The 5 Most Common Web Site Tracking and Analytics Problems

Overview of the situation we normally encounter.

Everyone who advocates strategic investment in Digital Marketing, whether with SEO, Paid Media or both, talks about the ease and the amount of data that we can obtain in order to correctly evaluate the results and the effectiveness of the strategy. However, in practice, on a daily basis, what we observe in reality is that companies do not pay enough attention to the correct setup of the tracking tools that record the data we should analyze.

At Gigantic Digital Growth we encounter this situation daily both among small and medium-sized businesses and, more surprisingly, in large companies.

Problem #1

From a botched Google Analytics installation, allowing less than 1 third of the actual site traffic to be logged on a client with average monthly traffic of over 120k, to Facebook Pixel logging duplicate conversions or even logging events at incorrect times, causing Facebook/Instagram to misperceive which campaigns are working best or not, thus messing up the algorithm and hurting the strategy as a whole.

Problem #2

There are worse cases, of course. A very common example is not having the Facebook Pixel installed. In a specific case we analyzed, an e-Commerce, the client didn't have any regularity in his Facebook/Instagram posts, even going weeks without any post, and also didn't have the Pixel installed, but in the end we found out that the 4th biggest source of traffic, and sales as well, came from there. And pay attention that in this case we are only talking about organic, because the client was not doing Paid Media on Facebook/Instagram. We clearly saw that a great opportunity for successful Facebook Ads campaigns was there. That is if we had Facebook Pixel installed from the start.

Problem #3

The lack of UTM in Paid Media campaigns, especially if they are on non-Google Ads Platform channels. The correct UTM allows us to identify, for example, which campaign is bringing more traffic and results to your site.

Imagine that you have a campaign running on Facebook/Instagram and you are testing 2 different copys and 2 more creatives. There you have 4 versions of your ads. If you don't have UTM configured in the URLs of the 4 versions, you can even see in Facebook Business which of the versions has more clicks, but you can't see in Google Analytics that it actually brought more engagement results on the site and also the best results according to the KPIs you set for your business.

Problem #4

The lack of UTM in Email Marketing campaigns. If set up properly, I can tell which links in the body of the email generated the most traffic and also the most results. Be it an Email Marketing for e-Commerce or a Newsletter from your company. This goes for both B2C and B2B businesses, whether it's products or services you're offering on your site, or even if you want to capture Leads.

Problem #5

Lack of integration of Google Platform tools. Google has several tools to help companies and professionals to better understand how the user interacts with their site (Google Analytics), how they find it (Google Analytics and Search Console), possible problems that can hinder performance, with guidance on how they can solve (Search Console), and also the Paid Media platform (Google Ads) that allows you to make ads to users who are searching on Google, watching videos on YouTube, or even browsing the Internet to read content of interest.

What not everyone knows is that it is very important to integrate/connect all these tools, so that they exchange information with each other and allow you to have integrated data, better insights, and a more complete view, which is extremely important for decision making.

The importance of tracking data for Business Intelligence

Our value proposition in a presentation meeting for a potential client, at its base, is a great effort of Business Intelligence that we do on our side, using the best tools possible, to have a scenario as close as possible to the real one of the company/brand in Digital, because although we use market data, expertise with other clients in the same or similar niche, and all the know how of our team, only the real data of the potential client will help us develop a good strategy from the beginning, and this includes the presentation of the proposition, and also helps in managing expectations among all stakeholders.

In Gigantic's short lifetime (approximately 10 months in April 2021), there has not been a client, or even prospect, that we have not identified some tracking setup issue.

And after all, what can the correct Tracking setup add value to our Digital Marketing strategy? Let's go to what I consider the Top 5:

Important tracking tools to keep in mind to have on your site:

  • Source/Medium - allows you to understand in Google Analytics which are the main traffic sources (organic, cpc, display, social, referrals, email, campaigns etc) to your website and all the main metrics related to it, among them: Users, Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, Avg. Session Duration and Conversions.
  • Micro-conversions - when done well, it allows you to record, both in Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, how the user is interacting with your site on his way to an effective conversion, be it a sale or even a new lead: who accessed a specific product category, added product to basket and started checkout in the case of e-Commerce. How much time on average the user spends reading specific content on your site, most viewed pages or pages that bring more organic traffic (and through which keywords) in case they are looking for more leads. All this data allows us to trace the correct remarketing strategy thinking about the sales funnel in a comprehensive way.
  • Micro-conversions/Conversions by City, Gender, Age Group - with this we can see if we are communicating effectively to the target/persona that we imagine to be ideal for our company/brand.
  • From campaigns - CPC (cost per click), CTR (click through rate in relation to the number of impressions), Impressions (how many times the ad was displayed), CPM (cost per thousand ad impressions), ROAS (return on investment in ads), Conversions (sales, leads) - beware, these metrics should never be analyzed separately, as it can give a wrong perception of the campaigns' results.
  • From Email Marketing - what is the email opening rate (in relation to the amount of email sent), click-throughs, requests to unsubscribe from email content.
The 5 Most Common Web Site Tracking and Analytics Problems
The 5 Most Common Web Site Tracking and Analytics Problems 2

Important tracking tools to keep in mind to have on your site:

  • Google Analytics - allows you to have lots of information about everything that happens when your user is on your site, where they came from, and what page the user last saw before they left.
  • Facebook Pixel - Allows you to inform Facebook how the user of your site is navigating through it, and then link this information with user data across the entire Facebook platform (Facebook and Instagram), and thus allow you to create remarketing campaigns or even create more engagement with users that most interest your goals, according to the data captured by Pixel.
  • Google Search Console - Detailed analysis of organic traffic to the site, plus possible technical issues identified by Google that may be hurting your organic results.
  • HotJar - a tool that, among other features, allows you to have heatmaps of your site pages, how users scroll on Desktop, Mobile and Tablets, clicks and even record the user session. This will bring immense insights into friction points on your site that is hindering your conversion, whether they be product sales, services or leads.

Attention, this is the basics, the tip of the tracking iceberg. To reach the apex, which would be what made Data Driven Marketing popular, however, you need to start from the basics well done so that you can then create a culture in the company of data collection and analysis for decision making, and this is the most difficult part, changing the company's culture, however, without data this is all much more complicated. Feeling is and remains important, but having the feeling very well aligned with real data is even more important. It is the classic case in which the sum of the two data sources (feeling and tracking) results in the multiplication of the results.

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