Google Analytics – It’s running but is it running right?
Fact: The majority of Google Analytics accounts are installed or used incorrectly.
Why: Because Google have made the process of setting up Google Analytics as easy as a-b-c. Anyone with basic technical skills can get it running, but quite often they make mistakes that reduce its accuracy and just as importantly its usefulness.
Let’s take a look at the top five mistakes we come across:-
- Failure to Plan – Prior to launching your Google Analytics system its worth taking some time to consider the information that will be most useful to your organisations. A web analytics project is like any other, it’s success relies heavily on planning that takes place prior to launch. Get things right now and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation later.
- Failure to Set Goals – How can you possibly improve your sites performance if you don’t have any method of putting your data into context? What are your goals? Increased enquiry volumes? Increased sales? Increased time on site? Reduced bounce rates? The list is endless. Track your progress against your goals and adjust your approach accordingly.
- Training – We frequently take on new clients that have been working with Google Analytics for a number of years. Due largely to the usability of Google Analytics they have been successfully extracting and monitoring some useful information. However, as discussions progress we often identify that they are only using a fraction of the systems capabilities. Some simple training on key areas can have a profound effect on the quality and usefulness of the reports you or your employees can produce.
- Time Investment – It may be possible to set-up Google Analytics in a number of hours but be sure to allocate sufficient time to analyse the data you are collecting. Far too often, the account is installed, configured and then completely forgotten.
- Data Integrity – Unless instructed otherwise Google Analytics will group every visitor to your site into the same profile. Are you excluding your own IP addresses? Are you ensuring that only visitors to your website are recorded?
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but forms the basis of any web analytics project. Adhere to the five points above and your chances of collecting high quality data and interpreting that data correctly are greatly enhanced.