First, relax and take a deep breath. I’m not going to show you anything too techy, just basic click this box stuff. It won’t make your data 100% accurate but – spoiler alert! – it’s never 100% accurate no matter what you do. It will, however, make it more accurate than it probably is now.
Tip 1 – Check Your pages
I’m going out on a limb here and am hoping that you have the Google Analytics (GA) code installed properly on every page of the site. You would be surprised how often I come across situations where it is not. If you are not sure here are some tips on checking your Google Analytics installation. It may sound a little techy, but there are some easy automated tips you can use.
All but the last suggestion are made in the ‘Admin’ Section of GA. You will find the link to Admin when you log in to your GA account at the bottom left as shown in the image on the left.
Tip 2 – Check your Property
Now you should see in your browser something like looks like the image below:
Our first stop will be ‘Property Settings’, so click on that link which will bring you to the following screen:
This one is actually a 2-fer. By default GA sets the Default URL as ‘HTTP’ and not ‘HTTPS’. It is standard best practice these days for all sites to be secure, or HTTPS. If your site still is not HTTPS you should contact your web developer and change that immediately.
The other part of this tip relates to the URL itself. Some sites resolve with the ‘www’ and some resolve without the ‘www’. This setting should match what you see in the browser when you go to your site.
Tip 3 – Deja View?
Once that is done click the back button as shown in the image on the left.
That will get you back to the previous screen. From there click on ‘View Settings’ which will take you to this screen:
I know what you’re thinking. “I just did that”, right? Well, yes and no. The View setting is different from the Property setting so it needs to be set here as well. Luckily you are now a pro at doing that so you will have this done in no time.
Tip 4 – have you got the time?
Next, on the same screen, is the time setting. Make sure it is set to the correct time zone.
Tip 5 – Can the Spam
Next, also on this screen, we want to try to clean up some the spam that is likely skewing your reports. Technically this is better done by using a filter, but I promised no tech stuff. You can filter out some of the spam by checking the box as shown in this image.
Tip 6 – Get me out of this traffic!
Our last tip does not involve a setting in GA, but rather a browser extension that will filter out your traffic and the traffic from anyone else in your organization that may use the site a lot. Most people don’t realize it, but GA is adding this user data to your reports which means you are not getting a true reporting of outside visitors to your site.
This is better done by using a filter in most cases but I promised no techy stuff and, in the age of Covid-19, there is a solution that might actually work better for you since a lot of people are working remotely.
This extension https://www.igorware.com/extensions/block-yourself-from-analytics works on most popular browsers and is simple to use. Just add the extension to your site, go to your site, click on the extension and click ‘Block Analytics for this website. It’s that easy. If you and your employees that regularly visit the site do this, they will no longer be included in your GA data.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of things you should be doing with Google Analytics. We can spend a whole day discussing filters, goals and events alone. These simple tips, however, will at least get you started down the path to more accurate data. SEO Rocket does offer Google Analytics integration services if you are not a Do-it-Yourselfer.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your Google Analytics data and sign up for our newsletter and blog updates to get more great tips!