One of the deliverables we have here at OrangeSoda is a Google Analytics audit. I thought it would be helpful for you to share the process. Though the process is not exhaustive it will give you a good picture of how well you are using Google Analytics.
Implementation and Web Analytics Basics
First, you need to verify that Google Analytics code is installed site wide, for accurate data, it is imperative that EVERY page of your site is being tracked. If you are using a CMS like Drupal or WordPress this is very easy; just use the plugin, and you’re done! If you have a custom built CMS or a static HTML based site you will need to do your checking manually, sorry! I’d recommend checking 10-20 pages at random. While you’re at it verify that the profile on the pages matches the Google Analytics profile in your account, it would totally suck if they didn’t match!
Next, go to your analytics settings and look to see if any filters are setup. Typically you’ll want a least one filter to remove your local traffic. If your site has a search function you need to be tracking its usage in GA, check in analytics settings and in the analytics reports (in the content section) to see if you are tracking search. If your site sells a product you’ll want to enable and configure ecommerce, this is typically the most difficult part of implementing Google Analytics.
The most common error or flaw I see in audits that I perform is not tracking marketing efforts correctly. If you are doing any kind of marketing you need to be tracking it. I’m not going to go into the specifics here, but check in Traffic >> All Traffic Sources report and verify that each of your marketing efforts is being tracked discretely. One quick and easy element to check here is whether GA and AdWords are linked, if not, you’re missing a wealth of data.
Check to see if you are using any goals to track success events and optimize conversion processes. A key use of goals is the conversion funnel, which allows you to analyze key steps in your conversion process.
Stay tuned for part 2: advanced implementation.