Audit Your Google Analytics 4 Implementation - A Step By Step Guide

Audit Your Google Analytics 4 Implementation - A Step By Step Guide

Unlock data-driven success with a Google Analytics audit. Ensure accurate insights, optimize strategies, and stay competitive.

By: Ayesha Khan | 5 mins read
Published: Oct 2, 2023 1:31:40 AM | Updated: Jun 12, 2024 01:50:03 AM

A Google Analytics audit is a comprehensive examination and evaluation of a website’s implementation of Google Analytics, a powerful web analytics tool provided by google.

The primary purpose of a Google Analytics audit is to ensure that the tracking and reporting configurations are set up correctly, accurately and in a way that aligns with the business goals and objectives of the website owner.

It involves a systematic review of various elements within the Google Analytics account to identify issues, discrepancies, and areas for improvement.

A Step-by-Step Comprehensive Guide to Google Analytics Audit

Step 1: Review account structure

The first step in the audit process is to review your google analytics account structure.

Ensure that your account, property and view hierarchy are organized logically.

  • Account: check if your account structure aligns with your organization’s needs. You may need separate accounts for different business units or clients.
  • Property: Verify that each website or app you’re tracking has a dedicated property. This allows you to isolate and analyze data for each entity separately.
  • IT Data streams:.Assess the data streams within each property. Ensure tat data streams are set up correctly for raw data, filtered data, and test data, maintaining data integrity and filtering out internal traffic and spam.

Step 2: Verify tracking Code

The accuracy of your Google Analytics data heavily relies on the proper implementation of the tracking code. 

Here’s what to look for:

  • Installation: check if the tracking code is correctly installed on all pages of your website or app. Use tools like Google Tag Assistant to identify any installation issues.
  • Event tracking: ensure that event tracking is set up to capture important user interactions like form submissions, downloads and video views.
  • E-commerce tracking: if applicable, review e-commerce tracking to ensure that it’s accurately recording transactions and revenue.
  • Cross domain tracking: if you have multiple domains, verify that cross domain tracking is configured correctly to track user journeys across domains.

Step 3: Analyse Goals and Conversions

Goals and conversions are at the heart of tracking user engagement and success on your website. review and optimise your goal setup:

  • Goals: confirm that your goals are aligned with your business’s objectives. Create custom goals for specific actions such as signups, purchases, or contact form submissions.
  • Funnel visualisation: if you’re tracking a multi step process, like a checkout flow, use the funnel visualisation report to identify drop off points and optimise user journeys.

Step 4: Examine Data filters

Data filters in Google Analytics allow you to exclude irrelevant data, such as internal traffic and known spam. Review your existing filters and create new ones if necessary 

  • Internal traffic: exclude traffic from your organisation’s IP addresses to prevent skewing your data with internal visits.
  • Bots and spam filters: Implement filters to exclude known bots and spam referrals that can distort your analytics data.

Step 5: Assess custom Dimensions and Metrics

Custom dimensions and metrics enable you to track specific user interactions and attributes unique to your business. Review your custom configurations and evaluate their relevance:

  • Custom Dimensions: ensure that custom dimensions are correctly implemented to capture data like user roles, product categories or campaign sources.
  • Custom metrics: Review custom metrics to track additional quantitative data that’s important to your analysis.

Step 6: Check integration with other tools

Google Analytics can be integrated with various other tools and platforms, such as Google Ads, Google search console, and email marketing platforms. Ensure these integrations are functioning correctly and providing valuable data.

                                                                                                      TIP

Review Reports and Dashboards 

take a close look at your existing reports and dashboards. Are they providing the insights that you need? Consider creating custom reports and dashboards tailored to your specific KPIs and objectives.

Step 7: Verify User access and permissions

Check user access and permissions to ensure that only authorised individuals have access to your Google Analytics Account. Revise permissions if needed to align with organisational roles and responsibilities.

Step 8: Document your audit findings

As you progress through each step of the audit, document your findings including any issues and recommendations and action items. This documentation will serve as a roadmap for 

implementing improvements.

(Related Article: https://www.analytico.ca/blog/how-to-website-content-audit )

When is the Right Time for a Google Analytics Audit

Conducting a Google Analytics audit should be a regular practice for website owners, digital marketers and businesses that rely on Google Analytics for data-driven decision-making.

 Scheduled Audits
  • Annually: performing a comprehensive Google Analytics audit at least once a year is a good practice. This helps ensure that your tracking setup remains accurate and aligned with your evolving business goals.
Website Redesign or Overhaul
  • Before: conduct an audit before launching a redesigned website or making significant changes to your existing site. This ensures that the new tracking code and configurations are correctly implemented from the start.

Changed in Business Goals

  • When goals change: whenever your business goals or objectives change, conduct an audit to align your Google Analytics setup with the new KPIS and tracking requirements.

Tracking issues or Data inaccuracies

  • Upon detection: if you notice discrepancies in your data, such as sudden drops or spikes in traffic, or if you suspect that tracking is not swirling correctly, conduct an audit promptly to identify and rectify issues.

Google analytics updated

  • After significant updates: when Google releases major updates or introduced new features to Google Analytics, it’s a good time to conduct an audit to ensure your setup remains compatible and leverages new capabilities

Data privacy Compliance changes

  • When regulations change: if data privacy regulations in your region (e.g., GDPR, CCPA) undergo significant updates or changes , audit your Google Analytics setup to ensure compliance with the latest requirements

Traffic Growth or Seasonal peaks

  • Regularly during Peaks: If your website experiences significant traffic growth or has seasonal peaks , conduct audits periodically to ensure that Google Analytics can handle the increased load without data loss or sampling.

Business milestones

  • When your business achieves significant milestones , such as expanding into new markets, launching new products or reaching new audience segments, conduct an audit to adapt your tracking accordingly.

                                                                                                  Remember

The frequency of audits may vary depending on your specific circumstances. Some websites may benefit from frequent audits while others may find annual audits sufficient. The key is to remain proactive and ensure that your Google Analytics setup consistently provides accurate and actionable data to support your decision-making processes.

 

(Related Article : https://www.analyticodigital.com/blog/why-you-should-audit-your-digital-analytics )

Google Analytics Audit VS brand new Google analytics 4 Installation

Aspect

Google Analytics Audit

Brand new GA4 installation

Purpose

review and assess existing setup

Implement GA4 for a new website or app

Examination

assess current Google Analytics setup ( account, properties , views , tracking code, filters , goals and more)

The installation process includes creating a new GA4 property, implementing the GA4 tracking code and configuring the settings to suit the website's specific requirements.

Objective

identify issues and optimize setup

Begin collecting data in GA4, leverage its advanced tracking capabilities and adapt to the changing landscape of online analytics.

Timing 

periodic or in response to concerns

during new website/app creation or overhaul

Outcome

Audit report with findings

fresh GA4 property and tracking code

Data continuity 

maintains continuity with UA data

separate data from UA, historical data is unavailable

Data segmentation

works with existing UA data

status with a new data collection

Complementing each other

In some cases, it may make sense to conduct a Google analytics audit before implementing GA4 . The audit can help identify shortcomings in your current setup and provide insights into what you need to track in GA4. Additionally, you can use the audit to ensure that any existing issues are addressed before emigrating to GA4.

How will a Google Analytics Audit help Your Business?

A google Analytics audit can provide several significant benefits to your business by ensuring that your web analytics setup is accurate, efficient and aligned with your objectives.

Data Accuracy

An audit identifies and addresses tracking issues, ensuring that the data collected accurately reflects user behavior on your website. Accurate data is essential for making informed decisions.

Enhanced Decision-Making

With reliable data, you can make data-driven decisions with confidence. You’ll have  a better understanding of how users interact with your website and what actions contribute to your business goals.

Optimised Marketing Strategies

a google Analytics audit can help you better understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. You can allocate resources more effectively to channels that drive results.

Cost Savings

By optimizing your tracking setup, you can reduce unnecessary data collection, which can result in cost savings, especially for websites with high traffic volumes.

Competitive Advantage

Having a well optimized Google Analytics setup can give you a competitive advantage. You can react more quickly to market changes and user trends, staying ahead of the competition.

Trust and credibility

Accurate data fosters trust among stakeholders, including investors , clients and internal teams. It enhances your business’s credibility and reputation.

Conclusion

A google analytics audit serves as a critical compass guiding businesses toward data driven success. By ensuring data accuracy, streamlining marketing strategies, optimizing user experiences, and guaranteeing compliance with data privacy regulations, this essential process empowers organizations to make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently and build trust with stakeholders.

In essence, Google Analytics Audit is a strategic investment that transforms data into actionable insights and paves the way for continuous growth and success in the data driven era.