As marketers, we all know that there is a fair amount of turnover throughout the dynamics of the client/agency relationship.  At many levels,  turnovers are a part of normal agency operations.

As the web analytics industry matures and more specialists emerge in the field, I have noticed that turnover is a result of clients reaching out to specialists in order to get the most out of their data.  This effect can be credited to three simultaneous events occurring in the online measurement space:

  • The shift in the web analytics industry from an IT  function to a role in marketing.
  • The evangelism of web analytics by such pioneers as Avinash Kaushik, Eric T Peterson and Bryan Eisenberg (among many others).
  • The availability of powerful tools, that provide a vehicle to gleam actionable insights out of web visitor data, for minimal cost or free!

The last point represents a double edged sword.  With free Analytics tools like Google Analytics available for over 4 years now, there may have been several parties working in a Google Analytics account since the time it was first installed... and chances are that they missed something along the way.  That's probably the reason they are being replaced.

With that said, this isn't meant to put the previous agency in a negative light, from my experience the previous managers of a Google Analytics account always miss something; while Google Analytics is ridiculously easy to install, it does take some customization in order to make it fit the needs of our clients.

In this series, I hope to address some of the common issues that arise while inheriting a Google Analytics account, and show some simple solutions for getting around a sub-optimal installation/configuration to get to the meaty insights that you can pull from your new clients historical data.

You may notice that many of these suggestions are similar to best practices that you would put in place on a brand new Analytics account.  There is no doubt that all installs should follow these principles of practice.  However, with inherited accounts, there is an added wrinkle; historical data.  How do you dig insights out of the historical data?

Our multi part series will provide you with the answer of how to best deal with inheriting a GA account through:

  • Inferring Conversions when No Goals are Configured
  • Filtering out Internal Traffic Through Advanced Segments
  • Normalizing Data when you Have no Idea what Needs Normalization
  • Defending Misconceptions with Historical Data
  • Separating Paid and Organic Search Traffic

Please stay tuned for our post series!