In this 7 minute tutorial, watch and play along to build a Google Data Studio dashboard to audit your Google Analytics account and find out whether you’re using UTM codes incorrectly.
This tutorial requires no coding skills and only minimal Google Data Studio abilities.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Christopher Penn 0:05
Today, let’s walk through an exercise for improving your Google Analytics governance.
So one of the challenges that we’ve had and seen with clients is that their data going into the Google Analytics instances, not particularly clean.
And when your data is not clean, what happens is it ruins your attribution modeling ruins your ability to understand what’s working, and what you should be doing more of what you should be doing less up.
So today, let’s walk through some ways to diagnose that to see just how bad the problem is, when to go into Google Data Studio to do this.
Now, you can do this programmatically, I’ve written some code that does this for a bunch of Google Analytics counts all the time at once.
But for you, no coding, no, like crazy math or anything like that, just very straightforward.
One Data Studio dashboard that you can assess, like what’s going on with your Google Analytics account.
So let’s go ahead into Data Studio Now, pull up a fresh new dashboard here.
First thing we need to do, of course, is we need to connect to our data.
So let’s go ahead and connect to Google Analytics here.
Okay, so we’ve got our Google Analytics account, loaded up here, and the table is going to start building itself.
This is not what we want to start with, we want to start with our source medium, because when things go wrong with Google Analytics, it’s typically because of source media, the UTM codes are either not there or they’re incorrect, or, and we’ve seen this a lot, you’ve been using UTM codes on links on your website to your website, which is a terrible thing to do.
Because it basically deletes the previous attribution data.
Never ever use UTM codes on your own website, linking to yourself.
So let’s find source medium in this list.
Drag this in here, replace our page title there, great.
And for the metric, who’s going to use sessions, from a scope perspective, and Google Analytics three, which is what this data is.
what somebody does, in any given visit to our website, is a session right? No matter how many pages they go on how it is a session, and where that person came from during that session, is the source mean that we care about when when somebody came to our website for that particular visit? Where did they come from, so I’m going to use sessions as my metric here, instead of new users.
I’ll just expand this out make this a lot bigger.
Christopher Penn 2:57
Get that 25 on a page here, so let’s just change the the selector there.
And maybe just for visibility, for ease of viewing, let’s change this to bar to bar graphs were the metrics and put a number on that.
Great, so we’re done.
This is essentially the report that we care about this is our traffic to our website.
And what source mediums it’s used.
Now, if we want to make this a little bit more user friendly.
If we need to show this to other folks, we might want to, for example, shrink this down a little bit here.
And maybe add a date control so that people can choose what date range let’s go ahead and do that.
And then get switched our date range.
Let’s do year to date, see what I’ve done on my website.
Now, what I see first source, medium email, cool second, organic search cooled.
Third is direct none.
This is a category which basically Google says we don’t know what it is.
And so we’re going to assign it this this bucket.
Fourth is my social media shares in my emails, the fifth is not set.
So this is a problem here.
This one shows me that something’s gone wrong and my UTM tracking when I have a not set like that, so I need to hunt down what where this is happening and fix it so that I stopped getting this not set.
I suspect I think it’s in my social media shares but I’m not Sure, so I need to go and check to make sure.
The six one is clearly spam.
Right? This is something that this is randomly generated garbage.
And this is probably not me.
So I don’t know that I have a problem here, but it is definitely coming in.
We have organic search from Bing Twitter clicks, LinkedIn clicks, clicks from my website, my link shortener DuckDuckGo.
That’s not a search engine I spent a whole lot of time on.
But clearly it is showing up for some percent of your audience, Facebook, and so on and so forth.
So already know, here’s a bot traffic one, that’s clearly garbage.
Here’s another one where I’ve got a not set, that’s a problem, I need to go hunt that down.
And just looking down through the list here, there’s like this one menu drop down, not set, that means I’ve got something in one of my menus on my site that shouldn’t have UTM tags at all right? Breaking my rule, no UTM tags to your site, on your site, ROM your site.
And we can keep going.
So this is what you look for.
You look for things are clearly wrong, and you want to buy sessions because the the worst something is like this one here.
Number five, what is not set, and it’s the number five refer of traffic to my website, this is a problem.
This is a really bad problem.
And I need to fix this sooner rather than later.
Because so many sessions come with that faulty attribution.
So this is a very simple, straightforward report, build it for yourself, then start going down the list and say, do I recognize this? Do I know where this is coming from? Is this something under my control like this is clearly under my control, and I need to fix it.
Other things like the spam here, that’s not under my control, I can’t fix it, the best I can do is, you know, just leave it there and maybe filter out or ignore it if I don’t want to be reporting on it.
But I would bet you if I ran a full attribution model, it would probably show zero conversions because it’s junk traffic.
Do this and then start hunting down where you think those problems are.
And this will help clean up your Google Analytics attribution data incredibly, like overnight, the much much better.
We can talk another time about things like how do I identify and isolate your direct traffic because that is important, but get the basics down first.
So thanks for watching.
I’ll talk to you soon.
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