For such a popular program, Google Analytics has a number of issues that can crop up. Some of them are common, some of them are rare. Some of them are flaws in the way Google processes data. Some of them are user error. Some of them are user intent. They’re all potential reasons why your traffic is inaccurate or missing on some or all of your website. Here’s a selection of reasons why.
The fix: Just implement the Google Analytics tracking code on those pages.
The fix: Simply re-apply and re-verify the code. If you save and upload the new page and it works, all the better.
As the link above mentions, your GA tracking code should be in the head section of your page, no lower. Some people, eminently aware of the load times of their pages, choose to try to put the code lower on their site. The problem here is that it can load after a user has already seen and left the page, meaning their visit isn’t tracked.
The fix: Just position the code up in your <head> section of your page. Don’t ask questions, just do it.
The fix: There is no fix. Users won’t enable scripts just because you asked them, or at least most of them won’t, particularly if you tell them the reason why you want them enabled is to track their every move. You just have to deal with those users not being tracked.
Google Analytics is also powered by cookies. In particular, it places a session cookie on the user’s computer, which tracks their session data. If the user is inactive for 30 minutes, or if they leave and come back within 30 minutes, their visit count is changed. Inactivity leads to a new visit count even if they never left your site, while leaving and returning may count as a continued session even if it’s a new user on the old device. Some users may also just disable cookies entirely, which prevents Google from tracking data properly.
The fix: Again, no fix here. Users won’t change their personal settings to allow themselves to be tracked. The other flaws are flaws with how GA works, not with how your website tracks information, and there’s nothing you can do about the Internet’s reliance on cookies.
Do your Google Analytics numbers look unusually high? Are they, perhaps, twice what they should be? Amusingly enough, Google doesn’t verify that you only have one instance of the tracking code on a given page. If you were to put it in a site-wide header, while also putting it in pages individually, you might end up with more than one copy of the code on a given page. This doubles your counts for that page, and skews your results.
The fix: Look through your existing pages for instances of duplicated tracking code and remove the duplicates.
If, when you ask why your traffic isn’t being shown, you’re talking about your goals, I have some bad news for you. If you have a year’s worth of traffic recorded, and you make a new goal today, that goal effectively has no traffic behind it. Google does not retroactively apply your traffic to that goal. You will only have that goal measured moving forward.
The fix: Build a time machine, go back in time to when you first want to have that goal tracked, and provide the goal tracking information to your past self. Then battle to the death, as two copies of one person cannot reside in the same time without causality conflicts.
You installed Google Analytics literally MINUTES ago, and it’s not showing you your traffic! You’ve even refreshed like a dozen times. What gives? Well, the problem is, Google Analytics is not real time.
The fix: Wait a day, you impatient fool.
If you’ve been tracking your data independently and you’ve found that Google Analytics is consistently off base, you might be falling victim to the sampling issue. See, when a site reaches a certain level of volume, Google determines that it’s too system intensive to record all data, and starts sampling. The problem is, this can lead to inaccurate reporting.
The fix: Have a less popular site, or use a different analytics suite.
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