Google Analytics has become a ubiquitous program that helps brands better understand what’s happening on their website. Yet, there are a number of common mistakes that can keep you from maximizing the value. If you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website, here are five easy-to-avoid mistakes you can focus on today to collect better data and further refine your brand’s online experience.
Goals allow you to determine how you’re doing on specific conversion points, such as getting people to sign up for your e-mail newsletter or getting traffic to visit a specific landing page. Set goals, and you’ll be able to track your performance over time. When you understand what online behaviors are most valuable to your business, reviewing your goals and results can help you objectively determine if specific marketing initiatives are paying off.
Filter Out Nonrelevant Traffic
There are a variety of classes of traffic that aren’t relevant to your online measurements. For example, the activities of your internal team can end up distorting your traffic view. Filter out the traffic from IP addresses associated with your company’s offices or the home offices of your employees. It’s also useful to identify and filter out spam traffic, which can come from bots or troublesome IP addresses.
Focus on Aggregate Instead of Channel Information
At a high level, Google Analytics is convenient because it rolls your website’s information into a single view. However, that aggregate view is less useful than taking a deeper dive into what’s below the surface. Look for channel-specific information, evaluate how different populations act on your website, and so forth. In other words, aggregate information is directionally significant, but taking a deeper dive into channels and demographics will make those insights actionable. If a certain referrer or specific type of customer is really resonating for your brand, you’ll be able to cultivate those relationships at a more sustainable level.
Trends are important in your website data. On any day, a single factor can cause a bump in your traffic. For example, if one of your products is mentioned in a post on a popular spike, you can see a dramatic uptick in visits and sales for a few days. Typically, this will eventually trend back to a normal level and leave you struggling to replicate the event. It’s helpful to understand if a specific factor successfully drives up your traffic; for example, you might reach out to blogs or reporters to try to get coverage on a regular basis. Yet, understanding how that can trend over time shifts that from a one-off blip on your traffic radar to a sustainable strategy.
Track Every Page and Campaign
Another common issue website managers face is that they’re not getting complete information. When you look under the hood, there’s a lack of code on every landing page, or there’s a campaign that hasn’t been tracked. If your data are incomplete or you’re missing important insights, consider conducting an audit of your analytics to ensure that each of your critical campaigns has been included. Look at:
- All pages of your main website
- Subsites or content hubs
- Paid campaigns
- Offline campaigns
- Online campaigns
- Media campaigns
Google Analytics can help you more effectively measure your performance in every digital realm. However, perfecting the way it’s set up can take some advanced planning and focus. Avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll improve the visibility you have into the digital interactions that make your brand a success.