example-I want to fire this on a click, I want to fire this when somebody is scrolling down a page. You can pick up all of these different interactions on your page and it makes it way easier to install it. And also then send the right data over to the tools and do a little bit of debugging and it takes in other functionality from web development for example, version control. So tracking, if you work in professional environment to tracking breaks the marketer if he spent a sizeable amount on marketing, for example, a PPC company. If they cannot track conversions in the end anymore and you’re losing out on very important data because you’re not paying Google, for example, with PPC Ads, to drive traffic to your website at first because the investment that’s so high, at first you’re just getting data from them to know what should be working and what should not be working. So if you’re not tracking and something breaks there then you’re losing out on data. Google tag manager kind of gives you all the tools to install these tracking codes reliably on your websites. Now when we get into membership sites what is actually possible with Google tag manager when Google analytics or other tools out there are definitely many different tools we also use on our platform in order to engage users and make yeah, have them throughout their customer journey. And I think marketing tags cannot only be seen in Google analytics mind or tracking in mind, but even a TrackPod or a tracking tool that you install for customer service inside of your member’s area, there’s already a little code that you need to install, and you could deploy this through Google tag manager for example, or an Intercom also tracks a lot of data so or Active Campaign, for example, they’re not just an email marketing tool anymore they’re actually tracking machines because you want to connect your data with actual emails that you sent out and so on. So you can actually utilize Google tag manager throughout the lifetime on your website the lifetime of the user on there through the journey of your website. Now, if I can come up with some examples, so first of all, Google analytics is really great in finding out where did the user come from. So if you install Google analytics just plainly on your website, then that’s already a great step forward because you know how many people are coming to your website and what are they doing. Then we can customize and actually track interactions. We can find out what are people actually up to on our websites. And for membership sites or course creators specifically, I could think of first of all the sales obviously very important that’s the conversion when somebody signs up. But even then when somebody has the log-in details they actually log into the site right? That’s when we can actually have a chance to identify the user kind of and Google analytics normally everything is pretty anonymous; you don’t really know who is who, but once the user logs in, you have a chance to send something over called the ‘user ID’ then you have a list of user IDs that you can actually what the single user clicked on or which pages did he visit. That’s very powerful data that might be also available in other tools. So if you think of an Intercom for example if you wanted to find any kind of information about the user has used this specific feature inside of your membership site and now you want to show him a message that needs to be sent into Intercom first and sometimes you need to track some interactions on your page with Google tag manager, you can do that and have the user ID available send that all over to intercom and then intercom will take over and fire that message or pop up that message for that user or send them out an email also, right? So we can do a lot on that behavioral targeting even once the user is logged in and that requires a lot of or a little bit of customization of your tracking tools as well. And then, later on, you can obviously connect more tools uh automation tools to fire personalized emails or personalized messaging to the user as well. So there’s a lot of abilities of tracking that you can do with Google tag manager but then also the tools itself depending on how creative you wanna be with your marketing later on eh when the user is inside of the tool itself. It’s really up to you what capabilities you want to use.

Chris Badgett:That is so cool! What? I have some questions about your membership site journey yourself. But before we get into that, what’s the fastest way for somebody to get started with Google analytics today? And Google tag manager?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah! I guess the fastest way is to install it. I think they have good plugins out there to install Google tag manager as well on your website and then just have a look at the different tutorials that are out there. On our YouTube channel we are free Google tag manager for beginners course for example that gets you used to how to actually deploy codes. Once you have them installed, also you have a marketer if you ever grow your team, well thank you so much for it. Because it’s just so much easier to edit the codes later on or also, yeah, keep track of what has actually been happening we often times go into businesses and ask them, so what tracking do you have installed? Do you have any kind of plan for that or at least a sheet or something? And there’s just no documentation whatsoever. Although even as marketing grows you should have a plan just like developers documentation is the rule.
[Laughs]
that everybody should have, even for the marketing as well. And that’s why I think yeah if you set up um installed Google tag manager then through Google tag manager you want to install Google analytics and your tracking codes like the Facebook Pixel I would say is a really good way to get started and doesn’t have to get too complicated you don’t have to do all the customizations. Only if you feel like, “Hey I really wanna find out how many people click that button or scroll down that page or even saw a certain part of the page!” you can build that in with Google Tag Manager and have that data available in GA4 or in your Facebook pixel to retarget also people in your Google ads so there’s a lot of possibilities but to get started just go over to Google Tag Manager signup for account and install it onto your website. That’s all.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And your YouTube channel has a lot of videos on this kind of thing it’s called Measure School? And as of this recording you’ve got over a hundred and fifty thousand subscribers. How? A lot of course creators and coaches and membership site people are trying to also build on YouTube. Because it’s a great marketing channel and a great way to build trust and authority in your niche. What did you do? What are some tips that you learned in your journey to over a hundred and fifty thousand subscribers on YouTube?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah I think nobody wants to hear this but it’s consistency in the end. I’ve been doing videos for 7 years. When I started out I actually looked at different marketing techniques that were out, right SEO and so on. And in the end I kind of said well I created this course and back then it was on Udemy I created this course and I had fun kind of creating the videos for this course, now how can I market this? Well I could create more videos and put them out there on YouTube which is also the second largest search engine. So I just started consistently every week pumping out one video, just a tutorial at the beginning and now we do many different other styles of videos. But we kind of just stay consistent. It was not I mean there are many other channels that are much bigger than us and have done this in quarter of the time than us. But for us, it’s like the yeah the knowing your niche, knowing your audience that you have there. And just continue putting stuff out there and people will learn from that and you will build a brand people will know you and then they’ll also start going over to your website and maybe buy your courses or so. But unfortunately, I mean there are tons of other tips out there but you already have some really cool people on the podcast as well to talk about this. So maybe go back to the experts? I’m just here a small niche, dedicated audience, keeping on putting out a video every week and trying to make this um as valuable as possible. It’s kind of the name of the game I guess.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome! Well so we can learn from you and so your membership site journey where it is? Like what’s the structure of it today like you have like a membership site with lots of courses in it, you do some private coaching?
Like what’s kind of in your stack of or the offer that you offer there?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, sure I mean the thing is also kind of customized for our market. We tried a lot of things outside. So I, in the beginning I was on Udemy later I built my own WordPress website. Back then there were not many plugins out there where you can actually do a membership website with. Now there are a little bit more and I kind of experimented a lot with first the model of courses so having standalone courses. That kind of went pretty well. At the same time, I must say that the journey was a little bit of a roller coaster. So a lot of people remember that model when you close a course and open up a course again and close a course. [Laughs] So you go through a roller coaster in terms of revenue and also in terms of your stress [Laughs] level I would say. So for me, when we were still a small team, I kind of was searching for a way that I could make it more stable and the membership model uh kind of was appealing, and at the same time, it was a little bit overwhelming looking at “Oh I don’t have that much content that I could really behind a membership site”. Nowadays, I think having progressed in that journey we kind of made that step and said okay let’s take everything into a membership site and start producing content just like we do it on YouTube more and more and over time, we have many more courses, little tools that I have developed. We have resources here and there. And we have a lot of live components nowadays, in a community obviously. But over the years we kind of found out that the money inside of in analytics these are highly specialized people. I think it is mainly in consulting really, we still get a lot of consulting requests from people on YouTube nowadays we’re trying to build a membership with a very specific purpose. We are training people that want to become tracking experts in their agencies or their freelance business. And then we kind of give them the components of knowledge. So we have up-to-date courses at the same time we want to provide them also a live training component or a coaching component where we actually answer their questions on an ongoing basis because not everybody has always all the answers, and it’s great to have a little small community where people can actually yeah get their questions answered. So that’s kind of from an offer perspective. You wanna hear the tech side of things?

Chris Badgett: Sure! Sure! Yeah!

Julian Juenemann: But we built everything on WordPress and it’s still simply built by myself. We don’t have a developer, sometimes stuff breaks, but uh, that’s okay. I mean there’s a lot of things that latched on, and we kind of early on, I became a big fan of ‘Active Campaign’. That tool has also grown immensely over the years but over the years but there was a membership plugin that connects directly to um active campaign which is ‘Active Member 360’. So we used that as kind of the kind of the restrictions on the WordPress site. So we built everything on WordPress and our lessons are running on a theme called Memberoni. And then we have a few extra things inside of the membership where we for example try to create some member structure or a section on the side. Where you can have coaching requests or coaching um experience where you can ask questions and you get answers from me or my team. We still have a Facebook group, we don’t have a private forum there and yeah that’s kind of the tech stack I think in terms of what we do. Vimeo obviously is also a great tool to work with, I’m actually a pretty big fan of Vimeo’s live streaming although it’s pretty, it’s a little bit expensive. What you can do nowadays is we have calls now for example on Zoom we have our office hours for example, you can stream them through Vimeo and then we have an instant recording of that on Vimeo itself and connect that everywhere. So that has been really helpful for us, so hopefully that helps other people out too to make a decision on it maybe.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Where would you say the majority of the leads for your members or students come from? Is it mostly from YouTube or SEO or I’m sure you’re doing a lot of different things but what seems to really work for you?

Julian Juenemann: So YouTube is definitely our biggest channel. It’s always a little bit harder to tell because there’s a lot of brand building on YouTube, there’s not one video that drives all the traffic for example,all the links people binge watch on YouTube.

Chris Badgett:Yeah.

Julian Juenemann: And then they go over and at some point want to be part of the membership. We are putting effort into SEO that’s still growing we also have some really cool blog posts that are ranking and bringing in people as well. And then we kind of have like appearances when I speak at a conference or in a podcast um so it’s kind of the way that people find us and start training with us. Yeah.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome! What’s your advice for somebody who is wanting to build a membership site and they’re kind of deep in the expertise, like you’re clearly a deep Google analytics kind of marketing metrics kind of person, and sometimes it’s kind of hard to package all that into digestible, useful courses or training or whatever. How did you develop that ability to teach without overwhelming people?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, you need to know your target audience uh very closely. I actually went to myself through Business coaching in the last few months, and although I have been doing this business for 7 years and you think you know everything, they sat me down again and said like “Okay, let’s talk about your ideal target audience right?” And you’re like, oh, I already know it but you find out you don’t really know it. If you can really hone in on this, it makes so much more powerful thinking in terms of the copy that you write but then also then the courses that you create because you have that person at the back of your mind, and then you become somebody that speaks to your audience really. Because they see this and are like oh this is exactly what I was looking for. That’s when it becomes really powerful. And getting these basics down is crucial, I think? At the same time, we are listening to our members a lot. Now it is easy nowadays to fall into the trap of just going after the new shiny thing out there. I mean, Google Analytics 4 is definitely new, maybe not as shiny yet, but it’s going to become a really big deal. But not selling yourself out and saying okay, I am going to make all the content on Google analytics 4 for free on YouTube. We also kind of have our members as the, our members are our customers. Obviously, these are the people that we want to give the information first to, that’s where that’s what they pay for and therefore we kind of try to provide value to them first. The YouTube audience is definitely there as well, but at the same time, they have not yet decided to buy, and we want to keep them up to date with everything that we do and all the new things that are coming out. But maybe not at all costs. So for me, it was a struggle over the last two years to keep that kind of balance between paid content and free content as well. But as long as you know your audience and who you’re talking to, you’ll be able to find that kind of motivation to provide value to them.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome! I love seeing what you’re doing; it’s awesome to be on the journey with you. We’ve been going for about 8 years, and it’s the long game. Like you’ve been showing up and doing your thing and mastering your skill set over 7 years.

Julian Juenemann: Yeah! I listened started listening to your podcast uh yeah, many years ago then I kind of for laughs, but at the same time, I was looking out for membership software what is happening there and I like utmost respect for building a software business it’s kind of a hard business [Laughs], but at the same time, it’s probably pretty rewarding. At some point, we want to also get into building something up for WordPress. I love the WordPress community as well. So it’s really cool to see although there are other solutions now out there right? For course builders, for membership site owners, WordPress is still something that I’m like yeah, I’m really still in love with it and look at the capabilities from that perspective. And I love it from a tracking perspective as well because you can build so many things in it by yourself or with the help of a developer in a few hours rather than these closed-off systems [Laughs] Yeah I don’t wanna name any names, but there are some really big systems um well there’s Shopify out there which doesn’t integrate with GA4 yet right? So, for example, other membership sites and software as well just had a terrible implementation of these tracking systems, and you could do so much more with that data if you just had an open system like WordPress to actually put that in.

Chris Badgett: Absolutely! That’s Julian Juenemann, he’s from Measureschool.com. Also, go check out the Measure School YouTube channel. That is a place to go to educate yourself and I 100% recommend, one of the first things you should ever do when you set up a WordPress site for courses or anything is to get your Google analytics plan in place so you could be tracking from day one. Any final words for the people or anywhere else they can connect with you?

Julian Juenemann: Well I’m on LinkedIn um we are mainly, yeah we have the social media out there. If you also wanna check out if you feel like you’re a professional marketer and you wanna step up your game of tracking, check out ‘Measure Master’ that’s our program for marketers who want to take this seriously this whole tracking um topic and um yeah otherwise that’s basically it from me. Yeah!

Chris Badgett: Awesome Julian. Well thanks so much for coming on this show and we really appreciate it.

Julian Juenemann:It was a pleasure. Thank you!

Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy this episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode and I’ve got a gift for you over at Lifterlms.com/gift go to Lifterlms.com/gift
Keep learning, keep taking action. And I’ll see you in the next episode!

Exclusive Download: 2021 WordPress LMS Buyer’s Guide – Stop wasting time and money researching online course and membership site tech.

Share

Subscribe