Want to learn when why is Google Analytics not working? And do you want to know why it may be showing you inaccurate data?
As great as Google Analytics is, it’s not perfect. Knowing where your metrics might be wrong can help you analyze your site’s data so you can make changes and drive more traffic to your site.
In this article, we’ll show you some common errors that might cause Google Analytics to not work properly. We’ll also show you how to fix these errors.
Since it’s a lengthy read, we’ve divided our article into the following sections, so you can jump ahead and read about any Google Analytics error you’re interested in.
- Troubleshoot Google Analytics Tag Issues
- Troubleshoot Goal Set Up in Google Analytics
- Troubleshoot Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting
- Troubleshoot (not set) Data in Your Google Analytics Reports
- Troubleshoot Traffic Fluctuations/Inconsistencies
So, are you ready? Let’s begin…
Troubleshoot Google Analytics Tag Issues
Google Analytics tag or the tracking code is how Analytics collects and sends data for reporting. Once you’ve set up the tag on your website, you should start seeing your visitor’s data after 24 hours.
But what if you don’t see any data? If that’s the case, then you might be facing any of the following issues.
1. Where Should You Enter the Google Analytics Tracking Code?
One of the most common mistakes new users make is when adding the Google Analytics tracking code. Not knowing where to place the code can lead to many errors. For starters, entering it in the wrong place will lead to Google Analytics not work properly.
Another issue it can cause is placing the code more than once on your website or forgetting to add the code at all.
So, if you’re setting up Google Analytics without a WordPress plugin, then make sure you paste the tracking code before the closing </head> tag.
And if you’re not familiar with coding, then it’s better to use a WordPress plugin that does the job for you. That way, you don’t require coding or forget the add the tracking code on your website.
With MonsterInsights, the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, simply authenticate your site with Google Analytics and never worry about manually placing tracking codes on your site again.
You can follow our guide on how to properly set up Google Analytics in WordPress.
2. Did You Select the Right Tag or Property?
If you have multiple websites or have access to different Analytics accounts, chances are you might be using a tag from another property. Since the tag and property do not match, you’ll get errors in data reporting.
To fix the issue, make sure you use the right tag for your property. You can find the tag by going to your Google Analytics account and the click Admin. Then select your Account and select the Property you wish to use.
Now, under Property, go to Tracking Info and Tracking Code. Copy the global site tag (tracking code) and paste it in the header of your website.
3. Are There Extra Whitespaces or Characters in the Tag?
When you’re copying the Google Analytics tag, it’s important that there are no extra spaces between the code or additional characters. Any changes in the format or contents of the code can lead to an error in tracking.
So, when you’re entering the tracking code, it’s better to use a text editor that keeps the formatting as it is. Another advantage of using an editor is that it won’t change the quotation marks in the code or add extra whitespaces.
This is where MonsterInsights can also help you out. Using its simple step by step wizard, you can configure Google Analytics and don’t have to worry about changing the code.
4. Are Your Filters Correctly Set Up?
Google Analytics offers you different filters to clean or modify your data. It offers predefined filters where you can include or exclude data from specific ISPs, IP addresses, hostname, or subdirectories.
But if you’re unable to see any data in your Google Analytics reports, then one of the causes could be an incorrect setup of filters. When you have multiple Include filters, they can cause problems during reporting.
Therefore, it’s advised that you keep your data unfiltered. You can remove the filters from your Google Analytics account by going to Admin. Then under the View column, click Filters. You can see all your filters listed there, just click remove to delete a filter.
5. Is There an Error in Your Custom JS Code?
If you’re customizing the Google Analytics code, then it’s important to note that function names are case sensitive and Boolean values (like true or false) shouldn’t be placed in quotes.
Google Analytics will not work properly if you don’t meet these two requirements. Another way of entering your custom JS code is through MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights Pro users can enter their custom code in the plugin’s advanced settings, and it will enable Google Analytics to extend its tracking.
6. Do You Have Other Scripts on Your Page?
Another reason why your Google Analytics is not working is that it might be conflicting with another script on your webpage.
Troubleshoot Goal Set Up in Google Analytics
Now that you know some basic issues regarding the tracking code and how to fix them, you should also look at errors when setting up goal tracking in Google Analytics.
If your goals are not correctly configured, you won’t see any conversions in your reports and cause Google Analytics not working error. There are different reasons why this may be happening. So, what are these issues and how can you fix them? Let’s find out.
7. Did You Enter the Correct Goal URL
When you create goals in Google Analytics, there is a chance that you may have entered the wrong URL or used an incorrect URL structure. As a result, you wouldn’t be able to see your conversions in reports.
By default, Google Analytics only uses the page path and ignores your domain name. For example, if your exact URL is http://www.mysite.com/store.html, Analytics will track the page path, which is /store.html.
But if you enter the entire URL instead of the page path, you could end up with an error and your goals won’t track.
To check the URL structure used by Analytics for goal tracking, you can go to your Google Analytics account and then navigate to Conversions » Goal URLs.
If it’s using the page path, then you should also enter the page path in the Destination field when setting up goals.
And if you’re using a filter to rewrite your URLs, then make sure your goals also follow the same structure. Sine filters can change your URLs in the raw data and before the goals are processed, having any differences in the structure can cause your goal to not work.
8. Is the Goal Match Type Correct?
Google Analytics offers 3 different match types when you set up a goal. These include Begins with, Equals to, and Regular Expression. If these match types are not selected properly or have any errors in entering the URLs, you won’t be able to track your goal conversions properly.
Let’s say your page path is /store.html and you selected Equals to match type when creating the goal. But as you enter the page path, you add an additional trailing slash at the end (/store.html/). This trailing whitespace will make your goal will become invalid.
A better match type for this situation would have been Regular Expression. That’s because trailing whitespaces are not an issue in this match type.
9. Does Your Goal Page Contain Tracking Code?
If you have a webpage that doesn’t contain Google Analytics tracking code, then no goals will be tracked from that page.
The tracking code is how Analytics gathers and reports your data. So, it’s important to make sure that the code is present on the goal page.
Having no tracking code on a page could also be a reason why won’t you’re not seeing any goals in your reports with Regular Expression match type.
To check, you can search your regular expression in the Pages report. If there are no results of such a goal, then it means the page doesn’t contain the tracking code.
Troubleshoot Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting
The multi-channel funnels (MCF) report in Google Analytics helps you understand the conversion path taken by a user. It provides insights about which channels a visitor used before making the final transaction and divides the credit among different channels.
The report functions differently than other Analytics reports. Because of which, you might see inconsistencies in data reporting.
10. Why is there a Difference in Data Between MCF and Other Reports?
As we said, the multi-channel funnels report works a bit differently than your other reports in Google Analytics.
The other reports use what’s called a last-click attribution model. What this means is that whichever channel a visitor uses in the end to make the transaction will get all the credit.
But that’s not the case in multi-channel funnels report. It looks at the conversion paths and the sequence of interactions a user makes with your site. And then it divides up the credit among all the channels involved in the transaction, which it refers to as Assisted Conversions.
For instance, if a user views your Google Ad for a product, visits your store, but doesn’t purchase the item. However, the same visitor looks up your website after 2 days on Google, clicks on the organic search result, and then buys the product.
In your standard reports, organic traffic would have gotten all the credit for the purchase. But in the multi-channel funnels report, you would see which channel contributed how much to the transaction in the last 90 days.
So, because of the different models used by these reports, you will get a difference in data. MCF reports also lag by 2 days, so you might also experience a delay in reporting.
Troubleshoot (not set) Data in Your Google Analytics Reports
After you’ve figured out why multi-channel funnels report shows inconsistency in your data, let’s resolve the issue of (not set) data.
When you see (not set) in Google Analytics, it means that Analytics couldn’t collect or interpret any data for the specified metric.
Let’s look at why the issue arises in different reports and how you can resolve it.
11. How to Fix (not set) Data in Conversions Report?
If you have an eCommerce store and see (not set) in your reports, then it means your Enhanced eCommerce tracking isn’t set up correctly and is causing the issue of Google Analytics not working.
For starters, make sure you’ve enabled eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics. To do this, go to Admin from your Google Analytics account. Then navigate to Ecommerce Settings and switch on Enable Ecommerce.
But what if you’ve already enabled eCommerce tracking and still getting the same error? If you know a bit of coding, then you might be able to resolve this issue quickly. Sadly, that’s not the case for everyone.
Here you can take the help of MonsterInsights eCommerce addon. It automatically tracks your eCommerce store and you don’t have to do any additional configuration.
The addon also ensures that you don’t have any issue with Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and don’t see (not set) in your reports.
As for getting (not set) in Goals report, most of the errors can be caused by the issues we’ve already discussed earlier on the post.
But if you’re viewing the Reverse Goal Path report, then you should know that (not set) will always appear in the report. That’s because users can complete a goal in as many steps as they want. Some may complete it in 2 steps, while others may take 4 or 5 steps.
12. How to Fix (not set) Data in Audience Reports?
In the Audience report, you’ll see (not set) data because of multiple issues. One of the reasons could be because of deleted cookies. Since Google Analytics collects data through cookies, any user that removes these cookies or has an adblocker enabled, their data cannot be collected.
If you see not set data in the Location report, then it might be possible that Analytics couldn’t recognize the location of the IP address or fail to detect an IP at all.
Apart from that, you can check for spam traffic that Analytics might not be able to identify. To do that, you can go to the Admin area in your Google Analytics and under the View column, click View Settings. Now scroll down and check the box for Bot Filtering.
13. How to Fix (not set) Data in Acquisition Reports?
Google Analytics automatically identifies data into organic, referral, direct, social, and paid. But when you see (not set) in your All Traffic report, then it usually has to do with a campaign URL that has UTM code errors.
If you have misspelled a UTM parameter or made a mistake in creating a code, then you might face this issue. Therefore, a quick and simple fix is to use a URL builder for your campaigns.
MonsterInsights offers campaign URL builder where you can enter the parameters and then copy your custom URL. This way, you won’t make any errors in creating a URL that contains UTM parameters and fixes the issue of not set data in your traffic reports.
On the other hand, if you see (not set) data in your Google Ads report, then there might an issue in setting up Google Ads with Google Analytics. Go through the setup process again and integrate both the tools to resolve the issue.
14. How to Fix (not set) Data in Behavior Reports?
When it comes to behavior reports, here are some possible reasons and fixes for (not set) data:
- More Than 1 Tracking Code – If you have multiple tracking codes on your website, then it could cause the error of (not set) data. Make sure you only have one tracking code on your site.
- Filters Deleting Page Views – Filters for deleting specific page views can also cause (not set) data error to appear in Behavior reports. So, go through your filters and remove them that relates to page views.
- A Session Not Having a Page/Screen View Hits – It is possible that during a session, no page/screen view hits are recorded. Instead, another type of interaction is tracked, like the purchase of a product. This would result in (not set) in Behavior reports, mainly in the Landing Page report. You can use advanced filters to find out which Analytics hits might be conflicting with each other and then remove them.
Troubleshoot Traffic Fluctuations/Inconsistencies
Another issue many users face in Google Analytics not working is frequent fluctuations in traffic or inconsistencies in data. You can use the Google Analytics troubleshooting tool to uncover the cause of the problem.
But to help you out, here are possible reasons for the issue and their fixes.
15. Why is My Mobile Data Inflated?
Sometimes a site visitor will come to your site on their mobile device, then switch to another device such as a desktop computer.
He may revisit your site to finish a transaction, complete account signup, or fill out your contact form. Google Analytics then tracks each session as a separate user, which skews your Google Analytics mobile data.
Not only does this make it look like more visitors are visiting your site than there are, it makes it hard for you to track user behavior. This is because each time the same visitor visits your site on a different device, each session logs separately.
In other words, you can’t follow user paths through your website. You also can’t see whether they converted or where they left your site.
With the help of MonsterInsights Universal Tracking, you reduce the risk of seeing inflated mobile traffic stats.
Instead, you’ll see exactly where your site visitors are coming from and their behavior once on your site.
16. How to Fix Inaccuracies in Mobile Data?
Another issue you might be facing is inaccurate mobile traffic data. Analytics may count the same user twice, which would make your data incorrect. And the error occurs when you’re using AMP on your website.
That said, enabling Google AMP for your website can help boost your site’s rankings. Plus, it makes your content mobile-friendly and faster loading.
But it can also mess with your Google Analytics statistics. In fact, many mobile users are double-counted, which negatively affects your bounce rate.
Not to mention, it’s tricky to modify the original Google Analytics tracking code to enable AMP pages.
However, with the MonsterInsights Google AMP addon, you can achieve the following:
- Easily and automatically change the code to enable AMP pages
- Stop double-tracking those that switch between your AMP pages and normal site pages
- Support other MonsterInsights features such as the Performance and Custom Dimensions addons
- A/B test different elements on your site, including your AMP pages, to find out which ones convert the most using the Google Optimize addon
17. Are Your Pages Properly Tagged?
You could be getting a frequent drop in traffic because your pages don’t have Google Analytics tracking code.
We’ve said this a lot throughout the article, check if Google Analytics tracking code is correctly set up on all your pages.
If it’s not, the code won’t load on a page and it won’t get tracked. Because of which you’re getting fluctuations and inconsistencies in your data.
18. Did Your Website Experience a Downtime?
Another reason for a drop in traffic could be due to downtime on your website. Downtimes are when users cannot access your website because the server cannot be reached.
You should check with your hosting provider to resolve this issue. And if you continue to face downtimes, then consider changing your WordPress hosting service.
19. Why Is There a High Number of Sessions in Direct Traffic?
If you’re seeing an unusually high number of session in your direct/(none) traffic source, then it could be due to any one of the reasons:
- Referral Links Not Working Properly – Check if your referral links are working on your partner’s website and don’t have any unrelated UTM tags.
- Correct Google Analytics Tag – You should again ensure that your pages contain the correct Google Analytics tag.
- Remove rel=noreferrer Parameter – If your link contains a rel=noreferrer parameter, then it might prevent referral information from being sent. Ask the site owners to remove this parameter.
And that’s it!
You now know how to recognize when Google Analytics is wrong. And, while Google Analytics isn’t a bad tool, it’s important you understand where data might be incorrect. That way you can work around it and make the right changes to grow your website.
We hope you liked our article on Google Analytics not working and how you can fix them. You can also go through our guide on how to login to Google Analytics.