Why do you need Google Analytics Audit?

From Triodox experience, 70-80% of clients’ Google Analytics accounts have some problems. These problems are most likely to occur when the initial configuration was wrong or when the client isn’t regularly keeping track of his GA account health.

If you have GA account just for show, don’t hesitate to skip this article — it probably has no value for you. But if you make important business decisions based on those numbers in your GA reports, stay with me.

So, who can benefit from this article? Maybe you have GA account but haven’t looked through it for a long time. Or maybe you have doubts and want to be sure you’re not up to the wrong new strategy “thanks” to incorrect numbers. Or you have some questions and wait for the data to give a clear response to them, but it doesn’t.

You think of yourself or your business as data-driven, do you? But do you know that to drive something data needs to be alive and active? Lots of people see Google Analytics as a magic tool with which all those random and complicated pieces of numbers are finally fit together. And here comes the biggest disappointment. To register GA account and do some basic settings is not the same as to obtain the active and precise data. Google Analytics makes the process easier but only for those who really care and are ready to invest the time or money.

Now tell me what’s worse: making decisions based on your unconfirmed assumptions or on the poor-quality data? I can forgive those who naively believe that shooting in the dark is the worst. But blind belief in inaccurate data followed by crucial business decisions is much worse because there are your gut and sometimes logic behind your assumption. Behind poor-quality data is only poor-quality data, broken GA settings, the ambition to look like a professional and unwilling to bother.

Example 1

In Triodox we faced different cases with bad data, from difficult ones to the absurdly simple. Imagine E-commerce store that had 1-3 transactions in every 5 minutes. We’ve looked through the “Sales Performance” GA report on a chosen date, compared the data to the actual number of transactions from CMS, and guess what? There were considerable discrepancies and, as a result, it affected the information about Revenue. During the audit, we’ve finally found the reason: the client’s server timezone was set to “UTC+08” and the GA view timezone was “UTC+05”. All transactions which happened after 9 p.m. in one day were dated the next day in GA reports. So, we’ve just changed the timezone settings. Now you probably think it’s a ridiculous reason and you’ll never be such a fool. You could be so right. But it came out only during the Google Analytics audit and occurred not because of foolishness.

Now ask me: “How such teeny-tiny detail can affect my business?” Well, for those who take it seriously even small discrepancy isn’t an option. You give a little slack on that and, believe me, more harmful “details” won’t be far behind. And remember, our client with 1-3 transactions in 5 minutes reached more than 100 transactions in those unfortunate three hours and “teeny-tiny” wasn’t the best epithet anymore.

Example 2

Other client wanted to figure out why the monthly Revenue in the GA report was 17% higher than the actual sum. When we’ve created the elementary GA Custom Report using “Transaction ID” as a primary dimension and “Transactions” as a secondary, it turned out that some transactions were duplicated several times. For example, if the transaction with your actual Revenue ($115) will be sent three times, it will give you $345 Revenue in GA reports. Imagine the gap that will emerge if such duplication will occur more than three times. The reasons for transactions duplication can differ but we usually start with checking JavaScript-code on the client’s website.


Of course, there are special audit tools, that are claimed to be automated solutions for those who don’t have time for all these technical things. But do you actually believe that one-size-fits-all decision would do the same best for different businesses? And that it would reveal what’s working incorrectly exactly in your GA settings?

Often I see how the clients are seeking the full automatization of the process. But setting it up once and for all is still a fairytale. Google Analytics is a more complicated mechanism, that can give a lot, but demands a big invest first. You might expect GA to take you directly to the full and accurate picture of your business right from the start. But all you’ll get with such an approach is a number of pageviews and messy useless reports.

Yes, it can take hours, days or even weeks and requires a lot of expertise to make all things work as you expected. But is it too much to ask in exchange for the precise analysis?

It’s not about one-night stand when it comes to Google Analytics configuration. It’s about good old-fashioned courtship, with giving flowers, behaving yourself, and spending some time and money. And that’s already something you can benefit from. I can help with that.


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