Google Analytics (GA) has become so ubiquitous it is now the de-facto standard web analytics system on the web. But do you use it correctly? Many website owners just embed the default analytics code on their pages, perhaps define a goal or two, and that’s it. This is a major mistake. If you’re running a business website, the potential insights generated with correct use of analytics are invaluable. Given, proper implementation is a must-have – in order to trust the data and squeeze much more juice out of it. Here are some common misses and errors you should avoid with your Google analytics implementation:
This error can come in various forms. One form is having multiple web properties geared towards different goals and audiences – mixed together. For example an educational forum on your field of business on a TLD or subdomain together with your main marketing website. Mixing traffic from both audiences will give you a distorted overview on most of GA reports.
Goal completions are critical performance indicators. Depending on your site they might include contact, register, download, activate account, purchase, reaching a key page on the site and others.
Goal completions are critical performance indicators. Depending on your site they might include contact, register, download, activate account, purchase, reaching a key page on the site and others. Yet, many GA profiles contain just 1 or 2 goals and sometimes there’s no consistent goal definition across profiles. This impedes your ability to analyze and attribute value to traffic sources, pages…etc.
Google analytics funnels allow you to evaluate and improve your website effectiveness by highlighting the conversion rates in every single step of the conversion journey. However, funnels have to be pre-defined in analytics, and must reflect your site’s main paths to conversion. Doing it properly requires prior analysis of your user’s paths and conversion habits, and translating them to useful GA funnel definition.
Google analytics events are meaningful actions users take, but are not translated to an additional page view or funnel, because they aren’t leading the user to another page on your site. Examples include watching a video, interacting with a flash element, opening expandable bullets, clicking out to an external domain..etc. All those may be important signals as to the effectiveness of your website, and in order to track them a small GA code snippet needs to be embedded on each track-worthy element.
And there are many other common misses, technical and conceptual.
To sum it up, make sure you use Google Analytics as a strategic tool in your marketing kit, and that it gives you robust and trustworthy data to make better decisions towards improving marketing performance.