Monday, 9 April 2012

Do you use Google analytics?

 We all know how important it is to keep track of our website stats - how many people visit, where do they live, how did they get to the site (through a keyword search, a link on another site, an advertisement?), how long did they spend on the site, which pages are most popular and so on.  And I've been told on several occasions that the best way to do this is with Google analytics.  Well, I beg to disagree.

Some time ago, I tried Google analytics together with another piece of software - StatCounter - which I had used before, to see whether Google really was superior.  And I found, to my surprise, that not only did it not seem better, but it wasn't accurate.

Google was showing my site as having far fewer visitors than StatCounter.  But since StatCounter gives the ISP and IP address of each visitor (along with their country and referring link) I had to assume that Google was failing to record some visitors rather than that StatCounter was adding in non-existent ones.

I've not heard of anyone else having this problem - but, then, I wonder how many other people have checked Google analytics' stats.  I dont use it any more but have continued to use StatCounter and I'm still very pleased with it.  Not only does it provide a huge amount of information about my site visitors, but it's clear, easy to use, reliable and - best of all - it's free!

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