Sandro goes over a powerful new(ish) tool Google is offering called Google Data Studio. Learn what it does and what it can do for your small business.

Episode 0294

Intro to Google Data Studio

Liz: [00:00:03] Hey there we are Liz & Sandro’s Marketing Podcast, bringing you insight on social media, websites, SEO, reputation management and so much more. All to help your business survive and thrive in this crazy digital world. Today Sandro is going to be giving you an overview of Google Data Studio.

Sandro: [00:00:21] Thanks Liz. So what is Google Data Studio? And love that you say “data”. I say, or data I say data.

Liz: [00:00:27] I said it so fast that I didn’t really think about it.

Sandro: [00:00:30] You kept saying “data” which is great data. It can be hard to describe because it’s so many different things but basically it’s a free product from Google. Less than two years old that lets you create reports really easily with data visualizations. So I know we’re all sick of pie charts and meaningless graphs and no one in your office knows what they are or how to interpret them. . .

Liz: [00:00:53] Or your clients get confused when they look at them.

Sandro: [00:00:55] Exactly. Big time. Yeah. Small business owner who wants, who just wants to know if their AdWords account is delivering more sales this month than last and at a cheaper price. Or if you just want to know if more people are coming to your site this month over the same month last year. Well Google Data Studio does this. It’s basically a blank canvas where you can draw a square or a rectangle and Google will just fill in that square with data from your AdWords or your Google Analytics or your Google Search Console instantly in a really easy way. You can create pie charts if you want or bar graphs but it will give you big numbers too.

Sandro: [00:01:36] And the biggest thing that I love is it’s live updating, really easily. So today’s pie chart will look different than tomorrow’s because it will take in today’s information. The charts autofill almost immediately with that information for whatever date range you want to change it to. So you know instantly update to whatever you want it to be. Or if you own a business with multiple locations let’s say each one has its own set of data you can really easily switch between the two sets of locations or the multiple locations and immediately get your data from there.

Sandro: [00:01:45] And the data, as I mentioned, can be from Analytics like visitors or time spent on site, bounce rate or from Google Search Console so you can see your top keywords or AdWords. You can learn how much you’re spending and if you’re getting a good return on investment. But the possibilities are pretty much endless and it’s all displayed in a beautiful easily adjustable way. I’m not doing it much service here audio-wise you really have to go see it on your own.

Liz: [00:02:33] So I have not played with this yet but I’m actually really jazzed to get in there and play around because I have some clients set up on these generic Google Analytics reports. And I can’t, I can’t change anything about what’s sent. It just it pulls a couple sections and delivers it to the client and when I first set this up this is probably a good 4, maybe 5 years ago. You know I got all my clients set up and they get their reports monthly or weekly depending on what they wanted and I very quickly realized that the data that was being auto-populated was not what clients needed to see. Like it’s just like.

Sandro: [00:03:10] It’s overwhelming, it can be.

Liz: [00:03:11] It’s overwhelming but I don’t think it’s not always the metrics that I want clients to focus on. You know so they would come back to me with all of these questions and I’m like what we’re primarily focused on or that’s not what I want to track for you to really show results. So I’m intrigued by this because yeah I mean I still have clients getting these reports and I get questions and I’m like “please stop I might just ignore it.” I’m like “do you want me to turn these reports off?” And they’re like “no, no keep them coming!” Because clients think they’re actually helpful. But you know knowing what I know and everything that can be tracked in Google Analytics for example. It’s just the reports aren’t helpful. So any who I’m rambling. What I’m hearing is that these reports are a little more customizable and probably a little more visual as well.

Sandro: [00:03:59] Much more visual much a lot more visual yes. And usually we would send PDFs as reports.

Liz: [00:04:06] Yes. Yeah all the reports I’m referring to come via e-mail is a PDF.

Sandro: [00:04:11] Well this you send one report in a link. You don’t have to send the report ever again because they can just click and log in and a live update for the month or they can set whatever timeframe they want. Or you can still send them PDF if they don’t. It seems too hard, but it’s not that hard. They can just click whatever time frame they want and they’ll get their information. Like live, like perfectly in big beautiful bold colors and numbers and whatever you want.

Liz: [00:04:39] And probably mobile friendly if they’re out of the office.

Sandro: [00:04:39] Mobile friendly and you can put your own logo your company logo up there. So it’s branded to Hersh PR.

Liz: [00:04:44] Nice.

Sandro: [00:04:45] Yeah, so it looks fantastic. I found quite a few third party video tutorials that worked really well. One of my favorites is this guy from the UK, Benjamin Mangold. His company is called Loves Data and he always, I love the way his accent he goes “Loves Data” just it’s a great company and a lot of free YouTube videos that go over Google Analytics. That’s what their specialty is. But they love Google Data Studio. We’ll link to him in the show notes. But he showed me that you could also link to your Facebook account and get charts and graphs of follower accounts. Twitter followers and even LinkedIn and I even saw Instagram in there too. I didn’t play around the Instagram but I played around the other three.

Sandro: [00:05:45] So this is basically a way to replace Excel. At one point in my life I was an Excel master back in ’96 but totally forgot it and learned it once I started using Apple’s easier version called Numbers. But even that can be a challenge. Well Google Data Studio is much easier. Easier to create visuals and you don’t have to type in data or do a lot of work to import the data. You don’t have to mess with .csv files or any crazy stuff like that. Google is working hard to link up with lots of other data out there.

Sandro: [00:05:56] Like I said social media sites there and they’re always taking requests so you can bring data together from various spots like Facebook and Google together really easily into one report. If there is a data source that you want Google to incorporate. You just request it and chances are they’ll bring it in.

Liz: [00:06:13] I wonder how many developers they have working on this?

Sandro: [00:06:15] I can’t believe it’s a free product. I just saw some old stories about it and it wasn’t free at one time. But they just made it free for everybody it’s pretty great. So here’s my pro-tip. . .

Liz: [00:06:25] Well, they’re making so much money on AdWords I think they can, they can give this to us for free.

Sandro: [00:06:31] Liz and I did a whole AdWords thing today.

Liz: [00:06:33] Yeah we had a great, not to get off on a tangent, but but we had a great info session with a company that specializes in Google AdWords. We learned so much I’d love to have him as a guest on the podcast maybe so stay tuned for that.

Sandro: [00:06:48] And he taught me so much that I want to now import some of that data into Google Data Studio, the AdWords. But here’s my pro-tip, if you are afraid or overwhelmed because it can be overwhelming when you first try it takes too long to learn. There are hundreds of free templates that people and ordinary people are creating out there and they’re putting up there for you to use. So I personally spent about 4 nights watching videos and learning how to use it and create reports. But in the end I realized everything I created was created in a way better way by somebody else out there, at this point, two years into this. So if I need a report I’m just going to go into the library there and search out for an available one and just use that. There’s no need for me to recreate the wheel.

Sandro: [00:07:30] So bottom line I can’t do Google Data Studio justice here in audio form go out try it. Watch some videos. Learn the basics. So that when you use someone else’s template you know how to update it with your info or change colors or put your own company logo on there. And make it look much more professional. So my advice: try it out. You’re not going to break it. If you mess up, just click the big plus button & start all over again with a new sheet. You’ll hopefully be as pleasantly surprised with how easily it is to create big, beautiful, informative reports as I was.

Liz: [00:08:03] I love it. I can’t wait to get in there and test this out. Thanks for sharing and thank you for joining us. That wraps up today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out our website the marketing podcast dot net. We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have any questions we’d love to hear from you and we’ll definitely give you a shout out on the show. Thanks for joining us. And we will see you next time.