Menu Home

Dirty Data​: 4 germs you can’t miss in 2017!

How disgusting is your data?

From rank rankings, to murky metadata – I hope you’re aware that in a world built on ‘ones and zeros‘ if the foundation ain’t right, the house is going down. And like all good analogies, this one wouldn’t be complete without an explanation – so, here goes:

?…broken links

Think of these like settling cracks in your newly built abode. They suck, but they exist and they’re fixable. Because of this, you can put up with them for a short time, until your web-team give you the go ahead to fill in. I’m not going to judge your brand new dwellings for the first 6 months but I will after 12 – and I’m not even as important as Google…

Tip: Head to Google’s Search Console and view the ‘craw errors’ drop-down to wade out mouldy 404’s, rotting 301’s or worse, the dreaded 500 error!

?…dodgy referrals

Like distant relatives who impose on you during the holidays, this is traffic you can’t avoid. Keeping the house analogy alive, imagine ignoring this kind of traffic as not answering the door when the neighbours know you’re in…they’ll keep knocking. The good kind of referral traffic brings you new subscribers and hopefully returning visitors – the bad, brings spam.

Tip: Check regularly for dodgy links in Google Analytics by eyeballing your referral pages with the highest bounce rates (or with zero) from places you don’t recognise.

?…orphaned campaigns

Think of these as the solicitor you hired talking you through closing the deal (yup, we’re still using the house thing).

I’d never buy anything as expensive as a house without legal know-how, and not tracking a campaign with UTM parameters, or similar, is laughably sad. These babies track the effectiveness of your digital marketing across varying traffic sources – do you really want to submit hours of your time planning, building and executing something you’ll never be able to track?

Tip: Check the effectiveness of your Campaigns within the acquisition tab of Google Analytics to determine your biggest successes / failures. Here, you can easily determine the best opportunities for ROI, re-engagement campaigns or membership drive.

?…event absence

How ever will you decide on the best colour curtains for the dining room without testing a few swatches? Traditional conversions like e-commerce and form-entry are one thing, but what about the rest? Event Tracking isn’t limited to buttons; with this stuff you can really dig into your content. Some examples include, rich-media performance (videos, social shares) and even form-drop out. Get involved.

Tip: Event Tracking is great for A/B testing. You can look into various call-to-actions, colours and themes – or get even more granular with design tweaks like kerning and text placement to see what works best.

Take 2017 by the faucets! ?

Categories: ? Data & analysis ? Digital marketing advice


Martina is a Digital Marketing consultant, developing cross-channel techniques since 2010. This blog explores industry developments with real-life application.