Checklist: A Basic Google Analytics Audit

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Last week we had the pleasure of hosting fellow Digital Nova Scotia members at our office as part of their Info4Impact Lunch & Learn series.

On tap was a crash course designed for local small/medium sized businesses to gain some quick takeaways to improve their marketing analytics success.

We covered how to set up Google Analytics to maximize results, including:

  • Tips for a seamless install

  • Using filters for improved reporting

  • Using Tag Manager and setting up Goals

  • Using Segments, Custom Reports, and so much more

Thank you to all members who attended and participated in the lively discussion, and to Digital Nova Scotia for organizing the event.

Analytics Audit Checklist

Instead of circulating our slides (most were only a word or two!), we thought it would be more helpful to share a basic checklist that summarizes the key discussion points and resources referenced for conducting a high-level Google Analytics audit. Enjoy!

1. Verify Installation

Is Google Analytics installed on all properties and domains you want to track (including subdomains)?

  • Troubleshooting: Are there any duplicate installs on the website?

  • Is the latest version installed?

2. Examine Tags

Is the tag firing correctly?

  • Tag Assistant can help identify issues with Google Tag Manager setups

3. Review Events

Are your events firing correctly?

  • Troubleshooting: Are specific events firing correctly?

  • Are there events (like phone calls, a login page, or video clicks) that you’d like to track but need to set up?

4. Confirm View Setup

Within Google Analytics, are the views set up well?

  • Three views per property recommended: Testing, Unfiltered, Reporting

5. Review Admin Settings

Are the following admin settings correct at the view level?

  1. Currency

  2. Time zone

  3. Bot Filtering is On

  4. Site Search Tracking is On (if appropriate)

  5. Users have the appropriate level of access

6. Examine Marketing Channels

Do your marketing channels reflect the traffic to your website?

  • UTM tagging issues, social, and so on, can affect this

7. Consider Goals

Do your goals reflect your business, and what’s possible on your website?

8. Think About Historical Issues

Are there any historical issues or recently fixed issues with your data that you’ll need to be aware of when analyzing the data in future?

  • Are these issues noted somewhere? (Ideally, you’d be keeping track using Google Analytics’ Annotations feature)

9. Review Alerts

Do you have alerts set up? Establish alerts for things like:

  • Bounce rate (often indicates a tag firing issue)

  • Goal conversions dropping off

  • Traffic dropping off

10. Check In Regularly

Check in as data becomes available: do you have reports you’re comfortable with?

  • Scheduling emails to yourself or stakeholders can help with this!

Helpful Resources from Google

We recommend the following resources to help with learning about and managing your Google Analytics install:

Industry Experts

And finally, the following individuals are very knowledgeable in the space and serve as great reference points for further learning and questions:

  1. Simo Ahava: Offers very practical how-to guides on setup and analysis.

  2. Krista Seiden: Her blog can be advanced, but she has some great material.

  3. Moz Analytics Articles: A good range of experts and information offered—start here!


About the Speakers

Leilani Graham-Laidlaw

Leilani’s passion lies at the intersect of data and storytelling. Her work removes the technical and process-related challenges that prevent companies from understanding their own data. A certified Google Analytics and Ads professional, Leilani works with clients to understand their marketing data, turning metrics into actionable next steps.

Find Leilani on LinkedIn.

Saadat Qadri


Saadat has over 10 years' experience solving complex infrastructure challenges for startups. With a background in software development, he applies the fundamentals of systems engineering and product management to data science and analytics, enabling clients to collect, analyze, and apply their data to business decisions.

Find Saadat on LinkedIn.

Brian Jeffcock