Common Analytics Mistakes

Google Analytics is an industry leading analytics package which provides stats and data on your website visitors. Its power and flexibility makes it a great choice for many webmasters however its wealth of data can cause confusion and lead to mistakes. These are mistakes, which often crop up time and time again and in this article we will explore some of them.

Filtering IP Addresses

This is probably the most common mistake you will find with Google Analytics users. If you don’t filter visits from your IP address then analytics will track your visits. As a webmaster or SEO you are likely to visit the site several times a day. The tracking of these visits can skew your data slightly. It only takes a minute or two to setup IP address filtering and is highly recommended.

Goal Tracking Setup

Any good webmaster or SEO will know the value of goal tracking however many fall into the trap of recording a step twice. When you setup a goal you usually have to setup a funnel, which records the steps a user has to make to achieve a goal. Many will enter the final landing or thank you page twice, once in the goal and once as the destination page. This is not needed.

Don’t Make Decisions Based on Unrealistic Sample Sizes

The same applies in testing. No webmaster should make decisions based on very small sample sizes. This is because it does not give you an accurate insight into what is happening. For example you couldn’t make changes to a site based on a key term that has generated 3 enquiries from 4 visits. You need to test it further and allow for more visits. It’s all about patience.

Consider Biased Data

This is a more difficult one to pickup but there are many ways in which data bias can occur. Seasonal trending is probably the biggest one. Users sometimes tend to make decisions without considering seasonal implications. Tools such as Google Insights and Trends can be great for trying to spot such trends. You could also use historic analytics data. Making decisions on biased data can be a costly mistake.

Not Recognising You Have Enough Data

The online world is extremely fast moving and making a move at the right time can be the difference between success and failure. Sometimes people like to set a sample size before making a decision. Once they have reached their target they chose which approach is best. It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes there is no clear winner.

Google Analytics is undoubtedly a great package and can be customized to meet all your needs. To use analytics successfully you need to plan for what you want to monitor and record. It’s well worth investing the time to set it up properly and track the components that are crucial to your business.

In this article we have only mentioned a few of the common analytics mistakes. There are many great authors who write in depth about analytics and data analysis.

Author Bio: Blogger on SEO and social media

Category: Computers and Technology
Keywords: analytics

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