Google Analytics Audit Frequently Asked Questions

Google Analytics audit frequently asked questions

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November 8, 2017

I am the owner of my ecommerce store, can I do the audit myself

If you know how to use and setup Google Analytics, you can do most of the audit by yourself. Depending on your skills with JavaScript and knowledge of Google Tag Manager, you can potentially solve most of the issues. In fact, as an owner of a website, you would be uniquely equipped to know what you want to measure and what aspects of the website are most important to you. On the other hand, as an owner, you may have other issues that demand your attention too and setting up and fixing Google Analytics may not be the most efficient use of it.

When do I need to do an audit?

You should do an audit whenever you are not certain that your Google Analytics data corresponds to a real world data. You may spot discrepancies in reported and actual revenue, for example, or notice the acquisition channel data does not match your expectations. In short, whenever you think the data is not correct, run an audit of your account so you can ascertain your analytics is accurate. In addition, whenever you have different people making changes to your account, you will do well to run an audit.

My Google Analytics works so why should I do an audit?

The fact that you Analytics account appears to work and shows visits to your website does not signify it is without problems. Maybe you rely more on Social acquisition channel than you used to? Or maybe you started new paid search campaigns? Besides, Google Analytics is constantly evolving, so you may be missing some new features potentially adding a wealth of new data you can use to improve your website even more.

How often do I need to do Google Analytics audits?

There is no requirement to do audits, but you should audit your setup at least once a year to check if everything still works properly.

I want to audit my Analytics account – where do I start?

A good place to start an audit is always to make sure your Google Analytics snippet is properly implemented, filters and bot exclusion is turned on and demographics reporting features enabled. Secondly, make sure you have a test view. Read our audit guide for more.

I do not use any PPC campaigns, but my audit tool reports problems with PPC, what do I do?

If you used an automated audit tool, such as Online-Metrics, a tool we recommended in our article, it may happen that your AdWords integration and Branded and Generic paid traffic checks fail. This happens because a tool does not detect any of this data in your reports and assumes that they were not linked properly. In fact, since you do not use those means of acquisition, you can disregard those warnings for the time being. However, if you decide to start using PPC at a later date, make sure you follow the guidelines and ensure this traffic is properly reported and attributed.

Although the majority of my traffic does not come from social networks or referrals, I still receive fail mark in audit tool?

If referral and social traffic do not represent an important part of your acquisition strategy this issue will appear since in all probability a small amount of social channel will appear as a referral. This is not an issue as your traffic acquisition relies on entirely different channels and mediums. However, as in the case of PPC, you should keep a close eye on your acquisition channels and if your social traffic picks up, solve the issues that may appear.

I have set up goals in Google Analytics, but I still can not see funnel visualization?

Adding a goal by itself will not result in funnel visualization being displayed on your Analytics Conversion report. However, for funnel visualization to work, you need to set up a destination goal. For full instructions on how to set up goals, you can check out our blog article.

I have added a filter to my main view by mistake, what to do now?

If you happen to add a filter or change any other setting affecting your data in Google Analytics in the wrong view, the best (and probably the only) thing you can do is to remove the filter or alter the setting as soon as you realize the mistake. The longer it stays on, the more data you will lose.

Can I use the audit process for setting up a fresh Google Analytics account too?

Of course, you can follow the checklist for audit in setting up the new account. However, some aspects of an audit will not be possible to do unless you have actual data in your account. To properly estimate the setup of your PPC traffic, channel grouping, goals, and events, you need to have enough data to make the judgment.

What are some of the most common issues to look out for while doing an audit?

In the course of the audit, the most frequent issues involve bad event code, goals that do not reflect the purpose of tracking the performance of the website and non-existent measurement plan.

While automated audit tools will report no problems with event set up if they detect any event code on your site, they will not be able to determine whether this code is, in fact, correct or does it serve any useful purpose. This is an aspect of your account setup that you need to do manually.

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Edin is a Senior CRO Consultant. Edin is into Google Analytics and testing (any A/B testing tool really) and likes to write about it. You can follow Edin on Twitter.