James | 2 Jun 2016
1 – Outdated Tracking Code We see many historic Analytics users that are still using the older versions of the Analytics code. While all Analytics account were automatically upgraded to be compatible with the new code, not installing the code means you are missing out on new features, and potentially causing tracking issues.
2 – Inaccurate goals We encounter many accounts with no set goals, or ones which are outdated, where the URLs of previously tracked pages have changed over time. Another problem occurs when others tend to just track views of a contact page.
Measuring results is key to making progress – ideally you should always have a trackable ‘thank you’ page for any form on your site. You could also track ‘events’ as goals (see next point), as this opens up more options for measuring performance.
3 – No event tracking An often overlooked feature of Google Analytics is being able to track events on your site. This includes tracking individual PDF downloads, clicks on email links, or plays on videos. This is a powerful feature which allows you to more accurately track how users interact with your site.
4 – Not setting up filters Spam traffic has been a serious issue for Analytics users over the last couple of years, so you should be setting up filters to exclude this data from your reports. You should also consider setting up filters to exclude traffic from your own office, which can help reduce skewed reporting.
5 – Not linking Search Console or AdWords to Analytics When analysing your site’s results, it’s important to have and utilise all the information available to you. Linking these various products together is an important factor which many often ignore and miss out on insights as a result.
6 – Taking the data at face value Are you the sort to take a brief look at the overall traffic, see an upward trend, accept it with a smile and not take a closer look for the cause? If you see something in your Analytics that looks too good to be true, it may well be that this is the case!
As mentioned above, spam traffic in your account could be one source of data inaccuracy but also improper Analytics setups can also cause over-reporting of sessions, under-reporting of bounce rates and misattribution of conversions. Most importantly, if you have a genuine increase in good quality traffic, you should be investigating how and why, and how you can improve it further!
At Ascendancy, we do many of the above as standard when building a new site, depending on what is appropriate for the client. With several team members qualified in Google Analytics, we stay up to date with the latest best practice, enabling us to build in strong Analytics strategies for our clients.