Is It Time for a Google Analytics Assessment?

By Ava Naves, Principal

MRI of your Google Analytics data

Google Analytics assessment: MRI of your GA set up. Photo credit: Alan Levine, Creative Commons

Google Analytics (GA) is one of those areas where a bit of knowledge can be dangerous. Because sometimes* the GA code installation can be pretty straight-forward, many organizations assume that, once the code is in place, the job is done and no periodic maintenance is necessary.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. To make sure you’re making digital marketing decisions based on accurate analytics reports, it is important to invest in a Google Analytics assessment from time to time. Think of it as preventive health screening for your data. Here are a few reasons why:

Are your filters up-to-date?

There are many filters that should be added to your Google Analytics views, but let’s just look at a filter to exclude internal traffic. This filter is put into place to dismiss visits from your staff and contractors. But let’s say your company office moves, and your IP address changes. When that happens, that filter needs to be modified. Otherwise, especially in large teams, you may see a spike in number of sessions reported on GA. The reason will be growth in internal traffic (which is not relevant at all to your marketing efforts).

Is Google Analytics linked to the right AdWords account?

We have witnessed a situation where a client had two separate AdWords accounts. In situations like these, it becomes very easy for Google Analytics reports to be getting data from the wrong account and from the wrong campaign. Thankfully we checked this beforehand and made sure that the client’s GA views were tracking the right AdWords account.

Are you giving your keys to the wrong people?

Contractors and staff come and go. You want to ensure that only the appropriate team members have access to your reports. Even then, you’ll be wise to double check that permission levels are adequate. In other words, there’s no need to give someone permission to edit your Google Analytics settings, collaborate, read and analyze your reports, when it’d suffice to give that person authorization to just “Read & Analyze”.

Your site has grown. Has your GA grown with you?

Thankfully many sites nowadays run on content management systems that make it easy to install GA across all URLs. But it can happen that new pages are designed without Google Analytics. This is especially common in landing pages made specifically for Adwords campaigns and email newsletters, to name a couple of scenarios.

Is your site running with the latest version of Google Analytics?

Every once in a while, Google updates the GA tracking code. At times there are major new features that are added to these versions. Why miss out on reporting that could potentially give you valuable business insight?

The Online Strategy House is passionate about ensuring that our clients’ data is accurate. If you’re not 100% sure that all is in perfect order, or it has been a while since your Google Analytics was assessed, get in touch with us. As I’ve mentioned on another blog post, innacurate Google Analytics can cost you money.

*Emphasis should be made on “sometimes”: a quick look at the Google Analytics forum will show you a slew of questions from disgruntled developers and site owners who at one point also thought that GA implementation was a quick and easy process.

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