Google Analytics Premium: Technical Analytics Assessment

Google Analytics Tracking Code from TransUnion News pages

Google Analytics Premium Tracking Code from TransUnion News section

Background: Web analytics is a technically sophisticated tool used by marketers to gather, calculate and display advanced statistical data. Businesses depend on accurate data from web analytics to make informed business decisions about interactive marketing initiatives and to measure ROI. For web analytics to collect data and report accurately, analytics tracking code must be installed in each page and the site architecture must support accurate reporting.

To accurately measure traffic from organic search engines, analytics tracking code must be properly implemented in pages seen by users in search results.

Experiment: To determine whether or not Google's new Analytics Premium tracking code is properly implemented at URLs indexed in search results.

Procedure: Query using Google's advanced 'site:' operator for both Google Analytics Premium test case sites. Inspect the first 25 URLs shown in search results to be certain the contain functional analytics tracking code.

Results: TransUnion.com
- Two of TransUnion.com's top three URLs currently shown to users in Google search results don't have Google Analytics implemented properly for accurate reporting. One of the top three results uses a 302 redirect to a page tracked by Omniture. Other pages with improperly implemented analytics for tracking organic search traffic include: TransUnion's Newsroom and child pages, approximately 400 pages in all (ie News Releases, Press Kit, Social Media Releases...).

Results: Travelocity.com
- Two of Travelocity.com's top three URLs being seen right now by users in Google search results don't have Google Analytics implemented properly. Other URLs indexed in Google search results without properly implemented analytics for tracking search traffic include: Travel for Good, Green Hotel Directory as well as child pages approximately 50 in all.

Conclusion: Google Analytics Premium is not implemented properly to track organic search traffic. In order to track organic search traffic, analytics must be implemented in pages indexed in search results and must be funtional. No matter which analytics package you use, how much it costs or who installs it, be sure analytics tracking code is properly implemented in pages seen by users in organic search results.

To ensure analytics is properly implemented in pages indexed in search results, cross reference URLs from Google Webmaster Tools with URLs reported for Google in analytics.