All businesses should take the time to monitor their websites, and Google Analytics is a handy tool that can give you insight into how your site is performing, which campaigns are working and what you can do to drive more traffic to your web pages.
However, not everyone finds Google Analytics that intuitive, and if you are not technically minded or don’t have a lot of experience or knowledge in all things SEO, you might need some assistance. Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn’t come with a guidebook, so it is essential to learn how to set up your account correctly from the outset and avoid common mistakes which could lead to confusion down the line.
Here are some mistakes to be aware of to make sure your Google Analytics account is working for you.
Failing to filter out internal session data
Your web traffic might look awesome, but have you taken into account the number of times you and your colleagues are browsing it? If you forget to filter out internal session data, you can’t be sure whether all that traffic is new potential customers or just someone exploring your site from the desk opposite you. In order to be accurate, you need to change these settings so you can understand what’s really going on with the website.
Failing to set the urchin tracking module (UTM) parameters correctly
The UTM’s act as markers that you add to your URLs so you can discover where your website traffic is coming from. This helps you to ascertain whether your campaigns are working. If you’ve launched a marketing campaign directing people to a particular page of your website but used several different ads to entice them in, it’s good to know which ad is the most successful, and if you’ve used the same URL for each, it will be impossible to tell.
Make sure, however, that you don’t use UTMs on internal links in your website. Doing so can cause a massive headache when it comes to analyzing your own data, so make sure you add them to external URLs only to avoid problems down the line.
Forgetting to use goal tracking
In order to truly understand your website and your customer's behavior when navigating around it, you need to set up different goals. You might think that you only need to set high-level goals such as making a sale, but there are so many more you can set to give you valuable insights into how customers are interacting with your web pages.
Including spam traffic in your analytics data
You need to be able to filter out spam traffic to understand the real traffic that's coming to your site. Referral spam can slow your site down and make data fairly meaningless so make sure you filter out spam traffic to see actual results.
By following the above tips, you can make sure that you have set up your Google Analytics account to be the most useful and informative it can be – so make sure you do this as soon as you begin to use the tool to get the most meaningful data to help you make smart decisions about your website.
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