We recently conducted a series of audits on Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 web sites. This research uncovered a number of interesting findings that we have decided to discuss in several blog posts. Although we found obvious differentiators of top sites, there were also issues common to all sites.
There are some basic elements of data quality management, and these continue to be a challenge for every company. Management of these fundamentals builds a solid foundation of data quality in digital marketing and improves the ROI of the entire digital marketing technology stack.
- Each page on the web site must render one (and only one) instance of a given web analytics tag. When tags are missing, data is missing. Likewise, multiple renderings will inflate data. On average, 2.8 % of pages are missing a web analytics tag. 95% of the time, these tags are one click from the home page.
- Each tag must be set up to send data to the correct reporting account, sometimes referred to in vendor-specific language such as UA or Report Suite ID. If the data isn’t sent to the right place you won’t get the information that you need. Also, a related privacy risk is introduced when deprecated account IDs are not removed from the deployment. On average, there are 2.5 reporting accounts set up for each site, but 8 sites had more than 10 accounts.
- Variable parameters and values must be configured correctly. Particulars of variable configuration vary by vendor, but generally the page name, namespace, and custom variable data must be configured consistently across the site. This includes naming conventions and is detail driven. Capitalization, spaces, and punctuation matters.68 sites are using more than 100 unique variable paramaters across their deployment – how is this being managed?
Data quality management is a complex topic, and tags can be deployed many ways. But if these four bases are covered, you’re building a solid data quality foundation that will help your website provide accurate information your company needs.
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