Google Analytics 101: Diagnostics

GoogleApps_Oct16_AAny business with a website will eventually want to dig deeper into the site’s statistics, including site visits, where your visitors come from, what they spend their time looking at, etc. The reasons for this can be varied, but tracking of this data can be tough. One of the best ways to do this is to use Google Analytics. Did you know that there is a diagnostic tool included in Analytics that can help ensure you’re getting the best data?

About the Google Analytics Diagnostics tool

If you use Analytics then you know that this is a data heavy application that can quickly go from easy to use to a complicated mess, especially if you are tracking more than a couple of entities. Essentially, ensuring that the data being generated by Analytics is correct and sites are performing their best is not so easy if you’re not an expert.

To help, Google implemented the Analytics Diagnostics tool which scans Analytics features like tracking code, account configuration and data on a regular basis. After each scan, you are provided with notifications about changes and potential issues that should be implemented in order to make sure the data collected and performance is optimal.

What does the Diagnostics tool look for?

There are a wide variety of information this tool looks for and it can provide you with notifications for a number of different issues:

  • The Analytics tracking code on pages you want to track is missing or the code is not configured properly.
  • Goals or set data trackers have stopped working or reporting.
  • Your visitor data isn’t being recorded properly.

If errors are found, and you’re the primary account linked to Analytics, or have editing permissions, you should see a notification bell with a red box and a number at the top-right of the screen when you log into Analytics. The number will show how many Diagnostics notifications you have that require your attention.

How to use this tool

This tool is configured to check your Analytics actions on a regular basis by default, so you should see notifications pop-up only if there are issues found. Should you notice that there is a red box above the notification bell at the top-right of the analytics screen, you can click on it to open a drop-down box.

This box shows notifications with:

  • A description of the problem – So that you immediately know what you are dealing with.
  • Check again – If you have fixed the issue, or updated, click this to get the tool to check if it is working now.
  • A link to the relevant Analytics page – Clicking this will take you to the page or section where the problem was noticed, so you can take action to remedy it.
  • Details – A link that when clicked on will allow you to learn more about this error and see possible solutions. Click on Learn more to open relevant learning material developed by Google.

If you are looking to learn more about this tool and how you can use Google Analytics to track vital website data for your company, contact us today to see how we can help you set it up and even manage it.

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