Google Analytics makes our lives easier. Easy installation, intuitive (usually) reporting/metrics, easy integration with Adwords and Webmaster Tools, etc. Best of all, it’s free. Of course, installation is also easy to botch, and future installations don’t always correctly overwrite the old ones . You may have failed to add the tracking code to certain pages. Or perhaps you have multiple implementations on certain pages. Maybe certain pages have your old Google Analytics tracking code. Perhaps you have 2,3 or even 50 websites sharing a code base and you ended up getting your wires crossed. This can really skew your metrics in numerous ways.
Enter A1 Website Analyzer
I have been using this nifty tool for a lot of on-site optimization lately. You can use it to crawl your site and find broken links and redirects, link juice flow, last date modified, review meta and H tags, etc. It’s also useful for checking for instances of specific code implementation. Out of the box, A1 WSA can check for gat and gaq object methods for Google Analytics tracking code as well as Google Adsense tracking. This is useful for searching for pages that lack this code (or pages where the code has been been implemented more than one).
A1 Website Analyzer 6.0.1 can be downloaded directly from Microsystools.com. After the download and installation (you get a 30-day free trial) open up the tool.
- Click the Scan Website Tab if you’re not already in that section
- In the Paths Tab, enter your website’s url
- Click the Data collection tab
- Near the bottom you’ll see an option that says Search custom strings and code in pages – Click the purple icon and choose your code type
- At the top, click Start Scan
* If you’re not seeing these options, you may be in Simplified easy mode. Click that option to deselect it.
Once the scan is complete, You can click the Analyze Website tab and start reviewing the results but it’s best to export them and view them to a spreadsheet, where you can see and do more with this data. So click File > Export elected data as file and export to the location of your choosing. Here you can see what it looks like in spreadsheet form. In this case, the code search results are in column AB (titled Page.Search.Results). ga_new=1 tells me that the page in that row has one implementation of the _gaq model Analytics tracking code. ga_new=2 would tell me that there were 2 implementations of said code. An empty cell means there is none.
Customizing for Google Tag Manager
If you are using Google Tag Manager, you can still use WSA to crawl for and check for your code by adding your own string (example below), because this will work for any string of characters, be it tracking code, a set of words, or something else. What this also means is that you can use this to also check for pages that have the wrong tracking ID’s (useful for sites that share templates/code bases).
In this case, you can enter the relevant tracking code as a custom string.
Or in the case of Google Tag Manager
So for my website, I enter the custom code of:
And since my last code is still saved, WSA is now checking that I 1- have GA installed on these pages and that 2- It’s the correct Tracking ID. Scanning for both might seem pointless at first, but having both can tell you if perhaps one or more of your pages is using a different GA tracking method (in this case, WSA will return a positive hit for your Tracking ID but not for that specific tracking method).
Just remember that the format is ‘name_id=regular_expression‘ so you can’t just enter a value, it has to be a string.
Obviously this extends far beyond Google Analytics and Adsense. You can use this for Amazon affiliate, Commission Junction, Yahoo! Analytics, and other tracking scripts. The larger you website(s), and the more redesigns it’s had or code bases it shares, the more likely that pages will end up with incorrect/outdated tracking code. In any case, this is a great way to check if you have pages on your site that don’t have the right tracking code (Google Analytics or otherwise).