Data Quality

Working with multiple include filters of the same type

. Posted in: Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Reporting

Have you ever tried to setup a filtered view in Analytics for a whole bunch of different URLs? Only to realise that your regex pattern for including those URLs exceeds the 128 character limit? Well, I have. And I’m happy to say that there’s a pretty good workaround. Wait, what’s the problem here? There are several pros and cons for using URL filtered views. For example, sessions not starting on an included URL will be treated as direct traffic. Read more →

External Link Tracking with Google Analytics - The Right Way

. Posted in: Data Collection, Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager

Why is it that such a simple thing as external link tracking in Google Analytics is almost always done wrong? Just today, I even saw a tweet from the official @googleanalytics account promoting a post on external link tracking: How to measure outbound clicks from your site using Google Analytics and Tag Manager https://t.co/U8jLdCIaSv /by @ThomasPetracco #measure pic.twitter.com/AaP8rGsfnI — Google Analytics (@googleanalytics) May 13, 2019 And the post has it wrong. Read more →

Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.1 and Google Analytics

. Posted in: Data Collection, Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Privacy

Apple recently announced version 2.1 of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). ITP is a feature built in to the Safari browser. In short, it protects user privacy by restricting how cookies can be used and for how long they can stay active in the browser. The first iterations of ITP focused intensely on third-party cookies. And rightly so. Third-party cookies are what ad tech companies have used to track individual users across different websites (cross site tracking). Read more →

Fix Duplicate Ecommerce Transactions in Google Analytics

. Posted in: Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Troubleshooting

A relatively common issue with ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics is that transactions are often counted more than once. This is not┬áreally caused by an error in Google Analytics. Rather it’s a problem in the ecommerce platforms and the tracking implementations. For the most part, Google Analytics will trust that you send valid and correct data. So it doesn’t try to correct anything. But just like it’s possible (but not allowed) to log PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in Analytics such as email addresses, it’s also possible to log the same transaction multiple times. Read more →

Track Real Time on Page for Bounces and Exits with GTM

. Posted in: Data Collection, Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager

The Time on Page metric is probably one of the most misunderstood metrics in Google Analytics. Google Analytics measures the time on page for each page, but can only do so by measuring the elapsed time between two interactions. The first interaction is the timestamp of the initial pageview, and the second interaction is usually the timestamp for the next pageview (or an event). So for sessions with just one pageview (i. Read more →

Which Ad Blockers are blocking Google Analytics?

. Posted in: Data Collection, Data Quality
Tags: Discussions, Google Analytics

This article/survey is from 2016. Please note that blocking or hindering of Google Analytics, one way or the other, is even more widespread now. This is still due to ad blockers, but also due to browser technologies such as ITP and ETP implemented by Safari and Firefox. Ad blocking software has gotten a lot of attention recently. Not because it’s new, but likely because it’s being used more widely. Studies put the ad block penetration at up to 37% or even higher - it depends on country and other factors. Read more →

Solving the low bounce rate problem in Google Analytics

. Posted in: Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Troubleshooting

Have you ever observed pages on your website with a 0% or very low bounce rate? If so, then chances are that you have a faulty Analytics setup. Well, of course it’s possible to have a website or a landing page that is just so amazing, that all of your users interact and stay on your website! But, every time I’ve seen a close to zero percent bounce rate, it’s been caused by an error in the Google Analytics implementation. Read more →

How to Track if Google Analytics Is Blocked in Analytics

. Posted in: Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Measurement Protocol

Ad blockers have been around for years - and I won’t go into a moral or ethical discussion about the use of them. But with Apple’s iOS9 update, content (or ad) blocking suddenly became much more mainstream. Now,┬áthe problem is that many ad blockers also block Google Analytics. Analytics software such as Google Analytics is there to help users - not monitor or track them per se. We use analytics data to improve and optimize our websites. Read more →

The Google Analytics Auditing Checklist

. Posted in: Data Quality
Tags: Google Analytics, Troubleshooting

Google Analytics auditing is the first thing I do, everytime I start working with a new client. It’s one of those things that need to be in order before I can do anything else. Because, if we can’t trust our data, we can’t trust any of our decisions or recommendations. So one of the most important tasks is simply to secure that data is being collected, and that it’s being collected correctly. Read more →