Google provides a variety of resources to help you better understand how your site is performing on the web. Many of these resources such as Google Analytics (GA) can offer invaluable data. But, this tool isn’t without occasional errors that can throw a wrench in your efforts to improve your site. So today, we are diving into some of the more common issues you may experience while using Google Analytics. And, how you can go about solving them!
Getting Started with Google Analytics
It is first worth noting that the data Google Analytics offers isn’t native to your site. To start allowing Google to track data, you must first use your Google account to sign up for Google Analytics and set up your account. After doing so, you have to ensure the tracking code is installed on each page of your website. This may sound like a pain to do, but there are a few ways to simplify the process depending on the site builder you are using.
Installing the Google Analytics Tracking Code
Making sure the tracking code is on each page of your website has become a much easier process with the help of a few other tools often used alongside Google Analytics. The most straightforward method is still embedding the source code into the website. But, this process can be difficult and confusing depending on your familiarity with the technical aspects of your site. If done and cause issues if done incorrectly. As a result, we like to advise against this unless method unless you feel comfortable enough to do so, or if there are no other options.
Alternatives to Install Your Tracking Code
But, one of the best options is the Google Tag Manager. This system allows you to add measurement codes and tags to your website or app. You only need to add the Tag Manager code to your site, and you can use the services available with the Manager. Another useful tool is the Google Analytics plugin itself. This will differ based on the website builder you are using but can offer a simple way to integrate the tool with your site.
Using either of these can help you ensure the tracking code is ending up where it needs to be. However, based on the complex your site and practice are, there is a chance you may still run into other issues along the way.
In the process of reviewing your Google Analytics data, you may find what is reported is nowhere near what it should be. This may manifest in the form of a very low bounce rate, inflated page views, or a variety of other ways depending on the issue. When this data fails to reflect the accurate metrics of your site, it can lead to a great deal of confusion and frustration. But, using the Google Analytics troubleshooting tool can help you get to the root of the issue. In many cases, these issues will relate to:
- Data missing from reports
- Pages being reported more than once
- Internal traffic appearing in reports
- Bots/spam skewing reported data
While these issues may be different, each involves becoming familiar with creating filters on Google Analytics. Creating filters will allow you to address each of these issues by changing what data you see in your reports. There are a variety of filters that can help your site in many ways. So, becoming familiar with them can go a long way in helping you curate the data you want to see on your site.
When Other Properties Affect Your Data
Depending on the size and scope of your practice, you may also experience issues related to the data of other websites appearing in the wrong report. This can occur if you have multiple Google Analytics properties on the same account and is often a result of the wrong tracking code being installed on the site. Using Google Analytics to track the data for multiple websites can be convenient. But, you must take extra care that it has been configured correctly. Otherwise, you run the risk of skewed results.
One of the best ways to go about solving this involves logging into your Google account. From here, you can go to the property in question and see if it matches the tracking code installed on your site. Another important thing you may want to enable is cross-domain tracking. This will allow you to track data across multiple sites from the same Google Analytics account. But, you will not have the same access to the data you have with a single site. Instead, you will be able to access data including:
- Unique visitors
- Average session duration
- Traffic between pages
Taking this into account can help you better understand how best to track the data on your site, and help avoid errors in what is being reported.
Google Analytics can provide invaluable insights about your site. But, the data isn’t always as accurate as one may believe. So, understanding how these issues can arise can help improve the reliability of your data and the overall health of your site. It can feel like a lot to take into account. But, remember that there is always support available should you need it!
Begin Working with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team of SEO specialists can help you improve your SEO and other technical aspects of your site. We have supported many private practice owners in creating healthier websites, and we would love to support you as well! To start your SEO journey, please follow these simple steps:
- Book a free 30-minute consultation call.
- Meet with an SEO specialist.
- Start improving Google’s rankings and meet your practice’s goals!
Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team at Simplified SEO Consulting is happy to offer support in a number of ways. We can offer support in improving local SEO for therapists as well as DIY Online SEO Courses. In addition, we also offer Done For You SEO services, and a Done With You 12-week Intensive SEO program. Feel free to visit our blog to learn more today!
About the Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues. He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns. Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support, often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!