Is my Google Analytics code working?
If you’re like me, you’ll probably spend as much time tinkering with the layout and technical gubbins of your website, as you will writing for the site in the first place. This bad habit isn’t help in any way at all by the rather excellent Google Analytics service and worse still the desktop application which even saves the hassle of firing up a web browser.
Launched in November 2005, it’s easy to install, easy to use and rather addictive. Start digging into the data and there’s all sorts of weird and wonderful information tucked away. Like my friend Billy found when looking at keywords that brought visitors to his website, the results can be disturbing.
Imagine my despair then, when all of a sudden after what could be called an unintentional upgrade (remember kids, always back up your website before tinkering) my Google Analytics stopped recording anything. Surely everyone hadn’t deserted the site? Yikes.
After wading through the help text on the Google website, I was pretty certain that the code was in the right place and almost certainly right. But, and it’s a big but. there’s a delay of about 12 hours between adding in the tracking code and the results showing up.
12 hours! In that time the refresh key would be completely worn out.
Thankfully, after some judicious Googling, Epik One’s Sitescan popped up. Whack in the website to test and this tool will scan up to 15,000 pages and send an email with the results. For testing one page only, there’s a Sitescan widget for the iGoogle homepage. Ahah. No more waiting.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, for starters here’s a list of dozens of hacks to super-charge Google Analytics even more and a book, Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics written by the guy who used to run Google Analytics in Europe.
Also published on Medium.