GA Tracking: How to set-up and spot data inconsistencies

Data inaccuracies could have a negative impact on your digital marketing strategy and campaigns. If your Google Analytics tracking is set up incorrectly, the data in your dashboard might give a false view of your website’s current performance.

This means that you could be making incorrect forecasts, you won’t know how your campaigns are performing, and your marketing decisions will be based on incorrect data.

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Google Analytics (GA) tracking is fairly straightforward to set up, however, it’s also easy to break. Tracking issues can arise when you carry out a website migration, change your website’s code and more. That’s why it’s crucial to get to know the tell-tale signs that your GA tracking isn’t working.

In this guide, we’re going to go through the set-up process for Google Analytics, show how to check Google Analytics is working, and how to spot inconsistencies. This means you can rest easy knowing you’re making the right digital marketing decisions for your business.

The Importance of Installing GA Tracking Code Correctly

It’s likely that the majority of your digital marketing strategy will be informed by Google Analytics data. No matter whether you want to increase your conversion rate, organic traffic or average session duration, GA data can provide you with the information you need to pivot your strategy so that you achieve your goals.

If your tracking code isn’t working correctly, your GA dashboard will show the wrong data, or worse yet, it won’t pick up any data at all. This can give rise to a number of issues, including:

Taking the time to make sure your GA tracking is set up correctly will help you to avoid complications further down the line. It will also help to ensure you’re always making the right decisions for your business and digital marketing strategy.

Setting up Tracking with Google Tag Manager

One common method for adding Google Analytics tracking to your site is through Google Tag Manager. GTM is a tag management system that simplifies adding tags to your website. Instead of adding multiple snippets of code to your website, you can simply apply multiple tags through GTM.

You can use this method with a number of different CMS’. However, you’ll need to add your Google Tag Manager code, instead of your Google Analytics code to your site.

If you add both versions of code, this can cause tracking issues on your site, resulting in an unnaturally low bounce rate reporting in GA. Therefore, it’s essential to pick one method and install Google Analytics tracking correctly to prevent data inconsistencies.

WordPress

If you use WordPress, you’ll need to install Tag Manager on your site first. To do this, you’ll need to:

Shopify

To install Tag Manager on Shopify, you’ll need to:

Magento

To install Google Tag Manager on Magento, you’ll need to:

Squarespace

Installing Google Tag Manager on Squarespace is easy. To do this, you’ll simply need to:

Wix

To install Google Tag Manager on a Wix site, you’ll need to:

Once you’ve correctly installed Tag Manager on your site, you’ll need to set up the Universal Analytics tag. Follow the steps below to do this:

How to install Google Analytics on WordPress, Shopify, Magento & more

If you’re a beginner wondering how to set install GA tracking on your website, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together step-by-step instructions for installing GA tracking code on some of the most popular CMS’ below.

WordPress

There are a number of different ways to add GA tracking to a WordPress site. Generally speaking, however, you can use a WordPress plugin, or insert the code manually.

You can use any of the following plugins to add GA to your website:

Alternatively, you can add the tracking code manually by:

Shopify

It’s easy to install Google Analytics on Shopify, as they have an integration that allows you to add your tracking ID without changing your sites’ code.

To do this:

Magento

To install Google Analytics on Magento 2, you’ll need to:

Wix

According to Wix, you can only add Google Analytics to your site if you’ve connected your Wix site to a domain purchased from another provider.

To add your tracking code, you need to:

Squarespace

To add Google Analytics to Squarespace, you need to:

Read our top Google Analytics tips for beginners to find out how to make the most of the tool…

 

How to Check if Google Analytics Tracking is Working

There are a few different ways to test your GA tracking and make sure it’s working. We’ve listed some of the most common methods below.

Use the Tag Assistant Chrome extension

This add-on will do the hard work for you and show you whether your tracking code is working properly. Even better yet, it’s made by Google themselves so you know it’s trustworthy.

All you need to do is:

Manually check the code

You can also view the source code of your website to manually look for your tracking code:

To do this:

You should be able to see the tracking code after the <head> tag. If you can’t it’s likely that your analytics code is missing from your site.

Check real-time web traffic data

You can also check that your GA tracking data is working properly within the tool itself.

All you’ll need to do it:

If you find that there are active users on your site, your tracking code is working as normal.

Spotting Data Inconsistencies

If your data doesn’t look right, there could be issues with your tracking code. The ‘right’ data is likely to vary from website to website, however, there are a few general signs that will tell you that there are issues with your website analytics.

Your bounce rate is very low

In general, bounce rates between 60% and 80% are rather common. Of course, this will vary slightly between websites. So if your bounce rate has dropped drastically, or it has fallen to single digits, it’s more likely that there’s something wrong with your tracking code.

Possible causes:

Your e-commerce data isn’t showing in a particular view

You can set up e-commerce tracking within GA to view and analyse data relating to purchases made on your website. If your data isn’t showing when this is enabled, there could be an issue with your tracking.

Possible causes:

Your page views are too high or too low

Looking at your page views and traffic is a quick way to see whether something is wrong with your tracking. Any unexpected increases or decreases in your traffic could indicate there’s a problem with your site.

Possible causes:

 

How to Fix Google Analytics Errors in Tracking

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fixing analytics errors. Sometimes the fix is simple, however, in other cases, you may need to enlist the help of a web developer to get to the root of the problem.

Google Analytics errors could result in a lot of wasted time, money and resources, so it’s important to get them resolved as quickly as possible. To help, we’ve listed some of the most common errors and their solution below:

Problem: Missing Google Analytics code

Solutions:

Problem: Your page views/traffic is too high or low

Solutions:

Problem: Your bounce rate is too low

Solutions:

 

How to set up goal tracking

Google Analytics’ goal tracking is an incredibly useful tool that will help you to dissect your data even further and learn more about your website visitors.

Website goal tracking can help you to:

Types of goal tracking in GA

There are 4 different types of goals to choose from in Google Analytics. We’ll go through these in more details below.

Destination goals

A specific location/URL load e.g. Thank you page

Duration goals

Sessions that last for a specific amount of time e.g. 5 minutes or longer spent on a help site

Pages per visit goals

When a user visits a pre-defined number of pages or screens

Event goals

One of your events has been triggered e.g. Ad click, button click, social share etc.

Whilst all goals are useful in one way or another, you don’t want to overcomplicate your data by tracking too many goals. The options you choose will largely depend on the nature of your business, and what you want to improve.

For example, if you want to improve your customer service, you may set a duration goal of 5 minutes on an FAQ page to find out if your page answers users’ questions easily. Or if you’re an e-commerce business, you may set up an ‘add to cart’ event goal to find out how many users are dropping off at this stage of the buyer journey.

If you’re new to goal tracking, not to worry. We’re providing our tips on how to set up some of the most popular goal types below.

How to set up destination tracking

If you want to track the number of website visitors that view a certain URL, you can use destination goal tracking. To set this up in Google Analytics, you’ll need to:

How to set up phone call and email tracking

You can also use Google Analytics for phone call tracking and email tracking. To set up phone call tracking in Google Analytics, you’ll need to:

On the other hand, if you want to set up email tracking in Google Analytics, you’ll need to:

How to set up custom event tracking

If you find that an event you want to track is not on the pre-defined list in Google Analytics. You may need to set up tracking for a custom event. Fortunately, this is relatively straightforward.

To do this, you’ll need to:

How to set up HubSpot tracking

If you have a HubSpot website or blog, you can track this within Google Analytics too. To do this:

Need a hand with your GA tracking and data analysis?

Here at CandidSky, we have all the tools you need to help you extract the maximum possible value out of your Google Analytics data.

If you’re not seeing the results you need, why not book a discovery call with our team to see what could be improved? Get in touch today to learn more.

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