Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics platforms with over 15 million sites using the tool to track visitors’ activities. However, implementing Google Analytics can be a tricky process, as several issues could go wrong and stop the tool from functioning properly. Knowing the possible issues with Google Analytics will help you to be better prepared for a likely error and know how to fix them.

This article highlights 10 of the most common issues with Google analytics, what causes them, and how to fix them.

1. Tracking Code Issues

GA should start tracking your website’s data once you’ve uploaded the tracking code. But making any mistakes with the code can lead to issues. You want to ensure that the code is properly implemented after you’ve copied it. Don’t paste it on Microsoft, instead use notepad or similar software.

GA tracking code

Another related issue is having more than one tracking code. Websites that use Google analytics plugins can end up having more than one code. As a result, you may end up having unusual referrals, untraceable traffic sources, and overall unreliable statistics.

What Can You Do?

The best way out of this is to have a centralized tag management solution to eliminate the need for multiple codes.

2. Cross-Domain Tracking Errors

It’s not unusual for a marketer to have a sales funnel that spans across more than one domain. For instance, you can capture a visitor with your blog post, send them to your landing page on another domain, and then a third to checkout. Tracking these kinds of visits is called cross-domain tracking, and it can be quite problematic as Google Analytics can log the visits to each domain as a new user; whereas it’s just one visitor moving through the funnel.

What Can You Do?

To solve this issue, you can install Google’s Linker Plugin or use Auto Link domains. You can follow the guide by analytics support to fix this.

3. Double-Tracking Issues

Just as the name sounds, double-tracking means tracking the same metrics more than once. That means that your data is unreliable. Double tracking can be caused by several factors including an old forgotten tracking code in the template, having both a GTM and hard-coded implementation on the same site, or installing a new version of Google Analytics tracking code without deleting the older version.

What Can You Do?

Delete older versions of Google analytics code. Use either the Google Tag Assistant plugin or the Google Analytics Debugger to determine if you do have a double-tracking issue and then fix it.

4. Very Low Bounce Rate Numbers

When a visitor to your website opens only one page and spends very little time on the site, it’s considered a bounce. So if a visit results in two or more page views, it’s not a bounce. While everyone wants a low bounce rate, it’s not feasible to have a 100% bounce rate in the long run.

If your bounce rate falls below 15 to 20%, then something may be wrong.

What Can You Do?

Examine your tracking code to ensure there’s no double tracking.

5. Google Analytics Not Tracking Google Ads CPC

When you link your Google ads account with Google analytics, GA will track your Cost per click (CPC) metrics. But this doesn’t happen automatically, so GA may not immediately start tracking CPC unless you change the ads settings.

What Can You Do?

Follow the steps below to activate CPC tracking for your website.

  • Click on the “Setting,” menu from the Google ads homepage.
  • Click on ‘Account Settings’
  • Select ‘preference’
  • Under the ‘tracking’ sections change the setting to ‘Auto-tagging.

6. Google Ads Campaign Returning 404 Errors

There’s barely a situation where you are happy to see a 404 error. They are a source of frustration, and it’s even worse when the error is from your Google Analytics dashboard. Of course, there are so many factors that could cause 404 errors for GA. One of them is pasting an incorrect link when setting up your Google ads campaign. It could also be because auto-tagging isn’t possible for your website.

404 GA

What Can You Do?

You can solve this issue with Chrome Developers Tool. This guide will help you to know if auto-tagging is possible on your site.

7. Duplicated Pages in the Same Analytics Reports

As mentioned above, duplicated data can affect the reliability of your report, and make your strategy less effective. One way duplicated page occurs, is when a visitor types your website URL into the browser in upper case. While this action wouldn’t hinder visitors from accessing your site, Google analytics records it more than once. You’ll have a line for the correct URL and the Capitalized version.

What Can You Do?

You can stop GA from recording such visits twice following the steps below.

  • From the ‘View’ section of the Analytics Admin menu, select Filter.
  • Click on “New Filter,” and check the ‘Create New Filter’ option.
  • Type in ‘Force Lowercase’ into the Filter Name field
  • Change the filter type to “Custom.”
  • Check lowercase, and choose ‘Request URI’ from the dropdown menu

8. Tracking Visits On Other Sites

Google Analytics can track the performance of another website in addition to your website data if your tracking code is mistakenly implemented on another website. This also happens when an indexed service uses its hostname. For example, if you’re using a service like Google Translate, which can render your page in their hostname and not yours.

What Can You Do?

Check and ensure your tracking code only appears for your domain. To see the domains your tracking code appears on, click on ‘Audience’, then ‘Technology’, then ‘Network.’ The default primary dimension is ‘Service Provider’. Switch it to ‘Hostname.’

9. Duplicate Transactions/Orders

When a user reloads the order page (receipt page) after placing an order, Google Analytics can record it as a new order. With each load, the order recorded in the GA server increases.

If this happens within a section, Google analytics will filter out the duplicate transactions. However, if the user comes back and reloads the page, it will be recorded as a new transaction and will show up in your sales data.

What Can You Do?

Download the Google Analytics custom report in your GA view, then set the time frame of the report to the last month.

Look at the transaction column; they should all be once each. If you have more than one, then it’s a duplicate transaction, which is inflating your sales data.

GA transaction list

10. Sampling Error

Google Analytics only uses a sample of the data from your website in producing the report.

While analyzing a sample may give you workable results, in the case of increased traffic, the sample may no longer be a good representation of the whole data; which may result in less accurate results.

What Can You Do?

You can minimize the sampling effect and greatly improve the accuracy of your analytics by using a tool like FoxMetrics that works with the whole data set instead of a sample.

While Google Analytics is a great analytics tool, it’s important that to ensure the accuracy of its report. After all, what good is having a lot of information if it isn’t accurate and actionable?