For a variety of reasons we will all experience either a complete loss in event traffic or a partial loss. Reasons are always of a technical nature and some easier to fix than others. Some common examples include:
- Switch from standard GA to universal analytics UA. This will relate to a difference in the event tags (gaq. to ga.)
- Implementation of GTM. Lots of potential problems here, mainly surrounding being absolutely spot on with rules and tags. Best bit of advice here is to always preview the tags before you deploy.
- Loss of .js file. For some you, you will have an event .js file. This dynamically adds markup (or actual event tags) into the code. If this file is lost or content within is lost/ hidden you will lose event traffic
Once you have accepted it might happen, you should think of how to prevent it from happening
Prevention and solutions
Tightening up deployment of key areas on your website is one way, especially adding a step for you to check GA basics in the test environment prior to being put live.
Getting involved with new initiatives is also essential to make sure new features are tracked. This also gives you an opportunity to ensure all event tags are being tracked again.
Watching GA real time also lets you see what’s going on, but let’s face it you can’t be glued to this 24/7
One of the best ways I use to alert me to event loss is through Google alerts.
Set up of Google alert for event loss
- Open up Intelligence Events, Overview and click on the custom alerts tab
- Click manage custom alerts
- Select total events as the metric
- We need it to be a daily alert and the best comparison for me (due to weekly patterns) is based on the same day in the previous week
- Realistically events can drop and rise by some amounts (think new product launch or a product hot in social circles) so we need to set the change quite high. I have used 20%-40%
- Add your email to the alert (and tick alert)
Key to all this is giving the name some meaning, especially if you have other alerts set up.
Only thing left is to stay alert and watch emails (as well as real time!)