E193 – Don’t Make these Google Analytics Mistakes

Dave has participated in panels on this topic and the guys have hinted or talked about data, analytics and even Google Analytics but never done something like this. So join them as they walk through 7 of the more often mistakes they see when it comes to Analytics and Google Analytics.

Past Episodes About Analytics

#1 – Redundancy

We just talked about it the other day in our Redundant Redundancy episode. Does more than one person have access and skills to navigate and use your Analytics solution?

Do you have more than one person that knows how to use Google Analytics, Tag Manager and any and all of your important Analytics solutions.

#2 – Lack of Attention

We all get busy with work, life, kids, friends, broke down car, errands, etc. Do you ever look at your analytics? Does anyone? What insights are you missing out on? Could your content be better? Could you be getting more conversions?

If you are the owner/boss and simply do not have time to ever look at your web analytics you need to appoint or hire someone to do so!

Would you know if someone wiped your analytics tracking code from the site? How long could it be off the site before you would notice? What if your site is down for hours/days – how long would it take for you to notice?

#3 – Goals

Look at goals and event tracking but at the very least look at the Goals that are setup in your Google Analytics. Are they setup? Are they still relevant now from when you set them up years ago? If your site is focused on generating leads or calls, review what you are tracking with Goals and ask the questions about your website.

Do you watch your Google My Business account? Do you respond to reviews on Yelp and Google? Do you look at the data of visits and conversions from those and other places?

#4 – IP Filters

Do you have an office with lots of people often visiting your site? Do you have consultants/contractors or a number of people remote somewhere often hitting the site? Do you have their IP addresses filtered? DO IT!

If you don’t have that traffic filtered out it could be making you think you have more traffic from certain cities, metros or states/countries that really you don’t.

#5 – Proper Installation of Google Analytics

If you use Google Tag Manager, Tealium or some other tag manger to add Google Analytics to your site you DO NOT need to also add Google Analytics in your site’s code. This most often happens when a site is on WordPress and someone installs the GA code into the WP theme but then someone else installs Google Tag Manager and adds the code there.

When you move a site from Dev -> Staging -> Production or Dev -> Production you can wipe out your GA or Google Tag Manager code. If you update the Theme or don’t realize that the GA code was in a theme and you get a new one or update it – often the site’s GA code gets wiped and no one notices. This often impacts Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster as well.

#6 – Most Often Missed Settings

Exclude Robots/Spam and Track Site Searches – these two settings in Google Analytics are the ones Dave most often sees missed by sites. Check your settings now if you aren’t sure if they are both configured.

#7 – Set Time on Calendar

This is a bit of a solution to #2 but even if you hire someone or have someone that is looking at your Google Analytics, you should too. If you are listening to this episode or reading this write up you likely care enough about the business that you should dedicate 30 minutes a week to dig into your data and Google Analytics. At the start of each block of time ask yourself a question and see if you can answer it with data.

Maybe break out 30 minutes a week with each week for something different. Week 1 = Google Analytics. Week 2 = Google My Business. Week 3 = Google Search Console. Week 4 = Bing Webmaster. And when there is a Week 5 = Social Media.

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us on another business of digital, a podcast episode as always. We have Dave around the other line. How’s it going? My friend.

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:21] It is going. I’m making sure I’m not muted.

I’m looking at it. I have all these tabs open trying to figure out all of this. Yes.

Matt Siltala: [00:00:28] It’s always fun besides the tabs, my mute it on my headphones and my mute it on my microphone anyway. Well, um, we’re just going to jump into it right now, guys. Uh, we have the idea, um, with, uh, we’ve been talking a lot about, uh, analytics and stuff and there’s mistakes that people make.

And so, uh, Dave wanted to. Uh, just jump in to talking about, you know, don’t make these Google analytics mistakes. It’s just quite that simple. And so, um, I, I will,

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:58] I had a list and I can’t find it. So he just made the list. I know it’s gone. I’m working off my memory.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:06] I bet you, it will still be just fine though.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:09] We will cover a lot. I’m sure. So was

Matt Siltala: [00:01:14] there any, was there a mistake in particular that made you think about this or, or, you know, some sort of,

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:21] if I told you how old this idea was, you would probably be like, yep.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:27] I

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:27] would believe this one has been out there for a while. Like I spoke on this one, three years ago at MDMC I was on a panel like two years ago.

Maybe it was two years ago, two or three years ago. I did a panel on it and I think it was. Um, you know, as a panel and basically we were just talked about it and I think I had the idea from there, but I probably actually had it even before then. So yeah, this is probably one of the, I don’t want to say, oh gee, I did their idea.

But the fact that I have it set in our little cheat sheet with under filters analytics, which I don’t always do anymore, kind of shows that it’s probably,

Matt Siltala: [00:02:10] that’s

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:10] funny. Yeah. It’s probably pretty old. Um, but,

Matt Siltala: [00:02:15] but

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:16] we’re finally getting to it. Well, we finally get into it, but as usual. Five tabs open. So like episode 50 Luda, episode 65, we talked about like web analytics basics for every business.

So, you know, Google search console analytics, you know, tracking pixels, you know, that kind of stuff, 81, um, kind of talked about some of it, um, with, um, in Laurie’s 48 things you should be doing, but you aren’t in one of them in a couple of them included. Set up, Bing masters set up Google and tag manager kind of thing.

So that was episode 81. Um, more recently, 1 29. We talked about why your analytics conversion data trash, which if you don’t know why it is go listen, 1 54, we talked about, you know, auditing your lead process, which kind of goes to testing your own site, QA, um, 180 7. Your marketing team needs documentation and processes, especially around, you know, analytics and w w you know, what a lead is, what it, how to test it so that when you do migrations your data, isn’t trash.

It’s funny how these all tie in together. Um, so I think that was it. Yeah, just so this, those, and there was one where we did the F1 and data, but that’s not really analytics. It’s a bit of a stretch. Um, yeah, it was just searching around trying to figure out, you know, have we, what have we talked about? What, what have we missed?

And it was always funny to see, like, just how often we talk about how often or how often we don’t talk about certain topics like analytics. That was what five and almost 102 hundred. So like one every four. Or so 35 40. So like once, once every nine months we circle back and talk about analytics. Um, so here we are again, but I think one of the biggest problems I see is, and we just talked about this, not having multiple people have access or know how to.

Yeah. Like there’s one person in the company and we just talked about it, like the last episode, which means now I have to schedule these in a certain way, but I’m like redundancy, like does only one person in your company have access to your analytics. Does only one person know how Google tag manager and analytics works.

So anytime someone needs a report, even though everyone has access and logins, how often do those people all just go to that one person? Who also has like, you know, a job to do at the company.

Matt Siltala: [00:05:00] Well, and I think, and that’s, what’s tough. I think for a lot of people, cause I look back to even some conversations that I have.

I know that anyone that’s been listening to this, they know, I talk a lot about the friends of mine that opened up that the scone restaurant. And I’ve had many conversations with them about setting up a Google analytics and paying attention to stuff like that. And almost every conversation is like, Oh, I forgot that I had that, or, oh, I haven’t logged into that for a while and looked at that.

And, and, but the thing is, it’s not a dig on them. It’s a, they’re busy in their restaurant doing restaurant things. And so it, it may be a discussion of, well, we need to have someone that pays attention to certain things that can analyze data a little bit better for you that can help you figure things out.

Again, that’s just one example, but that’s my point in saying that if, if you find yourself as a business owner, you’re too much in the trends. And it may be time for you to add a task or add something to someone that does know something about it, because paying attention to those analytics can make a huge difference for your business and any way that that would be a mistake,

Dave Rohrer: [00:06:07] I guess, I think just not paying attention to it and looking at it.

It is a mistake. Like if you don’t have an agency that’s doing monthly reports. Or, or, you know, you don’t have a social media person looking in there cause maybe you, maybe you don’t really care. You know, maybe you’re like a restaurant or brewery and you’re like, yeah, we have the website orders come in.

We know everything’s working don’t care. Um, but we do have someone doing social media for us because we’re so busy running our business. If that is the only person logging into analytics, at least there’s someone. But if you have, you know, your Facebook page and yeah. You post to it and then you. Forget it and move on and you have your website up and, you know, you’re doing whatever.

Um, or if you’re, you know, more B2B and as long as the leads come in on the site, you don’t even look at it. Do you know if you’re having a good day or a bad day, or do you know what’s, you know, if you’ve had pages drop from traffic and maybe because you set something to no fault, You know, in, in Yoast, you know, you, your developer or someone moves something from dev up to staging or someone just, you know, made a setting and you don’t even know that, you know, you wiped off your analytics tracking for the last three months

Matt Siltala: [00:07:21] and it happens.

Trust me

Dave Rohrer: [00:07:22] guys for that, you did something in Google tag manager, and then no one ever came back to look at it and see that it actually had a, um, some sort of code error. And wasn’t actually working in. So six months later, you’re like, yeah, we’ve had a lot of business lately. I wonder where everyone’s coming from.

Oh, look, what’s wrong with our analytics? We don’t have any data for six. Um, yeah, I think at a high level, those are things I often see at a more in the weeds. Look at your goals. Look at the goals that are set up and event tracking, especially goals and even tracking, I don’t think is it’s like more micro conversions of what people are doing.

I don’t think that’s for everyone needs to care about that, but at least goals, you can set up a goal to understand how many people are even getting to your contact page or getting to a product page. You know, maybe if you’re depending on what type of company you are, you know, how many people are going to your mail.

If you’re a restaurant, how many people are getting to your contact us page? If you’re, you know, some like a lawyer or an accountant or someone else like that, you know, um, are people are trying to get directions and they go into your homepage. Do you ever look at the data from your Google? My business? Do you ever compare the two?

Do you ever look at the data period?

Matt Siltala: [00:08:50] No. I’m glad that you brought that up because that’s one of the things that I was going to suggest or, or say that one of the mistakes that business owners don’t make, uh, at least the local side of it is they’re not paying attention to their Google, my business very, very carefully.

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:05] Yeah. Are people leaving reviews and you’re not following up on Yelp. I mean, it’s not technically analytics, but you know, if you’re not paying attention to those types of things, You’re probably not, you know, are you paying attention to your Yelp analytics, your Google, my business analytics, your any sort of analytics, your Facebook, you know, and I

Matt Siltala: [00:09:26] think I’ve, well, I think I’ve shared this before.

Like, you know, if you’re paying attention to those reviews, um, it can be a good opportunity for you to, to listen to what your customers want. Like, for example, um, one of the biggest selling items with that, uh, Scown business is the chicken pen. Scones. And they basically listened to the people that were making the review saying, Hey, I love these sandwiches.

Like you should offer up this one. For example, and chicken tenders, you know, ha happened to be the one that they were talking about and they ended up adding it to the menu and it’s been like one of the biggest ones, the biggest seller. And so it’s like paying attention to stuff like that can make a difference.

Dave Rohrer: [00:10:12] The other thing I always see is, um, if you always check your website from your office and you’ve got, say five people and maybe 15 or 25 people and everyone, customer service is always looking at that. Um, you know, the salespeople are on there sending it off to people and every month you’re like, man, we get so much traffic from this.

Yes, because it’s where your office is because you’re not blocking that IP address. Yeah. Um, yeah. Exclude filters of known. And it’s probably a little bit harder now with everyone remote, unless they’re in, through a VPN. So I understand that that’s probably, um, a little bit more difficult now to be able to filter out, but as people get back in.

You know, or if you have customer service or if you have partners that are an agency, whether it’s an SEO, PPC, you know, social media ask for their IP address. Like anytime I work with clients, I’m like, here’s my IP address. It changes every so often when it’s my, my, the company I work with from Comcast, but when it changes and I realize it changes, I’ll let you know, and we can add mine to the filter list.

Um, another thing I’ve seen, um, two or three times now in the last six months or so, is people not understanding that if you put your Google analytics code into tag manager, you do not need to put your Google analytics code into your WordPress theme because it’s in Google tag manager. Yes.

I actually came across one where there was triple counting, I think really? Yeah, because it was like, I think it might’ve been two different Google accounts, Google analytics accounts that were being tracked. But, um, there was like two of the same. And then a third one that I think was different. I forgot it.

Huh. I’ve seen that before too. And I’ve seen it before where code wasn’t in the dev and it got moved up or WordPress or the theme got updated and wiped out the call to that Google tag manager or Google search console or, yeah, that’s the

Matt Siltala: [00:12:38] one that I was going to say that I see all the time is when, when something like that gets updated and it

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:43] went from one seem to another, then you wipe out that little call and all of a sudden you lose access to Google, you know, Google search console and being.

Um, and no one notices for weeks.

Um, what else have I seen recently check and make sure that you are excluding robots and, um, have that like filter on it’s in like the admin settings. I don’t have it open. But also make sure that you’re tracking searches on their site. If you’re in WordPress, it’s probably S equals, um, we ex Shopify, you know, Drupal.

They all have their own type of setup. Take a look and see what your, what your searches and monitor that please. Um, what’s another one. I think goals is another big one. Just like what is a goal on a page or on your site? Because I think a lot of people just in general, if they don’t, if they’re not monitoring goals and they don’t have it set up, you can almost assume that their site is not thinking is not being goal oriented.

Does that make sense? Yeah. Like if you don’t have goals set up in your analytics, I’ll bet you. Thinking through what the CTA is on a page is not something you’re doing and you should be like, what is the call to action? What do I want the user to do on this page? Well, I want them to click on this. Well, how do I know if they’re doing that?

Like if you’re not, I don’t, I think if people are asking that question, they don’t start to think through how they can, what data, how can I get data to figure out if that’s working? Yeah. And I think that’s just a different mindset of asking the questions about your website. And trying to figure out how you can get that data and then you’ll realize, or hopefully people will realize that, oh, I can use events.

I can use goals. All of those aren’t really set up, or maybe they’re set up from the previous, you know, marketing team or from an agency that we no longer work with that go to landing pages that are no longer active because we no longer work on that platform. Like, well, we have 15 goals, but they’re all set up and none of them are active.

Well that doesn’t really help any.

Matt Siltala: [00:15:09] Well, um, I do believe that that gives people a lot of, uh, mistakes to start to looking at. If we do find that paper that you had made, but maybe we give it,

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:22] it might, we might have a two, one other one is we kind of talked about it, but I think a solution to it is set time on your calendar.

Every week for 30 minutes to look at Google search console, look at your PPC. Look at Google analytics.

Matt Siltala: [00:15:41] Yeah, we talked about it, but we didn’t say set specific

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:43] targets. I think that’s a great one. I set time on your calendar. Force yourself to ask a question and dig into it because one you’ll maybe learn something about your site, but two, that’ll be a way for you to make sure that the code is still there.

That you’re still tracking that stuff’s not broken. At least, even if you don’t answer a question in that time, at least you logged in and you know, it’s all still there and working. So that’s my final take my final point.

Matt Siltala: [00:16:16] All right, well guys, um, I appreciate you listening and hopefully this gives you some ideas with, uh, hopefully not making some of the Google analytics mistakes, Dave, and I’ve been doing this for a long time.

Hopefully you take these into account and, uh, we look forward to hearing from you any questions that you have also guys, um, we’re on Google play. Make sure you go and give us any kind of five star rating, uh, wherever you listen though. But, uh, for Dave with Northside metrics, I met  lunch media and appreciate you guys joining us on this episode.

Thanks guys. Dave Rohrer: [00:16:50] Thanks.