When undertaking new projects or engaging with new clients, it is useful to review the analytics account set-up to save a lot of time and to enhance productivity. A robust analytics account set-up can avoid discrepancies in actual and observed results.
Below is a comprehensive check-list for google analytics account for new projects. Always backup your profile settings and data to avoid errors and losing data.
STAGE 1: BASIC SETUP
1. Analyze Your Website’s Structure
Your website may need an easy Google Analytics implementation or a lot of customized scripts for correct measurement. Look for these potential hurdles in your website:
Multi-domain / subdomain structure – You need to customize the Google Analytics tracking code because it does not pass the visitor formation between sites automatically.
Frames – For full indexing in search engines, it is recommended to remove frames from the website.
Ajax – Additional skill needed to make use of virtual page views.
Dynamically created URLs – You need to exclude technical query string variables via the “Exclude URL Query Parameters” section of the involved profile.
Flash – It is not measured automatically.
Interactions – Event tracking needs to be setup for interactions like downloads, mail to links, social links etc.
2. Set Up Profiles in your Google Analytics Account
You can collect the whole or a subset of your data within a profile. Some useful profiles are:
- All data profile: this is a backup profile and contains all data.
- All data (IP filters) profile: this profile contains all data with a filter on known IP addresses (your company, partners, etc.)
- Include your IP profile: for testing, it collects your only your website behavior.
3. Set Up Filters – Exclude internal and partner IP addresses
- To avoid reducing conversion rate and also over-reporting traffic
- To implement, go to Admin > Filters (in the appropriate view) > New Filter. You can also use the free tool Xenu for this.
4. Apply Google Analytics code on all pages
- Missing google analytics code can create misleading site engagement metrics conversion data. A quick look at referral reports can highlight this problem.
- All conversions will be shown as “referral” or “direct” if pages do not include Google Analytics code in the checkout process.
- To implement, use the ‘screaming frog’ tool or com
5. UA account is listed only once
- Running two GA codes simultaneously is fine, but it is not OK to run instances of the same code twice.
- To find this, search for “UA-” in the source code.
6. LINKING RELATED ACCOUNTS
- Link Google Analytics account with AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools accounts
STAGE 2: Ensure proper campaign tracking implementation
7. Enable Auto-Tagging for Google Analytics
- Without this, your paid search traffic, your paid search traffic will show as organic traffic in Google Analytics.
- To check the status of auto-tagging, go to Account Settings > Preferences, in your AdWords Account.
8. UTM tags for non-Google paid search campaign URLs
- Without this, the traffic will be counted as organic search visits.
- Google Analytics interprets utm_medium=cpc and utm_medium=ppc as paid search traffic, so one of these should be used for the medium.
9. UTM parameters for vanity domains redirect
- This will allow you to easily attribute visits and conversions from the vanity domain to the campaign associated with the vanity domain.
10. UTM parameters in e-mail campaign links
- Allows you to properly attribute visits and conversions to the right email marketing effort
STAGE 3: CONVERSIONS AND INTERACTIONS
11. Goal setting
- Set desired goals for activities such as purchases, contact form completions, creating an account, time on site, signing up for a newsletter, etc.
- Quantify your goals and their monetary value.
12. Set up e-commerce tracking
- It will allow you to understand how much revenue you’re making and also, what channels are responsible for driving revenue.
13. Set up event tracking
- Event tracking is a simple way to track how users are interacting with your site. It includes user activities such as the videos played, submitted forms, scrolling through your content, or downloads.
STAGE 4: Content grouping
14. Create content groupings
- Create groups of similar pages like blog posts, landing pages, e-commerce category etc.
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