Dave Birchall
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9 Common Google Analytics mistakes you’re probably making

Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool to measure your website’s performance, yet many of the websites I look at, fail to harness its full power.

Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes that I see and lets see how you measure up.

  1. Not using Google Analytics. If you know about Google Analytics, then chances are you intend to implement it. All too often, getting the website live is seen as an end goal and the tracking code implementation is left as an afterthought. Don’t even think about launching your website without the tracking code installed. If you are relaunching your website make sure you retain all your benchmark data by using the same property ID and don’t forget to annotate your website release.
  2. Owning the account. It your data, not your agencies or your developers. Better to create the account and grant or revoke access when necessary.
  3. Double dipping Also related to this is double dipping your tracking code.  A common way to double up on code is when separate people manage the CMS set up and tag manager.
  4. Not setting up eCommerce or website goals. Your implementation does not end with installing your tracking code If you’re running an ecommerce site you will need to activate the data layers and enable eCommerce to track product and category performance. Other website goals could include form submissions (contact us) watching a video, scrolling content of page elements. Be sure to set these up and be sure to assign value to to them. eCommerce site will need the goal funnel to be set up (even on one page checkouts) so that you can fine tune your conversions.Not
  5. Not setting up website events. Website events allow you to track user actions. They can include clicks and  mouseovers and can form part of a goal funnel. Without event tracking, you are unlikely to measure which elements on the page work (or don’t) .
  6. Use of custom alerts. Custom alerts bring the principle of short interval control to webmasters. With custom alerts you can get notified of website problems or successes (eg large sale) instantly. If nothing else you can use it to monitor your website downtime (traffic = 0)
  7. Not excluding your own traffic. You don’t want to create dirty data, by including your own traffic and activity, so be sure to exclude the IP range out of your data. Many webmasters exclude their office IP’s but forget third parties such as developers or agencies working on the site.
  8. Not linking webmaster tools and adwords accounts. Put simply, you miss out on some of the most important PPC and SEO information you need for your website to flourish.
  9. Not tagging inbound campaigns. Online and offline campaigns can be tracked easily using the tag manager and a vanity URL or subdomain redirect can be used to keep things tidy and memorable so theres no reason not to use tag manager.

While many of the points listed may seem simple enough, it is very common to see people run into difficulty when attempting to set this up. When in doubt reach out for help, after all you can’t manage what you can’t measure!


About the Author Dave Birchall

Dave Birchall is a Sydney digital marketing and sales expert with a love for conversion rate optimisation, eCommerce and online growth. He is accredited in Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Adwords among other things. He has owned and run large and small ecommerce businesses in Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK and China.

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