I love digital marketing in part because it is so trackable. But incorrect data can lead to uninformed decisions, bad choices, and lost revenue. Here are five common but rarely considered scenarios that could cause an irreversible period of inaccuracy in your website data.
1. You move content or change your URLs.
Like being able to do year-over-year comparisons? This becomes a manual process if you move content or restructure URLs in anyway. Give it some thought before changing your URLs or moving content. (And if you do: implement seo-friendly 301 redirects. WordPress site? You can implement 301s with a plugin.)
2. A change is made that breaks your internal/external filter.
Say you work for a large organization with hundreds or thousands of employees. You may want to filter internal visitors or create separate profiles to view external (customer) and internal (employee) data separately.
If your organization gets a new internet service provider or makes a similar change that affects internal IP addresses, then all internal traffic will suddenly be tracked as external, giving you a false spike in customer data.
Clean website data requires a good relationship with your IT department. Make sure to get a heads up before a major changes happen.
3. Google Analytics is tracking lower and uppercase versions of your URLs separately.
Website URLs are not case sensitive; users can type in mydomain.com/about or mydomain.com/About and arrive at the same web page.
But, without a lowercase filter, you can wind up with traffic to the same page tracked separately. This makes it hard to get accurate info on page paths, visit duration, bounce rate, and more.
Force Google Analytics to track all cases together by applying a lowercase filter on the request URL field. Here’s how to do it (see #3).
4. You launch a new site or a redesign, but forget to implement tracking code from Day One.
Want to track your heavily promoted site launch? Get your GA code in place! Don’t forget! WordPress site? Here’s a beginner’s tutorial for installing Google Analytics.
5. Tracking code is incorrectly placed.
Some developers place Google Analytics tracking at the very end of body content to help the page load more quickly – which is a misconception. Google Analytics tracking doesn’t affect page load speed. GA code should go just before the closing head tag. WordPress site? Place it in your header.php file.
Problems with Google Analytics code can mess up long-term comparisons forever. It’s important to get it right from the beginning! Contact us today for a consultation or for more info – we’re happy to help.