So finally, you realized the importance of measuring your website traffic and now want to implement Google Analytics on your website. Well, implementing Google Analytics can be a bit tricky process for most companies. Generally, Specialist assistance is required to get things implemented correctly.
However, even with the most skilled of talents, errors can occur in the data, which remain unknown to the analytics team, which may prove fatal as you make your decisions based on inconsistent data.
Not just only implementing Google Analytics to your website but implementing it the right way, would serve your purpose to implement it, the first place.
Here is our list of 10 most common mistakes that people make while implementing Google Analytics on their websites :-
Code not implemented on all the pages
The most common mistake that occurs is that Google Analytics data is that GA code is not implemented on all the pages. A small piece of code to be implemented on all pages might be cumbersome unless it is placed in the header which is common to the whole website. There could be other issues like, new pages were added to your website wherein you forgot to implement the code snippet or your landing pages are on another domain and you have not added Analytics parameters to that domain or while building your website in WordPress, you might have used a third-party plugin to roll out the code snippet across the entire site.
This not only leads to an incomplete picture of the user journey but also distorts the data. This would increase the bounce rate, reduces pages/sessions. In some cases, it might lead to an increase in sessions as well. Some web pages may be missing from Analytics Reports.
Code is being placed twice
If two different GA codes are present or same code is placed twice, it leads to a plethora of errors. Bounce rate goes for a toss. You would notice that the bounce rate is too low to be true. The simple solution to check if you have committed this mistake, is to simple use the chrome extension provided by Google named – “Tag assistant.”
Code is being fired twice
Tracking Code Setup Improperly
Not implementing the right type of GA code
There are two types of GA code implementations – standard analytics (known as google analytics) and universal analytics. The major difference between the two is that data across multiple devices (separate mobile site) & platforms, multiple sub-domains and domains can be integrated into a view only by UA. If your website is a simple i.e., single domain and single sub-domain then you don’t have to worry. If you have multiple domains, then choosing the universal implementation is of paramount importance. Now it might depend whether you want to track each sub-domain separately or all sub-domains together. For further details on this, click here.
Not updating the referral exclusion list
If you see some websites are sending you traffic which shall not be there then this is probably the case of referral exclusion. For example, a payment gateway is sending traffic to your website. There are many cases in which a person goes out from your website and returns. During a user journey on an e-commerce platform, one goes to the payment gateway and returns to the order confirmation/status page. When the user returns, GA needs to be told that the person is not a new user referred by the payment gateway. For this you need to include all the payment gateways you use to the Referral Exclusion List.
Using UTM tagging on internal site links
The biggest mistake people do while implementing Google Analytics is using UTM tagging on internal site links. Needless, to mention it trashes the data, but not using UTM at all is also not a solution. Not using UTM tagging in most cases leads to inflated direct/(none) traffic numbers and zero actionable data.
Not having the unfiltered view of data for backup
Views are designed as different references or point of view, to analyse your data. While setting these up, one should always have an “unfiltered view”, a “test view” and a “main view” (that include IP filtering, apart from others).
An unfiltered view is for collecting the raw data or 100% of the data collected by Google Analytics, which comes in handy when you mess with the other views.
As a good practice, one should first try any changes in the test view and if everything looks fine, then move it to the main view.
Having said that, if you are going with less than three views, you are preparing for a disaster.
Tags not firing
Sometimes adding a new tag and then not publishing your edit may cause the issue.
Assigning a URL to a very specific code may also prove to be erroneous. Especially after the whole http and https episode, one should be very careful, while assigning codes for the URL.
Not setting up the IP filters
Setting IP filters on your website from your team as well as your vendors/partners is mandatory, in order to see the correct picture of the data. Skewing your marketing analysis because of traffic from your office is something you would never want to do.
Overall, Data delivered by Google Analytics is as good as is the implementation of the Google Analytics tracking code and its settings. To use Google Analytics as a tool for decision-making, organizations/agencies cannot afford to rely on partial or inaccurate data. Google Analytics has to be properly configured to satisfy the need for tracking and business goals of your website. These ten mistakes are just the tip of the iceberg.