Google Analytics Setup & Usage Mistakes
Most business owners have used Google Analytics and many have a basic understanding of how Google’s ubiquitous web analytics service can inform and improve their online marketing.
However, like any complex system, there are right ways and wrong ways to implement, configure, optimize and extend it and many more ways to review the reports and insights contained within the average Google Analytics account.
Mistake 1. Not upgrading to Universal Analytics and not using Google Tag Manager
Google Analytics is a wonderful tool – it allows you to see how visitors arrive to your website and what those users go on to do.
However, its ‘Achilles’ heel’ is poor customization when setting up tagging. Missing code from pages, duplicate code, incorrect code configuration on pages when, for example, the user’s journey spans different domains or sub-domains can and does cause the Google Analytics data you collect to be corrupted.
Attempting to make decisions on such poor data will obviously lead to poor decisions. So, we recommend that all businesses check they are using the latest versions of these tools.
Mistake 2. Not having control of your Google Analytics Account
Audit who has access to your Google Analytics account now! Your Google Analytics Account contains commercially sensitive information about your website and you need to make sure past employees and past-contracted agencies no longer have access.
Mistake 3. Not acting on data
Now begin to define your key performance indicators (KPIs). Begin in a dark room and ask your self “What’s the purpose of this website?”, “What are its objectives?”, “What key metrics would indicate weather I’m achieving these objectives?”.
By asking yourself these questions, you should begin to gain a clear picture of the key performance indicators you should be monitoring on a weekly or daily basis to ensure you meet your now clearly defined objectives.
Remember – Google Analytics doesn’t tell you “why?”
Having found a number of busy but high bouncing pages, Google Analytics can’t tell why 85% of sessions land and leave your beautifully crafted page. That’s your job. Begin to look at the page with a critical eye, embark on usability testing, develop surveys, conduct heuristic reviews and use A/B testing using Google Analytics experiments.
Over to you
The lack of an answer to the question “Why are my users behaving like this?” is a common theme with any web analytics tool. Google Analytics or any web analytics package tells us we have a problem and allows us to further investigate, but it never tells us directly why because it can’t. So by having objectives, KPIs and continuous review, you can be warned when it looks like you are falling short of your objectives and do something about it.
We hope you found this article on Google Analytics helpful. If you’d like help, please feel free to contact us and have one of our Google Analytics experts help you out!