Data Quality

Fix Duplicate Ecommerce Transactions in Google Analytics

A relatively common issue with ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics is that transactions are often counted more than once. This is not really 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. Basically, Google Analytics will not fix duplicate ecommerce transactions for you – you’ll have to DIY.

The problems with duplicate ecommerce transactions are obvious. For one, you’ll simply be seeing too many transactions. And this will affect your ecommerce conversion rate, your sales quantity and your revenue totals as well. Your average order value will also be higher than it is in reality. You can’t trust this kind of data, and if you can’t trust your data, you risk making bad decisions. In this post, I’ll show how to find out if you have a problem in the first place, why the problem is there and how to fix it.  Continue reading

Data Collection, Data Quality

Track Real Time on Page for Bounces and Exits with GTM

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.e. bounces) there’s just one timestamp. In those cases, Google Analytics is unable to measure the time on page. As such, for the time spent on a page for bouncing sessions and on exit pages there’s simply no data. (there’s no ‘last’ timestamp on exit pages either). The real time on page is therefore likely higher than what your reports are telling you.

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Data Collection, Data Quality

Which Ad Blockers are blocking Google Analytics?

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. Ad blockers are intended to block those annoying (remarketing) ads that follow you around the net. But are ad blockers also affecting our ability to collect traffic data, e.g. by blocking Google Analytics?
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Data Quality

Solving the low bounce rate problem in Google Analytics

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. I’ll explain the most common of those in this post.

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Data Quality

How to track if Google Analytics is blocked – in Analytics!

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, the 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. When our analytics software is blocked, we risk making bad or outright wrong decisions. So one important thing to do as an analyst in this landscape of blocking, is to get an idea of how big the problem actually is. And why not use Google Analytics to track how many users are blocking Google Analytics? Continue reading

Data Quality

The (Ultimate) Google Analytics Auditing Checklist

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.

So I thought, I’d share my checklist for auditing an existing Google Analytics setup. It’s impossible to make a complete list that will apply to all configurations since an Analytics configuration is (or should be) based on a measurement model specific to the business. But this list should cover (or uncover) most of the common issues. Continue reading