How to ensure your traffic is accurate in Google Analytics

If you’ve delved into the world of web analytics, you have most likely heard of Google Analytics (if you haven’t, then I think you need to get a spell checker or something because something’s not quite right). Launched in 2005, it quickly became the most widely used web analytics service on the web, with GA4 taking over from July 1st 2023.

If you’re a beginner, you may look at your data and feel a little overwhelmed to say the least. There are so many figures in front of you, it’s hard to know what’s most important and what’s not. You also need to ask yourself – Is this data accurate? Can I trust it? What could go wrong?

Take a look at our top tips to prepare your analytics, prevent and reduce spam traffic and provide the most accurate data. 


Preparation

We all know the old classic, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. There are some things you should do before you begin analysing data.

 

What could go wrong?

Distracted Dan applied some filters to his Google Analytics traffic. He got rid of all possible flawed dimensions and was sure that no spam traffic could get through. His client had a quick look at how their site was doing. They could see they had under 10 views that month which they weren’t happy about, and they were looking at Dan as the culprit.

He had added too many filters and now even relevant traffic was being filtered out. He forgot to add an unfiltered view. He had a lot of fixing to do.

If he had created an unfiltered view, the problem would have been fixed in seconds.

 

Prevention

Spam traffic happens, as we’re all aware of, but there are things you can do to prevent it.

 

What could go wrong?

Distracted Dan saw that his client’s conversion rate had gone up 50% in January. Amazing, he thought. They’ll love that.

However, he looked into the data and found that all sales had come from his work’s address. Oh. They weren’t actually orders from customers, they were from when his colleague completed those user tests earlier in the month.

If he had created the correct filters to exclude any internal traffic, his data would have been more accurate.

 

Remedying

Don’t worry, there are things you can do to remedy spam – it’s never too late!

 

What could go wrong?

Systematic Sophie was looking through some data at the end of the month ready for her monthly meeting with her client. She saw that on Tuesday there were 240 views, Wednesday there were 2450 but it was back down to 210 on Thursday. Hm. She asked Distracted Dan if he had any idea what had happened.

Now that he thought about it, he did remember something causing that a few weeks ago but had forgotten to write a note about it.

Sophie had to analyse the data again and figured out it was because the client was mentioned on the local radio that day, causing a spike in views. 

If Distracted Dan had added a note to remind all users of this fact, it would have saved a lot of time.

 


Although these are just a few tips, luckily we are experts in analysing web traffic in order to ensure it is accurate, from real users and not warped by spam. Get in touch with us today. 

Google Analytics vs. Matomo

Web Analytics tools are a must have for your website. They allow you to gather a range of metrics about the type of people who are visiting your site, what avenue they came from and what they did whilst viewing your pages. This helps you to discover a target audience, your most popular pages and how many views actually converted into leads – which are great indicators to figure out what is working and what needs changing on your site to gain conversions. 

As we have learnt more about analytics and the demand for accurate data has increased, more and more tools have been created to compete with the demand. You will probably have heard of the most widely used Web Analytics tool, Google Analytics (GA). This is a free application platform that provides a huge range of segmented data about users browsing the web using an intuitive interface that has great usability (hence its popularity). However, Google announced that in July 2023, GA will stop processing new hits and will require all users to migrate to GA4. This anonymises IP addresses of all users to comply with the latest GDPR legislation. With the shift, you will not be able to bring over your historical data – you’ll start with a clean slate. 

So now may be a good time to possibly migrate away from Google Analytics and look for alternatives.

Matomo, in comparison, is the leading Open Source application platform in web analytics and is one of Google Analytics top competitors. Matomo has offered a Google Analytic import plugin for a few years, so migrating in a GDPR compliant way is straightforward and you won’t have to sacrifice any of your past data, making it even easier to make the jump to Matomo. 

The question is, is it better for you?

 

The benefits of Google Analytics

But if something is used the most, does that necessarily mean it is the best? 

The negatives of Google Analytics

The benefits of Matomo

As the phrase goes, pobody’s nerfect…

The negatives of Matomo

Our head of Analysis and Statistics has commented on why we have started to manoeuvre over to Matomo: 

“With Google’s recent announcement that Universal Analytics services will be stopped July 1st 2023, we wanted to take this opportunity to evaluate current offerings of analytic providers. One of the biggest benefits that jumped out at us with using Matomo was that we could take control of the data, hosting it ourselves, meaning our clients’ analytics would be their own rather than entrusting it to a large organisation. It also comes with many features that not only UA did not provide but also GA4 currently doesn’t such as built in Form analytics, heatmaps, session recordings and much more which will help us provide greater insights for our clients.” – Adam Clifton.

Is it time for you too to find a platform that has tools that better align with your business?


Our experienced team has an effective, all round methodology to help you make the most of the traffic you’re getting.
If you would like help in increasing your conversions, get in touch with us today.

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