Many of our clients use Google Analytics as their main web analytics reporting tool. Therefore, we often get many queries on why “my data isn’t coming through correctly” or “not working as I would have expected”. Issues can occur at many different points of the data process, so most of the time we provide bespoke solutions to our clients. But we have put together the top 5 issues we come across and what we suggest you do to solve them.
- Cross Domain Tracking Issues
One of the most common issues is with cross domain tracking. You may have added Google Analytics code to many different domains due to the fact you have separate domains for your content – shop, help center and so on.
Go to ‘Custom Reports’ in your Google Analytics account and create a new report that contains the following:
- A dimension called ‘Host Name’
- A metric called ‘Sessions’
Then, find out how many domains you have your code on and ensure you either remove the Google Analytics code from the sites you no longer need or add a linker to ensure all your domains do not conflict with each other. You can add a linker either by hard coding it to the page or by using GTM. Visit the Google Analytics Developer site for more information.
- Referral Issues
You have sites that are referring traffic to your site that you do not consider as a true referral. Either this could be a payment gateway that is used in your booking process or it could be one of your own sites that are referring traffic but should not be.
First of all, if it is one of your own websites (on a different domain) referring traffic then please look to the Cross Domain Tracking issues section of this article as this should resolve the issue. If it is a payment gateway or a social sign in that is causing the issue then add all of them to the ‘Referral Exclusion List’ under your account level settings in Google Analytics.
- AdWords Tracking Issues
You want to track AdWords in Google Analytics so you can view impressions, clicks, sessions and conversions all in one place but for whatever reason the data is not coming through correctly?
You will want to ensure that the preferences in your AdWords account has been set up to allow Google Analytics to collect the information needed. To do this please follow these steps:
- Go to Adwords
- Click on ‘Home’
- Click on ‘Settings’ (Cog icon)
- Click on ‘Account Settings’
- Then click on ‘Preferences’
- Click on ‘Auto Tagging’
- Finally ensuring ‘Tracking’ is set to “Yes”
Also, if you have not already done so, ensure you go into your Google Analytics account settings and add the AdWords account you want to see populated in your analytics.
- Campaign Tracking
You mainly have problems with campaigns not tracking when UTMs are being used to populate your source, medium, campaigns and so on. The most common issue for why this happens is manual editing of UTM parameters, either using old UTMs on new campaigns or editing existing UTM parameters incorrectly. Either you are missing the ‘Source’ which is essential for a campaign to be tracked or you are accidentally breaking it by manually editing one of the many UTM parameters.
Very simple. For every campaign regardless of how small the change is, use Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Then once you have created your campaign URL go on to test if it works on either a test site or on your main site using a debugger tool such as ‘Tag Assistant’ by Google via a Chrome web browser.
We hope these will help you solve common issues with Google Analytics. If we haven’t covered an issue you have with your Google Analytics data please get in touch, as you could be one simple fix away from having clean, reliable data.