After completing dozens of web analytics audits over the past year alone, Spanscom and the team of analists continues to see a the same simple/harmful mistakes often repeated. Most issues seen are easy to fix. In a few instances it can be as simple as checking a well-hidden box in the admin section of your third party tools.
This post aims to avoid repeating these mistakes, helps you to spot and fix these common problems in your own analytics before they come back to bite. So without further ado lets hop right into it...
1) Keywords are important
Yes - Keywords and OG tags are still important. Why? Keywords are words or phrases of text that help search engines identify the topics that your content covers. Algorithms have sophisticated systems for analyzing the keywords that users employ in their queries as well as the terms that are used throughout a given piece of content.
As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
Keywords are important because they are the linchpin between what people are searching for and the content you are providing to fill that need. Your goal in ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages (SERPs), and the keywords you choose to target (meaning, among other things, the ones you choose to include in your content) will determine what kind of traffic you get. If you own a golf shop, for example, you might want to rank for "new clubs" — but if you're not careful, you might end up attracting traffic that's interested in finding a new place to dance after dark.
2) Use the new Tag Manager and G4A
Sounds like Voodoo? No, we’re talking about code that needs to be deployed in both the head of your pages, as well as the body. This ensures all elements are loaded in the page before the user navigates away. Finally helping us to track the mystery users who bounce like ping-pong ball.
3) No Analytics Code On Subdomain
Only applies if you have subdomains, which is fairly common these days. Every subdomain is part of your brand, and it’s part of your customer’s lifetime interaction with your company. So ensure you have this covered too. A sub domain is the part before the domain name of your website.
Typically we see 'ineedanalyticshelp.me' as a main website, if they add a blog it would normally be on 'blog.ineedanalyticshelp.me'. in this example, 'blog' is the subdomain of 'ineedanalyticshelp.me' as it is the name before the main domain name. This is often where we find the missing tags.
4) Stop tracking Robots and Spiders
Another problem we see at Spanscom is failing to exclude traffic from bots and search engine “spiders” in analytics results. Simple no? Go into the admin of Google Analytics and check a little box called something like “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”.
Spiders and Bots do add something to your website, SEO is all about them. But we dont want their behaviour messing up our reports.
5) UTM Others
Most often we see traffic making it to the (Other) segment because manually-tagged tracking URLs are not using the utm_medium parameter correctly. Your medium parameter should always reflect the type of traffic and not the source of traffic (i.e. utm_medium=social, not utm_medium=facebook).
This will lead to attribution problems in that you will struggle to report the true ROI of your campaigns, engagement and sources. At Spanscom we often get asked what does (Other) mean and quite simple, if Google does not know what the source was, it can only dump the rubbish in one place. Not really something you can fix easily but there are solutions.
Published by Oksana Kvitka