The Biggest Analytics Lies and How to Spot Them

By Nicole Blanckenberg

Analytics tells a story. A story about where your sales are coming from, who is buying your products and which marketing channels are bringing in the best ROIs. Its data is the lifeblood of any successful eCommerce store. Therefore, mistakes that cost you money, and getting the data wrong can spell disaster for a new small business where every cent counts.

And… what if I told you that on top of that, Google Analytics lies. Lies by omissions, half-truths and the smallest of fibs. Okay, don’t panic, it isn’t all doom and gloom. We’ve put together this guide on how to spot these biggest Analytics lies and stop misinformation in its tracks. By figuring out how to spot these lies, you will become a master at reading insights you can use to ensure ROIs are met.

1. The Facebook Referral Traffic Lie

Let’s start with the biggest analytics lie of them all, Facebook traffic. Oh Google, why must you hide Facebook so? The long and short of it is this: Facebook and Google track clicks and visitors in very different ways and therefore what you see in Analytics is not going to be as accurate as you may think. If you have noticed a big discrepancy between the amount of Facebook clicks from Ad Insights and what you see on Google Analytics, you are not alone. People have been querying this since way back in 2014, and fast-forward to 2017, the issue has not been resolved.

One of the main causes of this may be that when someone clicks a link in your Facebook ad using the mobile app, they will be sent to the in-app browser – which most likely won’t show as ‘Facebook.com’ under referrer traffic.

So, what to do? Use Google’s URL builder, which uses UTM codes to make sure all Facebook ad traffic shows up. UTM codes allow you to be able to track the source, medium and campaign name of a web source through the URL. You can even access Google’s URL builder through Facebook Business so you don’t have to switch platforms to do it.

Google URL Builder

Tip: Generate these links using Google’s URL builder to use across all social media platforms, including your Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter Ads.

2. Keyword Stats Half Truths

There is a BIG gap in your keyword analytics data. To get to the heart of it, let’s go through it step-by-step. Hypothetical Amanda is spending some quality time on Google, and as searching goes, one search leads to another. Her search goes something like this: poster designs → poster designs for home → home posters → click to website – the online store example here being ‘Home Posters’. As you can see, the first search she did was ‘poster designs’, however, what Google Analytics keyword stats will tell you is search generated from branded keywords. What you don’t get to see here is what her initial search was, which could prove super valuable: knowledge Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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