There are several factors affecting the accuracy of your metrics on google Analytics. Often, your metrics are affected by the accuracy of the page views. These numbers are used to measure the bounce and conversion rates on your website, besides several other parameters. From using older versions of analytics to poor implementation and even over counting caused by double tracking codes, here are the reasons why your metrics might not be as accurate as you perceive.
There are various versions of Google Analytics, and the older versions like Google Classic Analytics are just not as accurate as the newer ones. Google Universal Analytics offers new features which measure user behavior with greater accuracy and has established newer standards for how user data is collected and organised. In case you are still using Google Classic Analytics tracking code on your website, you definitely want to upgrade to Google Tag Manager and Google Universal Analytics, in order to improve the accuracy of your metrics.
Missing Tracking Code
It always recommended to have the analytics tracking code on the page. It often happens that tracking code is completely missing from entire sites, from specific pages or sub folders of sites, or even from specific sub domains. If the tracking code is missing from the page, it will not track any page views or events. What’s worse is that user behavior and data from these pages is not recorded in the analytics tool, resulting in a significant loss of data. Falcon can help you find pages with missing tags and help you get accurate metrics.
Double Tracking Codes
Quite often, there are instances where the older version of Google Analytics has not been removed even after implementing an updated one. Even though the code is much better in itself and is correctly implemented on all the pages, if you have it on the page more than once then you’re going to get duplicate page views. This is what is popularly known as Double Tracking, meaning each time the page loads, it will fire two page views. Falcon can easily identify duplicate page views and provides insight to website owner on pages causing the error.
Many sites automatically refresh the page at short intervals. While it is sometimes done for the purpose of showing new content, it is usually carried out to display new ads. This can fire duplicate page views, and this is like having double tracking on the page. Here, the page views are measured as twice their actual value, and this goes on to affect other metrics calculated from the page views on your Google Analytics Account. Yes, these refreshes which occur on their own not only leave the user disgruntled but also add up to the unnecessary bulk of duplicate data, leading to inaccuracy in your metrics.
Besides the usage of old code, there are also ways of implementing the code which are outdated. By placing the analytics tracking code at the bottom of the page, you make it the last piece of code to be executed. Quite often, a user leaves the web page even before it has loaded completely. The tag does not fire as a result, leaving you with missing data. Auditing platforms sort this out by performing crawls through your website and pointing out where the code is implemented, how it has been implemented and where it should be, as well.
Websites still using Ajax technology are highly prone to issues regarding accurate page view measurements. The pages are often rewriting themselves rather than reloading, using various techniques. Although you might want to measure this as a new page view, it does not occur by default, since the default page view is accounted for only when a page reloads. Additional tracking is needed to measure these Ajax events as additional page views. If your site uses Ajax, you need to account for these errors, and fire Virtual Page views when the page changes, rather than relying on the normal page load for Google Analytics to capture the right data.
Most users tend to disable their browser’s automatic usage of tags and cookies on a website. In this case, Google Analytics fails to work, and these page views cannot be tracked. Some users resort to Ad blockers and other browser extensions which prevent the loading of certain files. These extensions work against advertising and display ads, but also end up blocking tracking scripts. Some of these extensions even block Google Tag Manager. Even though this is usually a small number, the number could be significant in certain segments, particularly on websites where the audience is more knowledgeable.