Have you noticed that your stats from MonsterInsights and Google Analytics are different from other plugins and services? Different services measure visitor stats differently, and Google Analytics is the most accurate. That’s because Google filters out most bots and avoids counting the same user multiple times. In this article, we’ll look more deeply into the reasons why visitor statistics can be so varied.
We’ll look at 3 reasons why GA is better than other stats trackers and some other reasons why those numbers look different:
- Reason 1: Google Analytics Has Better Bot Filters
- Reason 2: Google Analytics Has Better Metrics – Sessions Rather Than Clicks or Hits
- Reason 3: MonsterInsights + Google Analytics Won’t Count Logged in Users
- Why Google Analytics Stats Are So Different From Other Stats Trackers
- Why Google Analytics Is The Most Accurate
- What’s Next
There are two major reasons for these traffic differences. One of these is bot traffic, and the other is different metrics.
Reason 1: Google Analytics Has Better Bot Filters
Other stats programs filter out some bots, but Google has the most robust spam fighting and bot filtering capabilities by far. It brings that know-how to Google Analytics. If Google counted every bot coming to your site as a visitor, it would really distort your stats. The term “bot” covers everything from harmless search engines to malicious scripts to referral spam. Since Google knows your site is made for people, GA filters out search engines and other bots. Other stats software will also ignore some bots, however, those lists are different, so your numbers may be quite different. Who do you trust to filter out bots from real visitors: the 500 Billion Dollar company that’s got data on virtually everyone — or somebody else?
Reason 2: Google Analytics Uses Better Metrics: Sessions Rather than Clicks or Hits
Google Analytics numbers look different from other software because they use different metrics. Google Analytics stats are closer to unique visits because they measure “sessions.” Other stats programs tend to measure raw hits or clicks. A GA “session” is generated from multiple pageviews from a single person. [Read more about the definition of a Session].
Your amount of sessions will tend to be small compared to pageviews, clicks, or hits displayed in other software. One user may click a link 3 times. For Google, this would show as one session, for plenty of other stats software it’s simply giving you the number of clicks. So, Google Analytics stats will look smaller because other software double or triple counts the same user. In other words, you’re comparing apples to oranges. The session stat is closer to a unique visit. Other stats program numbers are wildly inflated by not only bots but also double and triple counting the same user. That data is not wrong, but Google’s data is better: it’s more actionable for making smart decisions about your site.
Reason 3: MonsterInsights Won’t Count Logged in Users
MonsterInsights, unlike other stats programs, and even Google Analytics don’t track site administrators by default. (This is configurable.) We do this so that users do not end up with skewed demographics and site count data for their site administrators. Implementing Google Analytics through other methods would likely track visits from logged in users. However, with MonsterInsights, it does not. Why? Because you’re interested in the behavior and demographics of your site audience, not yourself. But for those who want to track themselves, that option is available.
Why Google Analytics Stats Are So Different From Other Stats Trackers
There are plenty of trackers options out there. Your web host may have installed any of these:
They may be showing wildly different numbers than what’s you’re seeing in your Google Analytics stats.
If you installed all the above stats on the same site, they would all have different stats, because they would all count the traffic differently. They’d probably show higher stats than Google Analytics. That’s because Google Analytics tries to only count real people, not bots. It shows your visitors as sessions primarily rather than raw clicks. This helps you make sense of the data. If you’ve implemented your Google Analytics tracking through MonsterInsights, it won’t count logged in users. These all contribute to your Google Analytics implementation with MonsterInsights being the most effective tracking method out there for gathering real, actionable data on your site visitors.
Why Google Analytics Is The Most Accurate
Google knows a lot about pretty much all of us. It’s likely got significant data on your browsing habits (so it can display well-targeted ads to you). It’s is not perfect, but Google Analytics is the best we have for gathering real insights on the real people that visit our sites. Google Analytics is the most accurate tracking system out there. If you want to know how many people have visited your site, Google Analytics is your best bet.
That’s it! Now you know why Google Analytics is the most accurate stats tracking program! Ready to read about a head-to-head analysis of Google Analytics vs Jetpack Stats? Find out in our guide Google Analytics VS Jetpack WordPress Stats – Which is Better?