Analytics doesn’t work and possibly never did.
For days, months and many years I sat at my desk agonizing over my Analytics traffic reports. I tried different plugins, placed the code directly in the template header, changed themes, you name it I tried it, but still my traffic was lower than I thought it should be.
I knew I was receiving more traffic than Analytics was reporting, but all I had to go on was a gut feeling, no evidence. It wasn’t until I installed a plugin called Visitor Maps on my WordPress blog that I realized Analytics is Wrong! Not only was Analytics wrong, it was completely useless. Analytics was telling me nothing!
Analytics either doesn’t see or chooses not to see all the traffic visiting a website.
Don’t believe me? There is an easy way to prove it.
If you have a WordPress blog, install the Visitor Maps plugin.
Open 2 browsers. In the first browser open Analytics and in the second browser open Visitor Maps. Set each to real time traffic.
How do I know Visitor Maps is correct?
Visitor Maps may not record all my traffic either, however as you can see on the screen capture below Visitor Maps even records the IP’s of each person who visits my blog.
Google Reports: 2 Visitors (Real Time) – Visitor Maps Reports 34 Visitors (Refreshed every 30 Seconds)
Analytics could be great if it just recorded real traffic instead of picking and choosing what it reports.
Visitor Maps isn’t perfect, it doesn’t have many features and it has difficulty figuring out how long someone has been visiting the page. However it does give a good 30 second snapshot of who was on your blog for that 30 seconds, then it will refresh and give you another snapshot.
The question is, why do we keep using Analytics when we know Analytics doesn’t work?
Unfortunately marketing professionals were taught that Analytics is the end all be all and with the lack of an Analytics substitute marketing professionals, brands and even bloggers have nothing to fall back on.
And change is hard. Many marketing professionals still believe that PR (page rank) and Alexa Rank are also important. Though most Bloggers know that PR rank and Alexa Rank are as pointless as Klout, they are forced to keep their ranks within a the respective levels or be passed over by Marketing Companies who haven’t caught up with the times.
What is needed is a better tool that isn’t controlled by a for-profit business.
Google (Analytics) and Amazon (Alexa) are for-profit companies and have an interest in collecting and reporting data, but the data they are reporting is useless and their assumed reliability needs to come to an abrupt halt.
So how do we put an end to the assumed reliability of Analytics – got me!
I have explained to countless marketing professionals that they cannot judge a website based on the unreliable data, but without a reliable source to replace it marketing professionals have nothing else in which to use.
Until someone creates a reliable Analytics substitute reporting system we are stuck with a system that reports unreliable data. The best we can do is to spread the word as much as possible. Share this article, write your own article and flood the blogosphere with the truth about Analytics.