Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used tools for tracking and reporting website traffic. It is free and has certainly helped a lot of businesses make better and more intelligent online marketing decisions since it was launched in November 2005. With Google Analytics, you can identify and understand the people who are visiting your website—how often they go to your site, what they click, their navigation paths, and the pages and links that influence their purchase or download decisions. This tool also lets you determine the efficiency of your website in generating conversions, shopping cart abandonment, and click-throughs.
You can easily set up Google Analytics on your own, but you need to be careful when doing so. Any mistake can prove fatal to the success of your online marketing campaign. Here are some of the Google Analytics setup mistakes even professionals make—and how you can avoid them:
1. Not Linking Your AdWords Account with Google Analytics
Linking Google Analytics to AdWords can be helpful if you want to analyze and understand how people who click our ads interact with your website. Doing this also lets you track your pay-per-click traffic more accurately as you can import Google Analytics transactions and goals, import remarketing audiences, and view GA data in AdWords reports.
2. Failing to Set Up ‘Goals’ and ‘Funnels’ for Your E-Store
‘Goals’ refer to the actions you want your visitors to make when they visit your website. For example, your Goal might be to bring potential customers to a destination page—this could be a page displaying a product you are selling or a page for subscribing to your newsletter, for example. When a visitor completes a Goal, it becomes a ‘conversion’ in Google Analytics. Meanwhile, the ‘Funnel’ is the path you expect your visitors to take on their way to a specific Goal. You can define Funnels as a series of URLs to set the sequence of pages you think the visitors are likely to take to arrive at a Goal.
Defining Goals & Funnels for your site is vital if you want to increase sales—and yet even professional SEO practitioners sometimes forget to do this. Goals and Funnels can be very rewarding when used properly and provide exceptional intelligence to make business decisions.
3. Incorrect Code
A lot of errors can happen when you customize the Google Analytics code, causing data mismatch and tracking code problems. Some of the most common issues include:
- extra characters and whitespace
- using the incorrect snippet and viewing the wrong account
- letting other scripts run on the page, and
When customizing the tracking code, remember that the function names are case sensitive. Moreover, take note that the Boolean values must not have any quotes.
4. Having Someone Else Run Your Google Analytics Account
You can outsource the creation of a Google Analytics account to a reputable company, but make sure that you maintain all-access rights to it. You should be able to view the change log to see and monitor activity in the account. Seasoned SEO service companies will create a separate account for you and grant all admin rights to you. If you prefer to create your own account, be sure to provide access only to trustworthy individuals and apply restrictions as necessary.
5. No Campaign Tracking Set Up
Do you get a lot of non-direct traffic from multiple sources, such as email campaigns, PPC ads, affiliate marketing, and display ads? Google will treat them all as ‘referral’ traffic. By default, Google Analytics will only show you the ‘medium’ and ‘source’ information of this referral traffic. So if you want more information about the marketing campaigns that are sending you referrals, then you should add ‘campaign tracking’ variables to the end of the destination URLs of your ads. This process is called ‘tagging’ and can be done through Google URL builder.
These are just 5 of the most common Google Analytics set up mistakes even professionals sometimes make. To avoid these errors, seek help from the highly experienced experts of SEOValley™. With more than a decade of expertise and experience in SEO, our team is highly qualified to ensure an optimum Google Analytics setup with your specific needs in mind.