When was the last time you performed a Google Analytics audit on your data?
If the answer is anything other than ‘recently’, you could be in trouble. If you answered ‘never’, then you need to read this blog post.
What is an audit?
Google Analytics is a brilliant tool that allows you to quickly report on metrics gathered from your website traffic. On the surface, it appears as if you can use it straight out of the box.
However, without closer inspection and taking the time to set it up correctly, you will soon be facing issues with data inaccuracy once data starts flowing into your reports.
Think of an audit as a health check that asks, is anything broken, missing, or struggling to work correctly? It’s essential to perform this health check regularly to assess that everything is in working order and that your data is accurate. If it is not, there is no point in collecting it.
Why are audits important?
Data collected from websites feeds into decisions around the selection of marketing channels, budget planning, and general optimizations of marketing and websites.
If your configuration isn’t correct, it could mean that you have been basing your business decisions on insufficient data. You simply won’t have the whole picture if your data isn’t complete or accurate, and any decisions made inspired by it will inevitably be flawed.
So, if you don’t perform an audit, you won’t be able to make the best decisions for your business.
What are the key areas to check?
The out of the box Google Analytics setup often includes spam and internal sessions, limited goal tracking, and generally inaccurate e-commerce tracking. Google Data Studio has a great top-level audit template here.
Setup: Before doing anything, you need to ensure your set up is correct. You can customize your account to your business’s needs to get the most out of your website data. Advanced setup can take your use of Google Analytics further, and give you full control over your data.
Tagging: In order for Google Analytics to do its job of tracking, measuring, and reporting on your website data, you need to ensure you have the correct code implemented on your website. Ensuring your tagging is correct is imperative to safeguarding the quality of your data.
Campaign Tracking: Campaign tracking allows you to track the effectiveness and ROI of campaigns and provides learnings that will enable you to make improvements. Correct UTM tagging is key to accurate campaign tracking, a topic which you can learn more about here.
Content Grouping: Content grouping allows you to develop insights based on custom categories of content. For those with E-commerce sites with an extensive range of products, this is especially important.
E-commerce: Google Analytics’ advanced E-commerce feature is incredibly important and allows you to analyze purchase activity on your website. Insights into transactions and conversion rates can allow you to optimize your E-commerce website for better results.
Data Quality: Without good data quality, none of the above work matters. Inaccurate data can occur for a whole host of reasons, including session discrepancies, double-counting data, poorly set up UTM parameters, and issues with cross-domain and sub-domain tracking.
Ok, but how do I do this?
If you need a step-by-step guide to talk you through all the above details, we have put together the Ultimate Google Analytics Audit Guide 2020 which covers the general GA set up, tagging, campaign tracking, content grouping, and utilizing Google Analytics for E-commerce. Get your guide here.
If you are looking for more hands-on support, we provide a full Google Analytics Audit service.
Our Analytics Audit ensures your site is tracking the right information and utilizes clean-code configurations, evaluating tracking code, analytic configurations, data integrity, measurements and metrics, conversions, account linking, mobile apps, and AMP analytics.