Blasphemy! My top Five Google Analytics Complaints…

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Is he really going to do it?  Is this SEO really going to take Google to task?  Is he crazy, does he not fear the repercussions from Matt Cutts and the Avenging Angels from Mountain View?  Yes, yes, and you bet I am.

First, let me preface this by saying that Google Analytics is one of the most amazing tools in the history of internet.  It allows for tracking and analysis that never would have been dreamed of ten years ago.

But…I am not going to pretend that is perfect.  So, without further ado:

  1. No raw conversion numbers – Google used to post conversion rates with the raw conversion totals in parenthesis.  These have since been removed.  I get that they want people to focus on the percentages, I really do.  However, some people still care about the actual overall numbers.  Now, I freely admit that this is nitpicking.  Anybody with a calculator can deduce the actual totals in a matter of seconds.  Yet, that is still an extra step compared to what used to be, and I am still going to complain about it.
  2. Breadcrumbs – If you set up one of the report filters at the bottom of a GA screen then drill down into any of the data, you will lose that filter when you try to go back.  The breadcrumbs do not keep it.  The way around this is to set up a custom filter/report, but sometimes you do not want to set one of those up for just one little piece of data.  It can be a trifle annoying.
  3. Tagged link referrals – This is not really a complaint with GA so much as an overall “ugh.”  I encountered a situation the other day where I had tagged a URL so that I could track traffic that came from an advertisement that was to be placed on another site.  When realizing that this ad was to be placed on multiple pages within this site, I then wanted to know which of these pages was the most productive for this ad.  Uh oh.  If I were tracking this ad strictly as site referrals, I could break this down to the individual pages that produced the traffic.  But I lost this option after the link was tagged.  I do not blame GA that the cookie operates this way – but still, shouldn’t there be a way to break tagged links down to the actual referring page?  In a world in which Nickelback has over 1.5 million fans and zero amount of talent, I believe that anything is possible.
  4. Re-occurring visitor location breakdown issue – This happened to me during February, where I encountered a situation where visits by the same city were being broken apart into different segments (i.e. New York was counted in multiple places).  Not a huge deal and Google fixed it by the next month, but it is a problem that people have encountered before so I would like to see the door closed on it forever.
  5. The easy-access, timely, and well-explained customer service for any GA issues that may arise – Just kidding.  I am not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

Anyhow, there it is.  Don’t take my badges.