Quick and Easy Google Analytics Checklist
Understand the fundamentals of Google Analytics tracking and how you can improve your website’s performance.
Do you trust your data?
Are you capturing the right basic data?
Is your data ‘clean’?
Is your account setup to best practice standards?
All these questions can be answered by conducting a quick and easy Google Analytics check.
At Panalysis we use an extensive process-driven method to review a Google Analytics Implementation. This contains over 130 points to ensure you get the best quality data. Download the checklist, then connect with us if you need more advanced support to adjust your tracking.
The key areas you should assess include:
- Tagging Set Up
- Enhanced E-Commerce Set Up
- Campaign Tracking
- Goal and Event Configuration
- Filters and General Account Structure
- Dashboards and Report Set Up
Is Google Analytics correctly installed?
The first aspect of a Google Analytics implementation is to check that the tracking is correct. If the tracking is incorrect, you may find that you have missing, incorrect or incomplete data in GA.
- Tracking code can be implemented via code snippet or Google Tag Manager (GTM).
- Watch out for duplicate code placements on the one page.
- If you’re using GTM, ensure that you’ve created a pageview tag which triggers on all pages. Also check that GTM itself has been correctly placed on the page (which is right after the tag on each page).
- Place the <script> code snippet in the <head> element of each page, preferably as close to the opening <head> tag as possible.
- Place the <noscript> code snippet immediately after the opening <body> tag in the <body> element of each page. Learn more.
- Use Google Tag Assistant, a Free Chrome Browser Extension, that helps with troubleshooting basic tag issues.
Have you setup and configured E-Commerce correctly?
E-commerce setup and configuration is an important part for online store web analytics. The data captured by this report can help you identify your best customers and gain other behavioural insights about your clientele.
- Turn on E-Commerce within GA (or Enhanced E-Commerce if you have upgraded to Universal Google Analytics).
- Implement GA tracking code on the thank you page which should pass through product and transactional data such as Order and Product Revenue, Tax, Shipping, Transaction ID, Quantity, Product Categories and SKU.
- Verify that the data coming through the transactions and product reports are accurate.
- Consider implementing Enhanced E-Commerce if you haven’t already. This new functionality extends the available data which can help with other decisions around merchandising and promotions.
Are there any Goals set?
Goals help you measure the macro and micro goals of a website. Macro-goals can include a submission of an enquiry form or an ecommerce transaction. Micro-goals for a website might include PDF downloads, video plays, add to carts.
- Some Goals may require custom tracking and setup involving virtual pageviews or event tracking.
- You can also implement Goal Funnels which are a series of pages that you expect someone to follow, leading up to a completion of a macro-goal.
- Assign a dollar value for non-E-Commerce goals. Even if it’s an arbitrary value, this will populate the Page Value metric which can help you gauge the contribution of each page of the website is making to completing website goals.
Have you set up Event Tracking?
Event Tracking measures any user interactions of your choosing on your website. This can help capture basic click data but also enable you to acquire layered data which can provide the basis for in-depth analyses, studies and experiments.
- Structure your Events Tracking. Utilise the available fields when required (Category, Label, Action and Value).
- Pass relevant and interesting information to GA that can be used for future analyses. For example if you’re tracking a video for a certain product you might want to capture: the SKU and the number of loops the video played.
- Be mindful that the other part of the Event Tracking code sets it either as an ‘interactive’ or ‘non-interactive’ event which will impact your bounce rate.
- Be mindful of the data limits, because you can easily get carried away tracking many things.
Do you use campaign tagging for EDMs and other inbound marketing?
One of the primary functions of Google Analytics is to measure the effectiveness of campaigns from Google Adwords, Emails and other inbound marketing. Campaign tagging allows you to monitor results, create segments, calculate ROI and optimise your inbound campaigns.
- Link your Google Adwords account to Google Analytics.
- Check that campaign tagging is applied consistently for EDMs and name the campaigns in a format that can later be analysed. (e.g. yyyymmdd [promo level] [subject name]).
- Apply your campaign tags consistently and use the URL builder to help with tagging other inbound marketing.
- Keep a consistent naming convention for your campaigns.
- Maintain a record of your naming conventions.
- Test tagged campaign links in GA to check that the links are properly recording data.
If you want to know more about campaign tracking and how to ensure all your campaign activities are tracked accurately and consistently, download our free whitepaper: Campaign Tracking for Success.
Is Site Search set up?
Setting Site Search will enable you to gain insight over what your website visitors are searching for on your website.
- To set up basic internal Site Searching , you will need to find what is called a query parameter that is used for storing the search results page URL, and input that parameter into the View settings in GA.
Did you setup Filters?
Filters cleans up your data so that you can rely and trust your data in your decision making. Generally a minimum best practice setup includes three separate Views: Test, Filtered and Raw/Unfiltered. Some filters to consider:
- Filter traffic from your Internal and 3rd party suppliers because their traffic would influence your website metrics like page views, goals and E-Commerce transactions.
- There are malicious Spam bots which pollute website analytics, and these should be filtered.
- Filter unknown hostnames which also prevents bad data from polluting your analytics account.
- Create filters like lowercasing data from certain dimensions to help keep your data consistent.