It’s quite amazing how times change but the misuse of web based analytics platforms such as Google Analytics stay the same. We’ve always said, “if you don’t know what’s working you won’t know how to optimize them and if you don’t know what’s failing you won’t know what to fix”. Google Analytics offers businesses a plethora of data, but most companies aren’t utilizing the platform to maximize internet marketing initiatives. Let’s take a look at the 5 reasons you’re failing at Google Analytics.
You’re Not Using / Barely Using It
Nowadays, adding Google Analytics tracking to a website is considered a standard, but most companies leave it at that or don’t know what it is at all. This leaves you at an impasse of an unoptimized tool that isn’t working for you or your business goals. Let’s see what this looks like in the real world. You (the Marketing Coordinator or whatever position you feel like being that day), gets asked by another employee on how much traffic the website is getting as of recent. You login to your account for the first time since creating it and see how many people viewed your homepage. You then logout and wait another 6 months or so to check back in on… theoretically nothing… useful. Even if Google Analytics is free, you still need to make it work for you and not just for Google.
Not Filtering Out Traffic
There are a lot of articles that tell you to utilize traffic filters to remove internal traffic so you aren’t obscuring your data, but it doesn’t stop there. 3rd party referral bots can also be an issue inside any analytics account and could compromise the cleanliness of your data. This has become a major issue for Google Analytics property owners over the years. Keeping up on this nuisance every so often by utilizing traffic filters will keep your data clean and most importantly… you’ll keep your sanity.
Misunderstanding Web Based KPIs
Do you know the difference between users, sessions and pageviews? How about bounce rate and exit rate? Oddly enough… neither do most marketers. Take the time to learn all the ins and outs of your analytics property and how your data is classified and dumped into specific bins. For example, if someone came to you website twice in 30 minutes and viewed 10 pages on your website, your stats would be the following in Google Analytics.
- Users – 1
- Sessions – 2
- Pageviews – 10
Not Implementing Conversion Tracking
Implementing conversion tracking is very important to understand what content, layout, designs your prospective audience resonates with. There are multiple types of tracking you can utilize to deeper understand your audience and how they interact with your web property. These include:
- Landing Pages
- The process of tracking the end portion of a sales funnel such as a thank you page or payment processed page for ecommerce sites.
- The process of tracking specific element clicks like an e-book download button on a homepage.
Too many companies believe that basic web property stats such as average time on site are sufficient measurements to track conversions. Understanding how your users interact at a high level is a good start, but taking the time and diving deeper into their needs will ultimately move the needle in a positive direction.
Forgetting to Link Google Search Console & Other Data Sources
Plugging the maximum amount of quality data into your analytics profile will drastically benefit your business in the long run. Linking your Google Search Console account will give you essential search engine keyword statistics, showing how your audience is finding you, with specific crawl and seo issues. If you’re running an e-commerce website, you’ll want to enable e-commerce in your Google Analytics profile and optimize coding snippets accordingly to pull in value-specific transactions and cart abandonment statistics. Don’t assume everything will work itself out for you.
Google Analytics is a platform that should be working toward your business goals. As with any software, it is only as useful as it is utilized. Login to your property on a regular basis and work hard to understand your analytics. This is how consumers interact with your website after all. As always, leave a comment below if you think we missed a key area of discussion!