I asked this question because I have audited hundreds of Google Analytics accounts in my career and 9 out of 10 accounts have got at least one or two major tracking issues and dozens of other minor issues.
I have discovered major tracking issues even when some of my clients were 100% confident that they were tracking data accurately and they didn't have the need to fix any tracking issues.
My name is Himanshu Sharma.
I am a web analytics consultant and founder of Optimize Smart. I have over 14 years experience in web analytics and digital marketing.
I am specialized in fixing website tracking issues and helping businesses, in a better understanding of their analytics data.
I am the author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization (which are available on amazon):
We need accurate data in order to do an accurate analysis. Any analysis based on inaccurate data will not be accurate and can also result in monetary loss.
Following are the most common data collections issues which you must identify and fix as soon as possible:
Google Analytics Mistake #1: Using the old Google Analytics Tracking Code
There are still a lot of organizations out there, which use classic Google Analytics and they use classic GA because:
They don’t know what universal analytics is. As shocking as it may sound today, but this is still true.
They don’t really understand the difference between classic GA and universal analytics.
They are not convinced whether universal analytics is worth migrating to.
Some of them even believe that they are using Universal Analytics when in reality they are still using the classic GA tracking code on their website.
Google Analytics Mistake #2: Using a non-standard implementation of Google Analytics
There is only two recommended way to install Google Analytics on a website. When you deploy the Google Analytics tracking code in any other way, your GA set up is no longer remain a standard implementation.
Following are examples of non-standard implementation of Google Analytics:
Google Analytics tracking code (GATC) placed outside the head section (<head> …</head>) of a web page.
GATC contains Google Analytics commands which your current GA analytics library does not recognize/recommend.
Google Analytics Mistake #3: Not using Google Tag Manager (GTM)
GTM is a free tag management solution provided by Google.
Following are the key benefits of using Google Tag Manager:
GTM removes the need for editing the website code over and over again just for adding, removing or editing tags.
Through GTM you can test and deploy tags very fast without hardcoding the tags each and every time on your website.
GTM makes advanced tracking possible.
Google Analytics Mistake #4: Double tracking
Many marketers and analysts use Google Tag Manager (GTM). But when GTM is not set up correctly, it could result in double-tracking of your website traffic.
For example, you may be firing your Google Analytics Tracking Code twice on your website: one via Google Tag Manager and one via the hardcoded tag on your website & thus inflating the traffic data.
Google Analytics Mistake #5: Incorrect conversion tracking
Conversions (or Goals) measure how well your website fulfills your target objectives.
Your website goals can be something like:
Which graduate programs are viewed the most.
How many users contact the student service.
How many are contacting guidance and admissions.
How many people sign up for your newsletter.
How many user made the purchase.
Defining Goals is a fundamental component of any digital analytics measurement plan.
Having properly configured Goals allows Google Analytics to provide you with critical information, such as the number of goal conversions and the goal conversion rate for your website. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your website and marketing campaigns.
Similarly, there is no point tracking Goal conversions to which no value has been added. A conversion without a goal value (or economic value) is a bogus conversion as it does not add any value to the business bottom line.
Google Analytics Mistake #6: Not filtering out internal traffic
If you are not filtering out internal traffic then there is always a good possibility that you and your staff may be inflating your own website traffic data by visiting your website every day or so.
Internal traffic is the traffic coming from you, your employees, suppliers, and other service providers to your website. These people are not your target audience and therefore we don’t need to track them.
Internal traffic can easily inflate your website usage metrics (esp. if you run a low traffic website) and therefore should be filtered out from your Google Analytics reports.
Google Analytics Mistake #7: Ignoring Google Analytics Diagnostic notifications
Option #1: Fix it yourself
Do your own research on Google and find and fix all the Google Analytics issues yourself.
This option will cost you, only your time. But there is no guarantee that you will be able to find and fix all the important issues. You are pretty much on your own. Most people select this option unless they realize that it is not that easy as it sounds.
Option #2: Hire someone to fix it for you.
Hire someone to find and fix all the Google Analytics tracking issues for you. This is the most expensive option.
Option #3: Follow a battle-tested checklist.
The least expensive option is to follow a battle-tested checklist which is developed by someone who do Google Analytics Audit day and night for a living.