For instance, there is dark traffic at all angles. In this case, you must have UTM builders. They label your links to ensure you can know your traffic’s precise origin. In addition, they can assist you in exposing any unreported social traffic from referrals that Google may have sent.
Google Analytics information doesn’t always reveal your marketing activities’ whole or true picture. However, the lie can be exposed if you know what and where to look.
Do you trust easily? I am, too, and sometimes, I wonder if it is good or bad. But one thing is certain regarding Google Analytics, trusting easily can be your downfall.
You shouldn’t trust easily when your business welfare is on the line. Additionally, you should always check if the data you rely on is accurate. But why? Is Google Analytics not accurate?
That’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog. We’ll tackle everything about Google Analytics’ lies and the solutions for fixing them, so you can avoid trusting inaccurate data and committing expensive errors that you can’t undo. Keep reading!
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics provides data and fundamental statistical tools for marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. They monitor the performance of websites and gather visitor data.
Businesses may use it to identify the main website traffic sources and evaluate the success of their advertising efforts and campaigns.
Also, it monitors goal accomplishments like purchases, identifies trends and patterns in customer engagement, and acquires additional visitor information like demographic data.
In short, Google Analytics helps obtain data for your marketing.
Is Google Analytics Always Accurate?
Google Analytics is not always accurate. Like every other Google product, they are vulnerable to flaws and errors. Even if they aren’t vital, they are still inaccurate and lead to data fluctuation.
There are many causes why a Google Analytics report could contain inaccurate information:
- Private browsing and cookie blocking
- Timeouts on the page and loading issues
- Spam and robots
As a result, you shouldn’t always trust Google Analytics. Instead, investigate thoroughly and consider the big picture when making decisions.
Because Google Analytics lies a lot.
8 Lies Google Analytics is Telling You (And How to Fix Each One)
1. Dark Traffic
“Dark traffic” has a gloomy sound, and it is, for that reason.
You can’t identify dark traffic easily unless you see through from plain sight. Although it presents as “direct” traffic, it is essentially all other traffic, such as email, social media, and organic search.
What you believe to be true regarding your visitor traffic data is greatly skewed by dark traffic. This is mainly because analytics tools, like Google’s, find it challenging to trace all possible traffic sources.
Believe it or not, many businesses suffer from dark traffic, including TalkWalker. Below is a sample of their analysis.
This is a large amount, and you might not know it, but it might also be happening to you. As a result, your campaigns don’t get the recognition they earn.
The issue could become more problematic when it skews your organic search traffic data. Here’s an experiment from Groupon showing that 60% of their traffic is classified as organic search.
How can you prevent this?
Using a UTM builder for tagging your hyperlinks across social media or email may avoid plenty of problems. Both Google and Buffer provide user-friendly UTM builders, which you can use to prevent this.
All you need to do to be ready is ensure the links are marked before they go public. But the problem with organic search isn’t always solved by that approach.
Dark traffic will initially target short, straightforward URLs like your homepage.
Long URLs, however, will be more negatively impacted than homepages since they likely receive less direct traffic.
2. False Conversion Costs
Inaccurate keyword data, conversion costs, and other factors can be caused by user activity.
For instance, you may have previously utilized an app with a PPC AdWords campaign. You’ve probably already invested extensive money only to hear from Google Analytics that you have only made two sales.
It’s simple to become frustrated and abandon your entire effort in the wake of such news. But to get accurate conversion results, consider the big picture.
Some viewers of your advertisements aren’t immediately clicking on them. They can be occupied, distracted, or pressured for time.
However, they’ll recognize you and look up your company name on Google afterward. If customers choose to purchase there, it won’t be recorded as a straight conversion.
So how do you resolve this issue? Through observing sales.
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3. Vanity Metrics Emphasis
The site’s traffic and pageviews don’t actually provide you with any specific information. High page views can make it very simple to believe your site is performing well when it isn’t.
While people may be clicking on your material, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee they’ll stay. If a sizable portion of your numerous monthly visitors leaves your page immediately, they aren’t doing you any good.
Because of this, vanity metrics shouldn’t be given such a high priority. Use them, if anything, to determine whether or not visitors are paying attention to your website.
If too many visitors bounce, enhance the page engagements or use heat maps to identify the problem. Remember to consider the big picture when it involves numbers, so you will not get fooled.
4. Last-touch Bias
When Google assigns full credit for a particular conversion to the last interaction before the conversion occurs, this is known as last-touch attribution. However, Google lies a lot.
Social media strategies do not increase revenue, as well as email and paid and organic searches. People know what they are looking for when they enter a search term and are frequently prepared to purchase.
Past consumers on your email list are also eager to make additional purchases. But for revenue, Google Analytics only considers the last touch attribution.
Before someone makes a purchase, customers presumably have changed devices for all those touches. As a result, you are unaware of every customer interaction with your company.
Your efforts in developing an audience, pushing content, and producing prospects are being disregarded due to last-touch attribution bias.
Can you still fix this?
Due to privacy issues, Google Analytics does not allow you to monitor all this data. Although user IDs are trackable, you are still left without precise information, such as names, e-mail addresses, or other details.
You could suffer serious consequences if you attempt to track down this information. Worse, the User IDs limit how far you can go.
As a result, it is better to avoid last-touch bias in attribution completely, as there is no way to fix or change this lie.
5. Emphasis on Leads Rather Than Sales
A single campaign might produce 60 leads, while another would produce 100. However, each campaign’s total number of closed customers can be the same.
The value of those closed customers could exceed the value of simple leads, even though each customer’s lifetime value (LTV) is not mentioned.
In comparison to lifetime values, a single conversion rate is less important. Longevity comes from lifetime values since many items are becoming commodities these days. Therefore, reduced prices follow that.
Since there are more opportunities nowadays, even web design expenses have fallen recently. You cannot charge as much for most services or goods as you once could.
So make the most money when repeat clients buy from you. However, you cannot get or track repeat clients unless your marketing analytics and revenue data are integrated.
To do that, use any service to track when and how people interact with your messages. After that, adjust your marketing decisions using the facts.
6. Hidden Social Referral Traffic
Google Analytics findings are unreliable since Facebook and Google monitor visits in entirely distinct ways.
Seen a discrepancy between the number of Facebook clicks that Advertising Insights claims you’ve received and the number you see on Google Analytics.
The fact that Facebook Ads direct users to in-app browsers when their hyperlinks are clicked is one of the key reasons for these disparities.
To find a solution for this issue, utilize Google’s URL builder and UTM codes for each social media network like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
On the other hand, to trace links without leaving Facebook, consider using Google’s Facebook URL builder. Use Google’s URL generator to create and share links on Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter Ads, and other social media sites.
Stop concentrating on vanity metrics in the very first place because of “missing traffic.”
7. Positive A/B Tests
A/B tests are extremely costly, and the rewards are frequently not great. There’s a little chance of an A/B test being successful, and before you start seeing any real benefits, achieve at least 1,000 conversions per month.
Most users only employ two distinct variations, which results in much lower conversions. But to see meaningful results, test at least five versions, which requires more work than the two variations.
Simply said, it’s possible that the time required to perform an A/B test correctly is not worthwhile.
False positives are also common. For instance, removing form fields will undoubtedly produce better outcomes. Positive A/B tests won’t always be accurate if your website is open to more visitors yet getting lower-quality leads.
Unless you’re watching your entire sales funnel, there’s no concrete way to tell if an A/B test was completely effective.
8. Misleading Ghost Spam Links
You are mistaken if you believed that spam was the only problem affecting your inbox of emails or blog entries.
Ghost spam links could also tamper with the traffic data in Google Analytics. This is due to ghost spammers that transmit fake codes that make it appear as though they have visited your site while never doing so.
So how does ghost spam work?
Using the Measurement Protocol, ghost spammers may transmit data straight to the servers of Google Analytics and get access to your account. Ghost spammer visits are fake, giving the impression that you receive substantially greater traffic than you truly are.
To filter or block ghost spam links, use ghost spam services or keep an for the following three things:
- Whether a traffic source is currently on the list of ghost spammer sources.
- If the hostname contains an invalid site
- Unshown display or resolution details that could suggest a fraudulent website.
Make sure Google’s Bot Filter is activated to avoid this issue. Select the “View Settings” option to make sure. In the “Bot filtering” section that follows, check the next box to “Exclude every result from recognized bots and spiders.”
Views from prominent spammers will not be counted in your stats after this option is enabled. Bots and spiders will be removed from your results.
Can You Still Trust Google Analytics?
Data may be obtained quickly, easily, and simply due to Google Analytics. But most of the time, it is inaccurate. Except you’re aware of where to search, you’ll often never know.
The good news is that some Google Analytics lies can be fixed once you recognize them.
But can you still trust Google Analytics?
Yes, of course. Although Google Analytics lies a lot, you can’t turn a blind eye to some of its benefits. You’ll need it for your business objectives. The only thing you can do for it is to be knowledgeable and flexible in solving its issues.
Did you like this article? If you want to learn more about other strategies to improve your business, you can do so by reading my previous blogs below.