Why Did My Analytics Data Drop?

Have you noticed that your analytics data has just stopped registering visits to your page!

If so … don’t panic.

I am a bit of an analytics obsessive, I check my clients analytics weekly and, during the early days of a new website, daily.

I love seeing the visitor numbers climb, the length of sessions increase and the location of the visits become more relevant to my client.

However today when I looked at one of my most recent clients analytics, expecting to see the continued improvements I had a shock … everything had dropped back, alsmost to nothing.

Has this happened to you?

my analytics graph took a sharp drop

Why did my analytics data suddenly dip?

Did I Get a Google Penalty?

My first thought was, did I get a Google Penalty? Has Google suddenly taken against something I’ve done on the website?

I follow White Hat SEO and Website optimisation so I was fairly confident that I hadn’t inadvertently done something bad.

Did Google Roll Out a New Algorythm?

I have heard that Google have been tinkering with their SEO algorythm, but looking at the analytics of all the other websites that I manage I couldn’t see any obvious change in their visitor numbers.

Does Search Console tell me anything?

I then took a look at this websites Search Console data to see is all the pages were being indexed … yes, if there were any crawl error messages … no, etc etc.

Then I did, what I should have done first …

Is the Google Analytics Code Working?

I use a very useful tool called ‘Tag Assistant’ which you can load in Chrome.

Tag Assistant can look at the Google tags that you have loaded on your website and give you information about them.

I quickly saw that for some reason the Analytics Tag was not working on any of this sites pages.

Tag assistant shows that the analytics tag is not loaded

Google Tag Assistant shows that there is no tag on this page, the blue face means nothing was found.

Now looking at the source code of the website page I saw this …

Notice all those \\\ in the code … they shouldn’t be there.

I then replaced the corrupted script with good code and updated the website.

Revisiting the Tag Assistant I can now see that ‘Google Analytics’ is once again loaded on the page.

Google Tag Assistant shows that a the analytics tag has been found

Google Tag Assistant shows that a the analytics tag has been found … the green face shows all is well.

I look forward to seeing those google graphs on the way up again.

The moral of this story is … Don’t Panic and make hasty decisions but take a moment to think through what might be the cause of this sudden change.