by Adam Yakish
We had a prospect come to us recently that needed, or thought they needed, a major site overhaul due to unacceptably high bounce rates from their homepage. They were ready to spend tens and tens of thousands of dollars on this redesign and approached us to investigate the job prior to the big spend.
The prospect, now a client, deals globally. Their site structure incorporates many sub-domains housing various websites in all of the parts of the world that they operate. It’s not implicit to, in this case, Google Analytics, to aggregate and share data across domains and sub-domains. Therein lays the dilemma.
The client had set up their analytics in-house. And by our standards, did a fair job. However, some key technicalities were missed, e.g. including the customization necessary  to track across sub-domains, among other things. The result was inaccurate data, pure and simple.
So how significant were the discrepancies? After correcting the installation, the reported bounce rate dropped 46%, from 89% to 43%. In the world of stats, this would no doubt be deemed “honestly significant”.
The lesson here, as opposed to Google’s tracking defaults, is implicit. Know your limitations. Web work is compartmentalized….specialized, not unlike doctors or lawyers or tradesmen. You don’t go to a heart guy for your liver, and you don’t’ go to a marketing guy for custom analytics.