The Five Most Common Mistakes Businesses are Making in Analytics

Over the years I have worked with hundreds of businesses from small start-ups to multinational corporates and I have seen the same mistakes made by seasoned marketing teams & owner operators alike. As the online space becomes more competitive it is becoming more and more critical to have a clear understanding of the effectiveness of your digital footprint and marketing strategy.

While we see many different mistakes being made here are the 5 most common:

  1. Not Placing Tracking Codes in Correct Places

    The hardcoded code should be placed right before the closing head tag and Google Tag Manager should be placed after the opening body tag. Many people have discovered the power of the Google Tag Manager and have started to implement it along with their standard hardcoded code on the website page. Make sure they are implemented in the proper place.If you are not recording the correct data you can’t have confidence in its accuracy.

  2. Failing to add Annotations
    While it all makes sense today when we see changes in traffic or conversions. What will we remember in a week, a month or a year?You should annotate any occurrence that may positively or negatively influence activity on your website, such as:
    *marketing campaigns
    *website design and content changes
    *website outages
    *industry developments
    *competitor activity
    *general news
    *major weather event e.g. Cyclone, Flooding (If relevant to your business/market)
    *any other time-specific factor that could affect website behaviour

    Analytics Mistakes

  3. Not Setting Up Goal Tracking
    The goal tracking in Google Analytics is one of the most useful and important features. Just remember a “Goal” in analytics doesn’t necessarily translate to a “Goal” in your marketing team language. It is the measurement of an event.  If you are not using it, you are missing one of the most important pieces of information about the success of your online marketing effort: your ROI.

    Google Tag Manager is a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags — including conversion tracking, site analytics, remarketing, and more without needing use or pay developers to edit your website code.


  4. Not Connecting to Google Search Console, Google AdSense, Google AdWords
    Google Analytics is pretty useful by itself, however, it can be really powerful when you connect it to other Google tools for your business. Google Search Console provides a lot more info on the health and accessibility of your website from Google’s perspective. It also provides a lot of the organic search terms people enter on Google to arrive to your site. By connecting it to your Google Analytics, you will be able to have that information on your Google Analytics reports as well.

    Both Google adSense and Google Adwords provide info on your SEM efforts. You will be able to see how these paid campaigns are contributing to your overall online marketing efforts.

  5. No Customisation – Dashboards/Segments
    Every business is different.  So it’s important to set up customised dashboards base on your own unique business or marketing strategy and tactics. You will be able to gain a much better understanding of your marketing and website performance if you are analysing it based on different segments.
    To create your customised dashboards, you have to have a really good understanding of your business, find out who will be looking at these reports and determine what’s important to him/her.
    It is then very important that you tailor the segmentations and reporting to the information requirements of the different roles in the business and their strategic goals. For executives or CFOs, it’s basically all about the $.  You want to show conversion rates, conversion value, number of sales, or number of leads. They care more about how everything marketing does is impacting the business bottom line. So start off with outcome, then go to behaviour or acquisition.
    Marketing leaders such as CMO’s  also need to know about the impact of marketing. So start off with acquisition, then behaviour, lastly, the outcomes.
    For marketing managers, it might be a detail break down of how each marketing channel or campaign is performing.
    For analysts, it could be metrics such as the session duration or bounce rate.
    For developers/programmers, it might be the technical performance aspect of the website/apps. For example, are there any issues with shopping carts? Where do people fall off on your website? Is your site taking longer to load? Creating a tech dashboard is important to spot technical issues with your site.

    More Analytics Mistakes


Why should you care?

If you do not have accurate data how can you expect to make informed decisions about where to focus your effort and marketing budgets?

SureFire Search provides services that are registered for NZTE Capability Development vouchers’. This means that you may be eligible for financial assistance for up to half of the training costs we provide for approved services.

We are currently offering half day Analytics basics courses to bring marketers and marketing teams up to speed and get the basics right on their websites.

Contact Glenn Marvin directly on 09 3904242  if you  would like to know more.

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About the Author Glenn Marvin

Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.

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