As an online marketing strategist, I continually come across business owners who rave about the number of visitors coming to their website. The irony is that website traffic alone doesn't generate money.
The Google service provides you with a line of code to plug into each of your website pages, and you can then start tracking. You can get a breakdown not only of how many visitors came to the website, but how long they stayed, what site they previously came from, what search terms they used to reach the website, and which pages they visited the most.
Here are four points to consider as you start delving into the numbers:
Another common issue is caused by redirects.
While there may be reasons why companies need to have multiple URLs pointing to one website, note that this type of automatic redirection can cause a referrer to be lost. Why can this information be lost? The code used to track website activity takes more time to run than the redirect activity, therefore, it becomes impossible to determine where that user came from.
- Traffic Being Sent to a PDF
- Missing Code and Other Technical Issues
Finally, your web analytics code may have been set up incorrectly, accidentally removed when content was modified, or other technical issues may be causing the code to not be executed. Unfortunately, while we've highlighted some of the most common issues above, there are still a number of other areas where things can go wrong. And, if for any reason data isn't collected, there's no way to recover it.
The web gives businesses the potential to identify which efforts are working and which are not. I'm not saying that you should stop reporting on your website's activity, and you shouldn't worry if you don't understand all of the technical details covered here. However, my hope is that the next time you see a web analytics report that doesn't make sense, you step back and think about what might be causing the discrepancy before taking the data as fact.