Random Analytics

by Jeremy on March 22, 2010

Okay, so maybe I am the last person to finally get a clue on this but I thought I would share what I’ve finally learned about the differences in Analytics tools.  Make sure to know what each tool is actually tracking and displaying.   Seems obvious enough but for some of us (i.e. me) it just doesn’t lock in right away.

My dilemma was that I was using multiple analytics tools to track traffic.  Of course I was using Google Analytics but I was also using WordPress.com analytics to track traffic on Refocusing Technology.  Every time I would review my statistics the WordPress.com stats would be drastically higher than the Google Analytics.  This always confused me but I just chalked it up to differences in tracking.  Of course, it really was nagging though.

So after doing some research I found the answer: they track different statistics.  Google Analytics by default displays visitors while WordPress.com’s analytics displays page views.  So of course, WordPress.com’s would almost always be higher counts.

So after learning this, I also found out that Google Analytics allows you to compare the two values on their main graph.  When you are on the main Google Analytics’ “Dashboard” page, it displays a graph that by default shows visitors.

You can then click on the selector on the right of the graph that currently says “Visits” with a down arrow.

Then you can select from multiple options:

If you click on “Pageviews” it will display just the page views.  Additionally, if you select “Compare Two Metrics”:

You can then select “Visits” and “Pageviews” and it will show a graph with two lines that will demonstrate the two statistics side-by-side.

Now the statistics that I am seeing in the multiple statistics/analytics options make a lot more sense to me.  I’m sure some of you have already figured this out but I found it to be something that finally made sense after investing a little time.  Hope that it helps others looking into this issue.

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