A blog about analytics, marketing and testing Built to optimize growth. Track, analyze and engage to get more customers. Doing business online these days IS doing business, and the trusted means by which to measure our results is Google Analytics. However, even with the most skilled of talent, errors can occur in the data that can throw out results, often unknown to the analytics team.
Customizing the Google Analytics code is a team effort and will require constant measurement and evaluation to get things humming. During the refinement process you are likely to find some of these errors occurring. Did You Know, there are two [Google Analytics] methods for gathering user data from your website? Use either Universal Analytics or Tag Manager , and be careful not to use both. We are only going to touch on Tag Manager issues in this post. Tag Manager has a lot of elements that we could get into but would be too extensive for this post.
Campaign Errors Errors associated with setting up both your online and offline your campaigns. Using this data you can understand more about the most effective ways to attract visitors to your content. To track visitors specific to this campaign you would do the following: There are several reasons why a custom campaign would not be tracked correctly, but most will be due to manually adding parameters incorrectly in one way or another.
Not so smart right? Solution- Run your URL through the builder tool again and check against your advert. Solution C — You were in a hurry, or someone distracted you and you used the wrong URL in the builder tool so a different landing page has been used to build your custom URL.
Solution — Go get the correct landing page URL for your advert and run it through the builder tool again. Check it against the modified URL you used for your advert. Go and run your URL through the builder tool. Error 2 — Offline Campaigns Not Being Tracked An offline campaign is a magazine or newspaper advert for example, and not tracking these bad boys is the hole in your analytics bucket. Offline can be very difficult to track completely but there are means to do so with some structured thinking.
This Dell magazine campaign is an example. Solution A — Add a discount code or vanity url that is exclusive to that particular campaign which will bring visitors to a specific landing page on you site allowing you track traffic.
Also, make these vanity URLs permanent redirects! Error 3 — Cross Domain Tracking Errors Errors resulting from poor implementation of Google Analytics spanning multiple domains or subdomains can spell disaster for your data results. Where your sales funnel covers several domains you need to carefully consider how you are going to track your visitors activity. Your sales funnel also takes your visitor away from your site to a third party shopping cart.
If your Cross Domain Tracking has not been carried out correctly across all domains involved, then your Analytics Reports will have holes. You can see how this can result in all sorts of errors in your data. Check out how to install the necessary parameters to your source code on Google Developers. It provides two ways for you to implement Cross Domain Tracking. Check out the step by step process for correctly adding Cross Domain Tracking in Tag Manager instructions.
Clever developers like to experiment, and some consider it a good idea to locally host the Google Analytics code on their own server for faster delivery, speeding up website rendering in a browser window. You have your own dedicated server environment where your website is hosted and you wish to implement GA.
Rather than relying on Google to deliver the analytics code from their servers, and incur the small delay in the process loading your website, you decide to host the analytics code on your own server to speed things up a tad.
Not to mention having to set up additional instructions Cron job on your server so as to retrieve updates from Google when they are made. To make this work you will need to setup a Cron Job on your server. This is scheduled task, designed in this case to update the locally hosted analytics. Your Cron Job has not been set up properly and can not retrieve the updates to.
Unlike Google servers, your server is local i. They might even suffer increased delays. Ohh for the love of God! Just use Google to deliver the script! Solution A — This one is very easy to sort out. This could mean a lot of work for you if deployment was manual. So if your bounce rate is very low, or has suddenly dropped to single digits then your alarm bells should be going off.
A very low bounce rate appearing in your reports can happen for a number of reasons and can relate to multiple instances of the same Analytics code with the same property ID installed. Adding multiple instances of the Universal Analytics Tracking code analytics. This can happen in WordPress for example, due to an Analytics plugin with the same property ID added as the code snippet added in the theme settings. Remove either one or the other, or modify one of them to suit different users in your GA account.
Solution C — You may have a popup or chat window activating on the same page. These can send another trigger to Analytics.
See more on Events and how to set them up here. It is therefore very important that you ensure that existing code variables are not the same as that which Google uses.
The problem may not even be completely obvious to you. Solution — When the default GA Script is installed on your site you may not experience any issues, however issues may become apparent when you roll out customizations to the basic tracking code.
Check the code installation on any page by installing the Analytics Debugger for Chrome. If this is a bit beyond you, disable or remove the third party code and engage your friendly neighborhood developer! Check out this setup guide for creating a new Account in Tag Manager. After creating the Account, you then need to create a Container.
From the Tag Manager Interface, you get to add Tags to your code snippet as required without having to manually add the changes to your code. Check out this comprehensive help article on Tags for more information. There are a couple of possibilities why your Tags are not firing.
Every time you modify your Container, you need to publish it. Like when you add a new Tag or edit an existing one. Go back in and edit your Tag to allow the required domain variations fire your Tag. Solution C — It may be that the Tag Manager Container which contains the tracking code was incorrectly added to your site.
Tag Assistant for Chrome should be able to help you find the cause of the problem. Well you do now. Use it to track what people bought, how much they bought, how long it took a customer to buy and other transaction information.
Solution B — Surprisingly, this is perhaps the most common error made, but is the easiest to fix. You can also enable advanced eCommerce features in this window. Find out more about Advanced eCommerce features here. Did you know you can reverse an eCommerce transaction in Google Analytics?
Find out more about this process here. You have these products and services located on your own website and your shopping cart is done by third party. This complicates things for you just a tad when it comes to Analytics tracking.
You want to sell and deliver to local businesses and allow them order online — so you set up an eCommerce site with a third party provider. Someone clicks on a fancy cake on your main site and they are brought to your eCommerce site to order and pay. There are a number of reasons why your shopping cart may have different data to that in your GA reports. Make sure that both your main site and shopping cart have the same data and times set up.
Watch out for time-zone also. Solution B — Remove non-alpha numeric characters in the data. Non-alpha numeric characters in the number fields such as price field can screw up your data!
Solution C — You have a process that spans several domains and you have not setup Cross Domain Tracking correctly. See Error 3 above. When you combine Adwords and Analytics data, you can view the data side by side.
Adwords records the amount of times your visitors click on your ads. Analytics records the amount of times visitors come to your website and what they do while they are there and when they leave. An Adwords click is a very basic action on behalf of your visitor and is recorded by Adwords servers.