7 Common Google Analytics Errors and What They Mean for Your Data

Many businesses turn to Google for a host of business tools because it’s established, user-friendly, and (mostly) consistent in its presentation and accuracy. But if you’re not careful, you may run into some issues. Google Analytics errors can mess up your business processes if you don’t know how to catch and address them early!

That’s not to say Google Analytics isn’t the right choice for your business. You just need to keep your eyes peeled for inaccuracies and program hiccups, just as you would with any other aspect of your business.

Why Do Google Analytics Errors Occur? 

You may be thinking: how does a large, established program like Google Analytics experience errors? No matter how you slice it (or which data tools you rely on), analytics is an intricate, tedious part of your business—you have to keep watch for glitches and errors.

Google Analytics errors can happen if your metrics input or direction sets are slightly off. Other reasons for incorrect data include ad blockers, visitations from multiple devices at once, or incorrect tracking setup.

Failing to search for and recognize Google Analytics errors could result in the loss of thousands of valuable business dollars each year. How can you be sure that you’ve checked all your boxes to maximize efficiency? Learn the basics of Google Analytics in a simple way with our actionable, comprehensive course! 

7 Common Google Analytics Errors 

While Google Analytics errors come in all shapes and sizes, there are seven big ones to watch out for. Have a look and be sure to triple-check your data for these super-common whoopsies.

Extremely Low Bounce Rate 

A low bounce rate (let’s say below 50%) indicates that something may be amiss with your data setup. Bounce rate metrics are meant to show how many of your website visitors stop by, but leave quickly. An average bounce rate falls around 75% (give or take 10% for fair measure).

Your bounce rate may be off (or less honest) if your website is text- or image-heavy. Visitors may be soaking up your page information without needing to click or interact otherwise, but still be counted as a “bounce” because they remained on the initial landing page their entire visit.

Bounce rate could also be off if your bounce metrics rely on nonsensical intervals or irrelevant clicks. 

Related: Just Getting Started with Google Analytics Tools? How to Best Use Them in Your Business

Raw Data Missing From Reports 

Google Analytics comes with an “All Website Data” feature that invites great value to your metrics meetings. It provides a concise, helpful snapshot of your business progress, but can’t be re-implemented if you make permanent changes to it or remove it.

Alas, so many business owners fail to understand the importance of leaving that “All Website Data” view as it stands. You should create new views for any edited versions of your data. 

Heed our advice early to avoid this and other Google Analytics errors!

Direct/None Traffic

Many business analytics teams are stumped by the “direct/none” traffic label. Google Analytics automatically assigns this stamp to website visitors when they can’t figure out where they’re coming from, or how they’ve arrived on your site. But this doesn’t help you know whether your marketing campaigns are working!

Whether the visitors in this “direct/none” category have entered your business site address directly into the search bar or they’re getting redirected by a URL shortener, you can learn more by clicking the “direct/none” label. 

From there, you can potentially assign different tags or arrange for alternative points of entry to collect more useful metrics for future marketing campaigns.

Site Search Not Showing in Reports

The option to track site searches is available if your website offers viewers a search bar to find what they might be looking for on your site. This search data sheds light on the types of questions your site visitors are asking and can help steer your content and offers in the right direction.

But you have to purposely select to have search results included in your metrics report! Failing to do so is a major Google Analytics error.

Figuring out how to adjust this component of your account can be challenging if Google (or technology in general) isn’t your area of specialty. But we can help you uncover and understand the basics of Google Analytics, so adjustments like this aren’t so time-consuming (or seemingly out of reach).

Cross-Domain Tracking Errors

If you have Google Analytics hooked up to multiple domains (such as your main website and your landing page builder), this can confuse data collection if you haven’t tracked and coded your input settings correctly. 

Make sure that you have Google Analytics properly installed on all sites. When it’s working correctly, viewers bouncing from one domain to the next should not count as a new session.

The last thing you want is incorrect data suggesting your marketing strategies are working better or worse than they actually are!

Related: How Bad Data Can Quickly Lead to Bad Business Decisions

Duplicates of the Same Page

While letter casing hardly matters when site visitors type your information into their browser, it matters a great deal when Google calculates your data. Your website written in all capital letters registers differently from your site written in lower case (or any mix of the two).

Often, tracking codes (set up internally by your team) show variations in casing that can skew your data. Whoops! Fortunately there are options in the setting of your Google Analytics account that help you troubleshoot this kind of faulty data. It might take you a little while to get the hang of where to go and what to select—but we’re here to help.

Self-Referrals Showing Up in Reports

Typically, high referral data is great to see! But sometimes referral figures are misleading. An incorrectly set up Google Analytics account may inadvertently mark your own website as a referral source, instead of only collecting that data from external domains. 

Be sure that your referral metrics only reflect numbers coming from other websites/sources. You can leverage Google Tag Assistant to gain more clarity on this! Once you have a firmer hold on where your referral data is coming from, you’ll be better able to form your marketing strategies and forge ahead with new ideas. 

Don’t let the threat of Google Analytics errors deter you from making the most of your business metrics. All business owners go through a period of learning and adjusting to their tools. With a little time and patience you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your data.