3 Google Analytics Settings That Weren’t Right In My Accounts

So often, our Google Analytics (GA) accounts have been set-up by a programmer and the settings are not always checked from a marketing perspective.  Or, we’ve inherited an account that we thought was set-up properly and didn’t think about looking into all the settings.  Other times, we simply forget about them in the hustle and bustle of all our responsibilities.  We go about our merry ways tracking a website’s performance, campaign results, etc in GA.  However, after some unexpected circumstances, I started looking into some of my GA accounts recently to realize that there were some settings in the Admin section that needed my attention.

Here are a few settings you might also want to double-check in your or your clients’ GA accounts to make sure everything is set just right and you’re ready to take your advertising efforts to the next level.

User Management

Analytics Navigation:  Admin > User Management Under Account, Property and/or View

Take a moment to double check who is listed as a user at the account, property and view levels as well as their permissions.  Maybe someone has access who shouldn’t or someone else doesn’t have the type of access they should.

You might think “of course all the users are fine” without looking, but I’ve recently had 2 clients who lost access to their GA accounts.

In one instance, a rogue employee of the client removed everyone’s access and I alone was left. In the another instance, only one key employee had access and when that employee was unfortunately out of commission, no one knew his password.  In both instances, there was serious work involved to make sure everyone had proper access again.

If you have the ability to add other users or change permissions, these issues can usually be solved fairly quickly.  Trust me, it’s worth the minute of your time to double check your GA account users to make sure all permissions and users are up-to-date.

Data Collection for Advertising Features

Analytics Navigation:  Admin > Tracking Info > Data Collection

If any of these are turned off, you’re limiting the information that GA can collect for you. This includes Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features. If you aren’t able to change this setting, it’s most likely because you don’t have the right edit permissions, which means you also can’t create and edit audiences.  That’s a big deal because when this data is captured in Analytics, you can create remarketing audiences for use in your Adwords account.

With the Advertising Reporting Features enabled, Analytics will capture Google advertising cookies (when they can) in addition to all the information it normally collects.   These settings were recently overlooked in one of my accounts since the client isn’t eligible for remarketing.  There wasn’t a good reason to have the reporting features turned off for this client.  In this instance, it was just an accidental oversight.  However, keep in mind that this may be turned off in accordance with your client’s privacy policies.

Demographic and Interest Reports

Analytics Navigation:  Admin > Property Settings Down > Advertising Features > Enable Demographics and Interest Reports

After discovering the Advertising Feature issue wasn’t enabled for a client, I started digging through all the settings and found that Demographics and Interest Reports was not enabled.

This feature utilizes cookie data to view reports in the audience section on age, gender, and interests.  You can use then uses this data to help you with remarketing lists, build segments, or modify your campaigns as needed based on these learnings.  I’m excited to start collecting this data now and figure out how I can best apply it in the future once I see the results.  Remember, you must have the Advertising Reporting Features setting enabled first (listed directly before this one) for this setting to work.

Now, there are plenty of other settings to make sure are set-up properly in your account.  As PPC marketers, linking your Adwords account to your Google Analytics account is one of them.  See how to do that and get some other GA insights here. Check out this post if you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of the basic GA features that should be enabled in every account.

Have you gone into Analytics and discovered something that wasn’t right as well?  Comment below to share what you found so we can all learn together.

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