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If you’re like most business owners, you (hopefully) put Google Analytics on your website, looked at it for a few months, and then got busy with other things! Today, I’m here to tell you all the scary things I’ve seen from business owners using (and sometimes not using) Google Analytics to help monitor and grow their online presence. Keep reading to learn more and prevent making these same spooky mistakes!
Not Using Google Analytics (or Another Tracking Tool) At All
The first, and biggest mistake would be for websites that don’t even use Google Analytics on their site. Without Google Analytics or another type of tracking platform integrated into your website, how can you know what is working and what is not? Remember, pages perform individually (not the site on the whole) and data from how each page performs can give you critical information for continuing to grow your business.
Google Analytics can let you know:
- Where customers are coming from (paid search, organic search, Facebook, directly to your website, etc.). This allows you to see which different marketing channels are driving the best traffic to your site. Are your PPC ads working?
- What pages people are looking at on your site (do they only look at the homepage? Is a particular blog getting a lot of eyeballs on it?). This can tell you if one particular page is more valuable or if one page isn’t getting in front of any one at all.
- What people are doing on your site (whether they are staying long and looking at multiple pages or if they are simply leaving right away).
- If people are contacting you through your website. Google Analytics can track conversions (see below), meaning if people fill out a contact form or request on your website.
Not Having Google Analytics Implemented Correctly
You may be ahead of the previous mistake and have Google Analytics on your site, but you want to make sure you’ve set it up with the right tracking code implemented on your website. Without that, Google Analytics and your website can’t talk correctly and you won’t be able to collect the data.
I’ve even seen a mistake where another company put my client’s Google Analytics profile ID in their website code, so we were collecting their data!
To implement Google Analytics correctly, you simply place a small piece of Java Script code on every page of your website that you wish to track. Relatively speaking, this makes Google Analytics extremely easy to use and some websites can be set-up in less than 30 minutes.
Not Setting Up Different Views With Filters
As is, once set up, Google Analytics will track ANY traffic to your site—including yourself and your employees. That can skew the data and show people are on your site more or coming directly to your site (say, if your business’s website was your browser homepage), when really it’s not potential customers, but your own browsing and staff.
We recommend creating different profile Views with filters on it that take out any traffic from your IP address (both work and home) so that this new View is only showing traffic to your site from potential customers that could be interested in your services or product.
If you want to get more complicated, we recommend setting up more Views on your Google Analytics account—one that compiles all the raw data, unfiltered; one that is a “master” view that filters out your devices and IP addresses; and one that is a “test” View that allows you to check different implementations or filtering before setting them live (since you can’t re-collect any data in to Google Analytics once it’s been filtered).
Not Tracking Conversions
As mentioned before, Google Analytics can track when people complete “goals” on your site—such as filling out a contact form, watching a video, buying a product online, etc. Without this tracking set up in place, you won’t really know how your website is truly performing. Make sure you have Goals properly set up in your Google Analytics settings.
The most common Goals setting we see for small businesses is when people fill out a contact form. You can set it up so that once a visitor hits the “thank you” page following entering their information and hitting submit, that will trigger a conversion or “goal complete” in Google Analytics. With that, you can see where they came from, what pages on your site they visited, and what page finally let to them filling out a form to contact you.
Not Monitoring Your Google Analytics Account
We run under the assumptions that most business owners want to grow their business and that business can be treated and played like a game. But how do you know if you’re “winning” at the game of business if you don’t know the score? You should be frequently checking in to your Google Analytics accounts to not only make sure it’s collecting your visitor data correctly, but that you’re using this information to make changes on improving your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics Training from Blue Corona
Need help with Google Analytics? Let Blue Corona show you how to use analytics data to quantify your online efforts, increase web traffic, convert more visitors into leads, and measurably improve your marketing performance.
Blue Corona provides a “do-it-for-me” solution that helps small (and not so small) business owners customize Google Analytics to better meet their needs, sift through the endless reports to identify those most relevant to the client and turn data into actionable results!
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
View more blogs by Hannah Nelson