Tools to debug google analytics tracking

The main thing needed to tackle tracking issues is experience, patience and perseverance………and oh yeah, a few tools! Here are my top tools for debugging Google Analytics Tracking Issues:

Google Analytics Debugger

What does it do? It’s a chrome extension that allows you to see what data is being sent to Google Analytics.

Tag Assistant

What does it do? Another chrome extension that lets you know if Google Analytics and/or Google Tag Manager have been implemented correctly.

WASP.inspector

What does it do? It’s a chrome extension that let you see what data is being sent from a website and where it is being sent to.

Redirect Path

What does it do? Yet another chrome extension and this one gives information on any redirect taking place when you visit a page. Why’s is this one important? One of the most common things I see breaking tracking is redirects that are badly implemented.

Edit This Cookie

What does it do? Lets you see the Google Analytics Client ID. There should be one Client ID per session and if changes it means the tracking has failed somewhere. A new Client ID indicates a new session has been created; if this happens in the middle of a session, due to a tracking error, the referring channel will also change to Direct adversely affecting the attribution.

Google Analytics Client ID

Chrome Developer Tools

At last, one that isn’t a chrome extension! Press F12 on windows or for mac Right-click on any webpage and choose Inspect. Within Chrome developer tools we can use a tool called inspect element (icon at the very top left) to look at the code behind a web page. This is especially useful when you want to check that navigation links and buttons don’t break the tracking; be on the looking out for any weird javascript links.

Analytics Notifications

Analytics Notification

Last but not least is Analytics Notifications. Within Google Analytics you can see notifications at the top right. A bunch of tracking issues will get reported here so keep a close eye on this area. To be honest this is the first place I look if I suspect there’s a tracking issue and I try to keep an eye on these notifications everytime I login.

Author: Kevin Thomson

Head of Analytics & Measurement at Attacat

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