How Google Analytics Changes Affect SEO Tracking
(Courtesy of Freepik.com)
Search Optimization when done for any website, it is required that we track the impact SEO is making on our websites, leads and revenue. Measuring the effect of SEO success helps us justify the importance of its role in marketing, ensure budget allocation and solidify our roles in the organization.
One trusty tool in our bag of resources has often been Google Analytics. It was noted that 70% percent of the top 10000 website were using Google Analytics to track their organic traffic accurately.
In April 2014, Google came out with a new analytics tool known as Universal Analytics. As a SEO Services Company in India, Google before was using Classic Analytics and then decided to sunset it and made every website to upgrade to the new version. And if the site owners didn’t do it manually Google would automatically upgrade the sites.
How did things change in Session Tracking
Universal and Classic Analytics differ in how they track default site sessions. While both of these timeout sessions after 30 minutes of being on the site, Classic did not trigger a new session when the session arrived from a referral, while Universal did.
Since in the past when a visitor visited the website and stayed on it in an inactive state for more than 30 minutes became inactive and when they started a second session. As a SEO Services Company in Mumbai, in Classic Analytics, if the visitor arrived by a certain channel and the session timed out, the visitor’s new session when he resumed activity would remain as the organic search.
With Universal Analytics, when a session times out after 30 minutes, if the visitor resumes activity on your website, he appears o come from the referral channel, with your domain being the source.
Problem’s for Organic Search Measurement
In order to measure the effectiveness of our SEO campaigns and to track traffic and goal conversions we use Google Analytics. This is often based on source/medium data in Google Analytics. As a SEO Services Company in Navi Mumbai, if site traffic isn’t being attributed to the correct source or medium in Google Analytics, if site traffic isn’t being attributed to the correct source/medium, then you’re not working with accurate data sets.
Since the automatic upgrade of all sites to Universal Analytics, estimates show that 95 percent of the websites we have worked with had not implemented the fix.
This is because of the manual and automatic update Google did, it was found that the manual given to webmasters did not differentiate the changes in tracking of Universal Analytics versus Classis Analytics.
How to Fix it
The fix just takes 5 minutes, all it takes is adding your domain to the referral exclusion list. To update that list, go to the Property settings under the Admin Panel and choose Referral Exclusion List under the Tracking info Sub-menu.
If the site is still using ga.js be sure to update this to the Universal Analytics tracking code as incorrect tagging can lead to multiple tracking issues in Google Analytics.
This way when you run reports, you’ll clearly be able to account for why there may have been traffic spikes in organic search on a given day.