Troubleshooting Traffic Irregularities In Google Analytics

Troubleshooting Traffic Irregularities In Google Analytics

Have you ever seen a random spike in traffic
in your Google Analytics? Have you sat there and thought what on earth is that? Picture this scene. You’re sitting in a comfortable
boardroom, a comfy chair, a nice hot cup of coffee. The boss comes in, whacks a great
big chart up, a traffic chart. It’s gone through the roof, but bounce rates and conversions
have gone through the floor. He’s looking at you, and he wants answers. What do you
do? Well, in this video, what we’re going to do
is give you a framework of how you can better diagnose SEO anomalies and even have a better
grip on the SEO KPIs that you’re looking to monitor. The benefit of this is kind of threefold
really. One, you’ll get a better understanding of what your user is experiencing from your
website. You’ll also be able to see how you can make more money doing what you do very
well, and you’ll also be able to see how you can save money by doing less of what you don’t
do so well. The framework I would lay out is to think
about things from three points of view. You’re trying to get to the bottom of some strange
anomaly in your analytics data. I would tackle this from three particular positions. Try
and ascertain, firstly, whether it’s a user based anomaly, a tech based anomaly, or if
it’s actually down to your Google Analytics setup. I’ll start there first of all, because that
is fairly straightforward. Perhaps you’ve seen a massive drop in one of your metrics.
Take traffic, for instance. The first thing to do is to make sure that your Google Analytics
tracking code is in place on every single page that you’re looking to track traffic
from. Very simply, you can do that using the Google Analytics Chrome extension, or you
can crawl each page of your site looking for the snippet, using a fully licensed version
of Screaming Frog, an excellent way of making sure you’ve got your tracking code in place
where it needs to be. Secondly, I’d then consider the user. Now,
this is a much broader bucket of things to consider. There may well be some seasonality
that your particular industry or product experiences. So what you’ll need to be doing is looking
at those particular patterns, month on month performance, year on year performance. Is
this in line with the anomaly that you’re seeing? It may well be that you’ve suddenly
hit upon a level of seasonality that you’ve not previously got to grips with. This is
probably something that’s been in play for years, but getting closer to your analytics
is going to give you a better idea of how that actually looks and feels from your website’s
point of view. Equally from the user’s point of view, your
user is interacting with your content. So analyse reports in the behavioural set of
reports, looking at content, your landing pages, the content drill down, looking at
how different landing pages and folders are performing to see if there’s any kind of standout
reason why you’re starting to see a spike or a dip in traffic or conversions. Put yourself in the position of the user,
how they are accessing and using your site. Has the site become easier or harder to use?
Have you moved to a responsive design whereby mobile users are seeing a different version
of your website to normal? It might well be that you need to drill down
even further, and you might see that one particular browser is not performing in line with the
other browsers. Then it’s a case of, obviously, speaking with your web development team to
try and rectify that and bring that browser back into line with the other browsers that
you’ve got. The third part really is looking at the technical
side of how your site is performing. You’d be looking at stuff like how quickly your
average page load time has changed, the number of pages that are being interacted with, and
the server response time. This could all prompt decisions that need to be made, such as: Do
you need to look at the hosting solution that you’ve got in place? Do you need to move to
a content delivery network system so that you’re able to speed up the performance of
your site for your users? So with that in mind, that gives you three
ways of being able to tackle the anomalies that you’re starting to see. It can be quite
overwhelming to try and find these particular things in Google Analytics. But using this
framework, it’s going to give you a place to start and also probably help to improve
your online marketing presence. Just to reiterate, you should be able to walk
away from this being able to find out and diagnose your SEO anomaly. Equally, you’ll
be able to look at how your users are actually experiencing your site, as well as improving
it by doing more of what’s great and less of what’s not so great. For any feedback, please get in touch with
us using the social profiles, or contact us using

One thought on “Troubleshooting Traffic Irregularities In Google Analytics

  1. Finding it difficult to explain that sudden spike (or drop) in web traffic?

    Graeme explains how you can troubleshoot traffic issues and irregularities In Google Analytics.

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