Mistake #1: Using an outdated tracking code
When you create a new site design and don’t update your tracking code (especially if you’ve switched from Google Analytics to Google Tag Manager), you risk making it out of date. Always make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of your tracking code as a precaution against these types of errors. The traffic will usually show inflated numbers, but unless you look deeper, you won’t know where the duplicate traffic is coming from. Even then, it’s hard to pin down. To find it, we will need to use a Google Chrome plugin. Make sure you’re not using any duplicate tracking codes by using the Google Tag Assistant Chrome Extension. When you have multiple instances of the same tracking code enabled, it will appear as a red label within the extension.
Mistake #2: Ignore signs of scratching
One possible cause of inflated data on your GA account is scraping. If your site was pulled but the Google Analytics tracking code was not removed, you may be receiving traffic from a duplicate site in your GA. Research and inspect these domains for mined content if you find a lot of traffic in Google Analytics data for one of these sites. This should immediately stand out to you. If you see a lot of your own content on the new site, double check to make sure your tracking code hasn’t transferred as well.
Mistake #3: Not changing from http:// to https:// in your GA admin panel
If you are migrating your website, make sure your admin panel has also been migrated from http:// to https://. If you want to make sure your traffic data is tracked accurately, you need to get it right. If you don’t, you risk forgetting to include any of your reporting data in your Google Analytics tracking.
Mistake #4: Ignoring spam/bot traffic
Spam and bot traffic are also issues to be aware of. You may be affecting the accuracy of your Google Analytics monitoring if you neglect the potential effects of spam and bot traffic. When it comes to spam and bot traffic, this can result in overinflation of traffic performance and, as a result, inaccuracies in your data reporting. This is because spam and bot traffic are not considered reliable sources of traffic. If you think your search traffic is growing but base your decision on spam and bot traffic, you may be in for a world of disappointment. This is why it’s crucial to make sure SEO strategy decisions focus on real users and traffic, not spam or bots.
Mistake #5: Not evaluating sample traffic vs. Unsampled traffic
This could be an error in your data monitoring decision making if your Google Analytics account is based on sample traffic.
What is sampled traffic?
Unsampled and sampled modes are available in Google Analytics. Unsampled data processing means that Google Analytics is tracking as much traffic as possible from Google and is not using sampled data processing.
Default reports are not subject to sampling. The following general sampling thresholds apply to ad hoc queries of your data:
Analytics Standard: 500,000 sessions at the property level for the date range you are using
Analytics 360: 100 million sessions at the view level for the date range you’re using
However, when you create a default report in Google Analytics, this data is not subject to the sampling mentioned above.
When you are reporting, make sure you are not relying on sample data. And, if you trust this information, you are aware of the implications of the sampled data.
Mistake #6: Ignoring hostname in URLs
Google Analytics does not include the hostname in the URL by default. When dealing with multiple subdomains, this can be difficult because you never know where the traffic is coming from. Always make sure you know 100% where the traffic is coming from. At least you will know 100% at all times what is happening with the hostname in your URLs. Your local SEO company can help make this and more seamless for you.