I wanted to highlight something for those of you who use Google Analytics to track your online business efforts on a regular basis. Skewing your analytics data. This is something that is pretty common amongst reporting and analytics platforms even so common that I’ve made the mistake before from time to time. For those of you running WordPress or some other CMS (Content Management System) it can be easy to fall into this trap with all the plugins, themes, addons and extensions out there.
Where Themes and Plugins collide!
A prime example of how this can occur is when you install a theme and a plugin. For the purposes of this let’s look at StudioPress themes, a WordPress theme company that I personally endorse, and one of my favorite plugins of all time the All In One SEO Pack plugin. When you install a StudioPress theme and the Genesis Theme Framework and you go into “Theme Settings” and scroll to the bottom and you will notice the following area to enter your Google Analytics tracking code.
Now let’s turn our attention to the plugin. Once you’ve got the All In One SEO plugin activated and ready to go you will notice that there is an option to enter your Google Analytics ID which is the same code we’ve entered above.
If you’ve setup both in this case, what you will notice is that in Google Analytics for every visitor you get to your website it counts as two visitors with two sets of pageviews that basically doubles the number of hits that you see in Google Analytics. If you have a look at the page source for your site if you do this you will notice that your Google Analytics tracking code actually appears twice which is a dead giveaway that this has taken place.