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Mini Google Analytics audit

12 minutos para leitura

Implementing and setting up Google Analytics on a website is a topic that can cause chills. I have observed, at the beginning of my consulting work, that many companies work with data that is captured in a wrong way and that can lead to equally wrong decisions. In this article I will show you topics to look for in a mini Google Analytics audit.

It is a DIY (do it yourself) GA audit. No complex spreadsheets or software that assigns weights and scores to each topic (I will talk a bit about these at the end).

This will be a practical guide for sites, of any size, to achieve a minimum degree of reliability in the data obtained from Google Analytics.

Importance of a GA audit

Periodically checking the implementation and configuration of Google Analytics on your website ensures that you work with a minimum of security regarding the data obtained. It allows you to trust your data.

You may be thinking that your data is accurate but most experts say that 90% (being cautious) of GA implementations have problems. As a consultant, until today I have never attended a company that was 100% (although this is a difficult level to reach).

A Google Analytics audit aims to provide:

  • Data integrity: Is the data being tracked correctly?
  • Data quality: can we approach data collection in a more segmented way and gain insights?
  • Data maturity: are we tracking things that matter to the business?

In this article I will focus more on data integrity. This is where we should fundamentally audit the implementation and configuration of Google Analytics.

Let’s go!

Google Analytics Implementation

Tracking on every page

One of the first steps in a Google Analytics audit is to identify whether the tracking code is properly implemented on all pages of the site.

The absence of tracking on some pages can significantly compromise data collection and analysis.

There are several ways to do this. I suggest using one of the following:

  • Google’s Tag Assistant extension;
  • inspection of the page’s source code;
  • inspection via the browser developer’s tool;
  • tracking through specific tools.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. If your site is small and a manual inspection of each page is possible, Tag Assistant or code inspection are quick ways to check that the accompanying script is set up on all pages.

Google Analytics inspection via Tag Assistant
Google Analytics inspection via Tag Assistant.

However, if your site has many pages or you use a CMS that generates many pages, such as taxonomy files (categories, tags, author pages, etc), it is convenient to use a more advanced tool.

I use Screaming Frog a lot. With this tool it is possible to crawl thousands, even millions of pages in a short period of time and make sure that the tracking code is entered correctly on every page.

The advantage of using a tool like Screaming Frog is that sometimes the implementation of GTM or GA is not done in the conventional way. In these cases, inspection by Google extension or verification of the page code can be hampered.

Google Analytics inspection via Tag Assistant - unconventional implementation
Google Analytics inspection via Tag Assistant – unconventional implementation.

Read also: How to install Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager

Duplicate tracking

One problem observed on many sites is the presence of more than one tracking script for the same GA account. Remember that you can use more than one Google Analytics account to track the same site.

This duplicity (of scripts from the same account) ends up generating problems such as duplicate pageview hits, (artificial) reduction of the bounce rate, increase in the number of pages per session, etc.

This is quite common on sites that use some CMS or have migrated their tag management to Google Tag Manager or another tag manager. In the first case, there is a high occurrence of code being used in the template and plugins simultaneously. In the second, you activate the script via code and also via the tag manager. It is not uncommon to find tracking codes being activated 3 times or more.

In general, if you are experiencing low bounce rates (say less than 30%) on some pages it is possible that you have duplicate tracking on your site. (A low bounce rate can have other origins, such as interaction events being triggered, but in general it is some problem with the GA implementation).

Google Analytics duplicate code problem
Site with duplicate GA from 06/01 to 06/15. Notice the difference in the bounce rate.

Read also: Bounce rate in Google Analytics

Tracking enabled correctly

The tracking code is present on all pages of the site and is not being fired duplicately, we need to ensure that it is being fired correctly.

It is normal for companies (and especially developers) to prioritize code and other useful page scripts over web analytics scripts.

As such, we often find tracking scripts implemented in inappropriate places where the loading is not correct, not optimized, or simply not triggering/sending the necessary data to Google Analytics.

GA inspection with incorrect triggering
Follow-up script placed in incorrect location, not sending information to GA.

In other implementations, the low performance of the site in loading tags and scripts may cause Google Analytics to not be triggered and consequently no data for analysis.

GA inspection on pages with high load time
Follow-up script taking too long to send hits to GA.

Also read: What are pageviews in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics Configuration

Properties and property views

Make sure you have registered your property and property views properly. See that I mentioned “views” in the plural. It is important to have at least three property views registered:

  • main view: used for the main analyses, it is the everyday view;
  • test view: intended for filter tests and small adjustments;
  • backup or archive view: a raw view, without any filters, that serves as an archive of all data received in GA.

When configuring properties pay attention to data collection and retention, session time, exclusion of referenced channels (when applicable), linking with other products (Google Ads, Google Search Console, etc), and custom dimensions and metrics (if you use them, and I recommend you do).

Property Setup in Google Analytics
Property configuration in Google Analytics.

When configuring views keep an eye on filtering bots, time zone, internal search configuration, filters, and targets.

Setting up property view in Google Analytics
Setting up property view in Google Analytics.


Filters are a very strong feature of Google Analytics. If you have not mastered the tool pay close attention before setting up any filter. You run serious risks of ruining your data with improper filters.

To get data in GA you don’t need to set any filters if you don’t want to. Still, there are some filters that can significantly improve the way you receive some data.

Some very useful filters are:

  • add the host name to the URL (especially useful if you track multiple domains with the same tracking code;
  • exclude development/test environments (typically dev, stage, localhost, etc);
  • exclusion of URL parameters (in particular gclid, fbclid, fb_comment);
  • exclude internal, company personnel access.
Filters in Google Analytics
Filters in Google Analytics.


Last but not least, the goals. There is no point in having everything set up correctly but not knowing what your goals are. That’s what goals are for.

Make sure you register them in your main property views and assign meaningful values to them.

Goals set up in Google Analytics
Goals set up in Google Analytics.

Without goals registered in your Google Analytics you will not be able to identify which pages or sections are converting. I am not just talking about e-commerce conversion. Every site will have micro and macro conversions that can and should be tracked.

If you have a news site, a conversion can be reading a story or staying on the page for a certain amount of time. An e-commerce, selling a product, but also adding a product to the wish list can be a conversion. On a blog, newsletter sign-ups are a good conversion to monitor.

Doing a more complete GA audit

Checking the topics mentioned above can mean the difference between working with good or bad data. There is much more to be done, and if your web analytics maturity level is higher, a more comprehensive audit is required.

Regular audits can be performed by consultants and agencies using spreadsheets and/or software. Tag Inspector and Verified Data are very robust tools and can be used for larger audits. The latter is highly recommended, especially if you need to evaluate your implementation under the aspects of privacy and compliance (especially GDPR).

In my GA audits I use my own checking model with evaluation of more than 50 items. The audit covers topics of structure and access, implementation and configuration, data quality and compliance, marketing and engagement, and conversions.


Tempo aproximado para esta mini auditoria de GA: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Mini Google Analytics audit

  1. Tracking on every page

    Make sure that the Google Analytics tracking script is inserted on all pages of the site. Use the Tag Assistant extension, inspect the page code, or use a tool that is able to check every page (or set of pages) on the site.

  2. Duplicate tracking

    Prevent the tracking code for the same GA account from being activated more than once on the page. Duplicate tracking can skew the data received, especially bounce rate, pageviews, and pages per session.

  3. Tracking enabled correctly

    Make sure that the tracking code is being activated correctly, optimally, and at the right time. Also ensure that other tags and scripts do not interfere with the operation of the Google Analytics scripts.

  4. Property and property views

    Register your properties and property views correctly. Use at least three property views (main, test, and backup). When configuring properties pay attention to data collection and retention, session time, exclusion of referenced channels (when applicable), linking with other products (Google Ads, Google Search Console, etc) dimensions and custom metrics.

    When configuring views keep an eye on filtering bots, time zone, internal search configuration, filters, and targets.

  5. Filters

    Check if there are any filters registered and what impact they have on the collected data. Only register filters if you know what you are doing.

  6. Goals

    Register goals in Google Analytics and assign values to them. Without goals registered in GA you will not be able to identify which pages or sections are converting.


Performing a mini Google Analytics audit will provide a higher degree of reliability to the data collected.

Checking the 6 topics below is sufficient, at a basic level:

  • tracking on every page;
  • duplicate tracking;
  • tracking enabled correctly;
  • properties and property views configured;
  • configured filters;
  • goals set.

For a more comprehensive audit, seek the help of a consultant or agency that has the techniques and tools to do so.

If you need help with your Google Analytics, learn more about my analytics consulting or contact me.

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