Google Analytics can be a powerful tool to track your SEO efforts, but first things first, before you can effectively use it, you need to ensure that it is properly set up on your website. This correct set up is vital and if Google Analytics has not already been implemented on your site, you should do so before you commence the SEO campaign so that you can collect some benchmark data prior to beginning to see improvements from the SEO efforts.
There are a few common mistakes and omissions that are made when setting up Google Analytics. We will discuss some of them below:
SEO and your business
1. Not setting up an Internal Traffic Filter
If there is one filter that you should critically set up, it is the IP Address Exclusion filter. In this way, you are able to exclude employees’ home computers, the office IP addresses, SEOs and other web consultants from your tracked Google Analytics traffic. You can focus on tracking your target market and ensure that all these other visitors do not compromise the credibility of your traffic data.
2. Forgetting to tag all website pages
If you are manually inserting the appropriate code, it is important to ensure that every time you add a new page to your website, that the tracking code is implemented on that page. If there are gaps in your Google Analytics code, this will give you headaches, as it will indicate a high number of strange referrals from your own domain. Furthermore it will also mess with your entrance and exit page data.
3. Not linking AdWords & Google Analytics
If you are running a PPC campaign and you do not link it to your Google Analytics you are missing out on a great deal of valuable information that would allow you to more accurately track the success of your PPC efforts. You may also miss out on SEO keyword opportunities because of the absence of this PPC data.
4.Tracking irrelevant referring sites
In the same way that you can exclude IP addresses, you can also exclude irrelevant domain names that are driving traffic to your website. If you have an intranet or internal company blog, it could be driving thousands of hits to your website. Non-converting traffic could be coming to your site from a number of referring sites. The best way to identify which domains to exclude is to carefully go through the referring sites report in your Google Analytics.
5. Tracking irrelevant geographic regions
If you are running an e-commerce site and you are receiving a great deal of traffic from regions beyond your target market, it may be wise to exclude these countries in a custom filter, so that you do not dilute your conversion data. Why inflate numbers when the searchers from these regions cannot purchase on your site?