Various aspects to self audit Google Analytics

Published On: October 14, 2016Categories: Google Analytics

Interested in finding ways to troubleshoot Google Analytics tool, in order to boost marketing efforts? There are various issues that marketers tend to omit, this blog will share insights on how these omitted issues can be located and resolved to make stronger and more precise marketing decisions. The perfect game plan for troubleshooting Google Analytics can be achieved, if the following 4 questions are answered appropriately. The key to a successful Google Analytics Audit lies in responses to these four questions.

Question # 1: Is the Analytics tool configured accurately?

This is the first step towards an audit, it is important to have settings in place in order to measure website’s performance. Configuring the tool accurately is nothing but acquiring correct data and setting the right goals. The principle rule here is, to set up the tool in such a way that it can be helpful in taking actionable steps, to polish marketing efforts, basis the data collected by Google Analytics. Filters are a great way to put more meaning to the data extracted, a few examples of useful filters are.

(a) Spam filter
(b) Exclude: Internal IP
(c) Filter by Sub domain.
(d) Web or application data filter.

Lets run down the example of spam filter, viewing unfiltered data furbished by Google Analytics might lead a wrong way to marketers, but filtering spammy visits will give a clear picture of where the site is headed to and preventive measures can be taken up in order to improvise SEO, other than leaving the site the way it is. One important tip here is to never delete the original copy of unfiltered data or edit it, as it has the risk of losing everything. It is advisable to make a copy of the original and only then add the desirable filters.
Setting up goals is also a vital aspect. Goals must be cleverly generated and put up in easy and comprehensive language, arbitrary names are bound to confuse. Amongst the four goal types in Google Analytics, Event is the most beneficial.

Question # 2: Can you effectively track users and user behaviors?

Tracking users effectively on Google Analytics can answer a bunch of related questions. Effective Google Analytics tracking can:

• Allow identification of pages which are loaded with visitors on the site.
• To keep a track on which page visitors exit quickly.
• Get to know how visitors behave on the page.

In order to effectively track users and their behavior on Google Analytics, it is essential to keep a check on the tracking code. The hint here is, to keep the code omnipresent on the site. It is very easy and essential to check tracking code, once the tracking code is added, an automatic and unfiltered reporting view is created, post which on opening view and go to Reporting->Real Time->Overview. If data is seen here, the tracking code is functioning.

Question # 3: Is the data collected accurate?

Data accuracy is a must, as it forms the foundation of decision making to marketers.
Million dollar question here is, recognizing bad data, and the art of identifying bad data comes with experience, following are a few tips:
• Check Referrals links.
It is necessary to check link referrals, in order to keep a check on the traffic received, and see whether it is from a random website never heard about.
• Check on traffic patterns
An abrupt spike in referrals from a certain domain, succeeded by an immediate drop to zero traffic is a topic of concern, that there’s something bizarre. Traffic tends to diminish gradually – a direct drop to zero needs investigation.
• Missing data
Depending, upon the omnipresence of tracking code, if the GA code is missing on one or more sites the quality of data will be compromised.
• Use of appropriate tracking structure.
To avoid incomplete data tracking code must be put before the tag.

Question # 4: Is tracking any additional item possible that is not being tracked by you already?

The motive to do self audits is to track and maximize marketing efficiencies, in order to make better marketing decisions. Elements of this point to be considered are-
Event tracking
Site search
Custom Dimension and metrics
Email Segmentation
Custom attribution models and so on.

There must be a clear idea by now, in terms of taking up self audit for Google Analytics. In order to make this tool work to your advantage and give results which can real time improve marketing efforts, the above information can work like a lamp in the dark.

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