August 3, 2016
You may have the best online marketing strategy in the world. Unfortunately it’s completely useless if you aren’t tracking your results properly. Google Analytics is the most trusted website analytics tool on the planet. However, people often set it up incorrectly or don’t know how to read the data.
If you are committing one of these Google Analytics mistakes, you could be missing out on a huge portion of a new customer base.
1. Forgetting to Filter Internal IP Addresses
Every computer has a unique IP address. If half a dozen people in your office check your website several times a day, their IP addresses are all recorded. This can skew the data on your bounce rate, time on site, and other important variables.
You should filter out the IP addresses of every device in your company. It’s also a good idea to ask your staff for their home IP addresses so you can filter them as well, in case they’re checking Google Analytics from home.
2. Tracking Too Much Data in Custom Campaigns
Google Analytics allows you to set up custom campaigns. Google provides a guide on creating them, which makes it much easier to track certain variables to optimize your AdWords and other marketing campaigns. The real benefit of custom campaigns is that you can narrowly define the parameters of your campaign. You’re defeating the purpose if you try to track too many variables.
Google points out that it allows you to track six different variables, but you only really need to track campaign source, medium and name. You’ll have a harder time keeping track of your data if you add unnecessary parameters, such as Campaign Content or Campaign Term.
3. Only Reading the Acquisition Overview
Many people reading Google Analytics only read the “Acquisition Overview”report. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because it only tells you how well your overall marketing strategy is bringing new visitors to your site. It doesn’t tell you what specific strategies are actually working, which is the whole point of the platform.
There are a number of beneficial reports that can help you get an accurate portrayal of your marketing efforts. And if you want to make sure you are utilizing Google Analytics as much as possible, you better look into them.
4. Looking for Patterns That Don’t Exist
Human beings are hard-wired to search for patterns. We often lead ourselves astray by looking for patterns that don’t actually exist. HubSpot published a great example of this. They showed a graph proving that there was a strong correlation between the terms “content marketing” and “yoga training.” Obviously, these terms are completely unrelated, but someone with a limited understanding of the variables could easily draw a conclusion that one of these variables is dependent on the other.
You want to be careful studying trends. Make sure you have a statistically significant amount of data to draw any conclusions and make sure that there’s a legitimate reason the two variables are related.
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