Having accurate data is the most important asset when analyzing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. When making data-driven decisions, you must ensure that they are based on what really occurred. When data doesn’t match between different management platforms, you could spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what went wrong. Today, we will discuss some common data discrepancy issues related to Google Analytics and some solutions to help avoid them.
A recently written article addressed a disparity of data in Google Analytics and a 3rd party system that was tracking demo requests for their product. This company created an event in Analytics as well as a Google Sheet where the demo requests were stored. They noticed that there was a significantly higher number of demo requests recorded on their Google Sheet vs. the number of events in Analytics. The article goes on to suggest that a possible cause of the discrepancy could be the use of ad blockers. Ad blockers don’t just block ads, but they also will block anything that tracks a user, such as cookies, including Google Analytics. In this case, user events with ad blockers were not being recorded in Analytics, but they were able to collect the accurate data with their 3rd party system. At Brand Ranch Media, we suggest finding and using 3rd party software the seamlessly integrates with Analytics. We utilize the call tracking software, CallRail, that has an integration built specifically for Google Analytics so that we can track phone calls for various campaigns.
Another common data discrepancy that can occur is inflation in the Analytics Traffic report. This report displays user data for different traffic sources such as organic, paid, referral, etc. Traffic inflation can occur when spam and other type of bot activity is recorded in this dataset. It is not uncommon to see thousands of visits each month from spam and bots. This causes a huge headache when trying to report accurate numbers. Luckily, there is a way to block all known spiders and bot traffic through the Analytics Admin section. Navigate to the View Settings and scroll to the bottom where you can check a box to exclude all known bots and spiders.
If you are running a Google Ads campaign and the data in the ads manager platform does not match data in Analytics, there could be an issue with URL tagging. By default, a Google Ads account is setup with manual tagging enabled. If you don’t manually tag every potential final URL, you could end up with huge data discrepancies in Analytics and Google Ads. To avoid this, the ads platform has an auto-tag setting that you can select when linking Google Ads to an Analytics property. The benefits to auto-tagging is that you avoid potential human error by telling the system to tag every final URL automatically. It will import goals and transactions from Analytics to Google Ads conversion tracking. You will also receive more detailed analytics in your account.
Having an experience team to guide you through all of the data from marketing campaigns is important to the overall success of those campaigns. If you want to learn more, please feel free to contact us or call 713-309-6380 to speak directly with an expert.