Google Analytics Housekeeping

To get the most from Google Analytics you need to be sure it is installed and functioning correctly. In 12 Useful Tools for Google Analytics Administration, Brian Clifton advises that adding Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) to your website should not be a “set it and forget it” measure. He stresses the importance of monitoring pages frequently to ensure that tracking code is in place and working correctly.

How Often to Monitor your Google Analytics Tracking Code?

Frequency of monitoring depends on the status of your site. In the early stages of a GATC deployment or redeployment (for example after a site redesign or significantly adding to site content) Brian recommends scanning the site on a weekly basis addressing any issues as they arise. After eight weeks scanning can be reduced to a monthly basis.  If the implementation is solid after six months then scanning can be reduced to a quarterly basis.

What Tools to Use?

Brian recommends a number of tools which take alot of the hard work out of the housekeeping process. These include site scan and audit tools, Firefox add-ons, and desktop applications.

One very useful tool is SiteScan, an online application which scans your website to verify whether the GATC is installed properly. Incorrectly installed tracking code errors are highlighted and described in a report.

Sitescan verifies if Google Analytics Tracking Code is installed properly on your websitee report.

SiteScan also allows users to download a spreadsheet which gives a page-by-page breakdown of the results.

The free SiteScan service will scan up to 100 pages of a site. To scan more than 100 pages the paid service is required.

Note that there are some limitations to SiteScan. For example it cannot scan sections that require a certain sequence of events or trigger (eg, checkout pages).  Neither can it scan non-standard GA Tracking Code.

analytics helper firefox extension for chromeAnother useful tool is Analytics Helper – a FireFox extension for the Chrome browser that displays a notification if a Google Analytics account code (UA number) is detected on a web page.

So with these and other available tools there’s no excuse for not keeping your Google Analytics implementation spic and span!

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