Google Analytics LogoI’m a big fan of Google Analytics, but there are just things that don’t work well.

I’ve recently been setting up goals for a client and one day they didn’t work and the next day they would.

It was frustrating but I eventually came to the conclusion that new Google Analytics goals must have some sort of big delay before they start collecting data. Something like they don’t kick in until tomorrow arrives.

This is increasingly frustrating when Google Analytics data comes in every 10 or 20 minutes. So I could see pages in the top content reports, and yet goals would stay at 0.

I checked, modified and retested my code for hours with no luck. When I came in the next day and goal data would start coming in from the new days tests. There was still zeros for yesterday, but the goals were now collecting data from today’s activity.

I’d be nice if Google Analytics would set expectations. A nice little note that said something like “your goal is set up, and we’ll start tracking data at 12:00 am” would be very handy. Or better yet, have the goals start tracking as soon as new data comes in. Heck, working with the already collected data would be even better!

If you have issues with Google Analytics goals not working, go home and see what happens tomorrow. Yes it sucks to wait, but that may be all you need to do.

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