12 November 2020
Google Analytics is the programme to learn everything and anything about the behaviour of your website's visitors.
Our Garden Connect platform offers an extensive integration with Google Analytics as a baseline. This is both for your information as for daily use by our content marketeers. But even in Google Analytics, you can sometimes find information that’s not correct! We will show you several examples of data where something has gone wrong in Google Analytics, and how you can correct those.
A delay of new data in Google Analytics
The Real-Time reports in Google Analytics give a clear overview of a limited amount of data, but for a full overview, a delay of 6 hours is required. That’s not something you can correct, but it is something to keep in mind when you monitor your data on a busy day.
Organic traffic as a channel, and what’s not correct about that
It can be very handy to find out which search keywords your website visitors use to find your website for the following reasons:
If your visitors find your website by searching for ‘Garden centre in the area’ or ‘Buy plants in London’ and they reach your website with these keywords, you know that your online marketing investments are paying off.
Imagine someone types the name of your webshop or website in Google, this person will be shown as organic traffic in analytics, while in fact this visitor should be viewed as direct traffic. The person already knows your company and is in this sense a direct visitor.
Having a lot of visitors via organic traffic is more meaningful when these search queries are actually done by potential new customers, and not when they are actually direct traffic using search queries that contain your company name or parts of it.
Fortunately, there is a way to find out what the distribution is between these two types. In Google Search Console, you can go to Performance to make an export of the search queries. If you find a lot of search queries that contain the company name and only a few other keywords, that might mean that you need Search Engine Optimization for more actual organic visitors.
Unique visitors are not necessarily unique persons
Tracking unique visitors van give a lot of relevant information, but there’s still a few ifs and buts , such as:
A unique visitor is not necessarily unique when the same person visits your website on a phone, iPad, and a laptop. Google measures these visits as unique, but they are not all unique persons. It’s not possible to correct this, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re monitoring this data.
It can also be the case that a computer is shared within a family. When two people individually visit your website on the same device, this will be measured as one unique visitor.
Time spent on a page, when visiting one page only
The time spent on a page, is often tracked in Google Analytics and people generally like to see this rise. People often forget about the following situation when comparing this type of data: many people open a page and then start doing something else on another tab, only return to the page when they want to continue. The time spent on the page will be measured until 30 minutes, while in reality the page was open but no one was paying attention to it.
This is not something you can correct yourself, but it is an important point of attention when you see high averages in your Google Analytics report.
The most loyal daily website visitors: you and your team
It is obvious that you visit your own website very often, often daily. If we deliver our online marketing services to your company, we do the same of course. What we don’t want, is our (and your) behaviour to be measured in the statistics, because our behaviour is not relevant for the results that we want to measure.
Fortunately, there is a very simple solution that we always use when we work on your website. That’s a filter in which IP addresses (from our office and your office for example) will be removed from the data. You can create this in the menu in Google Analytics via Administrators in the Filters menu.
Missing revenue in Google Analytics
This may have happened to you before: you see a new incoming order in the webshop, but this order is nowhere to be found in Google Analytics. Or you see a difference in revenue in your webshop system and the revenue in Google Analytics. There are several reasons for this difference:
The website visitor might be using an extension that prevents online activities from being measured in Google Analytics.
It’s also possible that the website visitor uses an adblocker (or another extension) so the data will not be saved in Google Analytics.
Is Google Analytics still a good tool to use?
You might wonder if you should still be using Google Analytics after this. But still, for monitoring your goals, growth and progress we do consider Google Analytics as a useful tool.
When we use our online marketing skills to improve your website, we always send you reports that we use to make our results measurable.
We often say that analysing the numbers in Google Analytics isn’t a precise science, but they do clearly show overall trends.
If you want to use Google Analytics, it’s important to be conscious of these pitfalls, but besides that, Google Analytics can be a great source of information!
This article is written by:Julia van Vliet
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