By far the most widely used user data collection tool available, Google Analytics is widely supported, powerful, and practically a standard implementation on the majority of websites. With native integration for Google’s advertising platforms and a powerful API that allows it to be linked up with many other platforms, if you don’t already have GA on your website, you’re likely a long way behind your competition.
But just including the GA tracking code on your website isn’t enough to get the most out of this nifty free tool. While the default configuration should track all traffic to your website, along with where this traffic is coming from and what pages are hit during their visit, it won’t include revenue, it won’t show you where your customers are abandoning your checkout process, it won’t track any goals you may have – such as filling out contact forms or calling your business – leaving you with limited metrics to measure success.
With decades of experience in the SEO space, we’ve seen just how damaging this type of tunnel vision can be for a client. Goals based around increasing the amount of traffic to a website can lead to keyword-based strategies that target high volume phrases but bring in unqualified users who have no interest in buying your products. Without the correct measurements in place, critical business decisions will be made based upon incomplete datasets that don’t paint a full picture of how your website is performing.
One of the first steps in a successful eCommerce digital marketing campaign is to ensure the data you’re looking at is accurate and complete. Product sales are incredibly important when it comes to measuring the success of a campaign, and being able to tie those sales directly to the channel that generated them shows you where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
It’s not enough to just set-up GA eCommerce tracking and forget it – you must validate your data, and it should be something you review often. There are a lot of ways for Google Analytics to mistrack product sales, and it takes just one incorrectly tracked purchase to blow your data out and make your predictions worthless.
Take a look at your GA dashboard, check your revenue, and compare it to what your eCommerce platform is reporting. If there’s a massive discrepancy, you’ve got a problem – reach out to us at StewArt Media and we can help you set up for continued online growth (and you’ll be able to see it in Google Analytics as well!).
Not sure how to do this data validation? Keep an eye on this space, we’re putting together some handy guides for some of the most popular CMS’s – leave a comment below with your CMS to make sure we cover it.