Digital Consultant at Accenture
13 July 2009 12:18pm
We've recently started using Twitter fairly extensively for a particular project and whilst looking at the stats from bit.ly (for shortedned URL) for clicks I've noticed that, for a particular posting the following stats:
United States 11; United Kingdom 1; Canada 1 click(s)
July 10, 2009 - 13 Clicks
9 July: Page views: 1
10 July: Page views: 1
11 July: Page views: 0
Presumably, if indeed there were clicks from 3 different countries, these should show up in Google Analytics as 3 unique visits at the very least?
But Google Analytics shows a meagre 1 page view for the day the tweet was posted, despite it's claimed 13 clicks.
Obviously, the two don't quite add up. But who is more accurate?
Head of Digital at UBER
20 July 2009 09:58am
I think that the lack of replies on this topic shows just how difficult it is to come up with a definitive answer - probably because there isn't one.
There have always been differences in the way that stats packages show results and the numbers that the packages will report. You should really only use stats to track trends rather than to quote numbers. Track whether there have been more visitors to the site over a period (week or month) rather than saying we have x on Monday, y on Tuesday etc. This way the actual figures are less important than the trend that they report, have a go with the figures you have and see if it works out. You can also use a mixture of the two for different reports
I have a similar problem using Google Analytics against a wooden toy website's own inhouse statistics package. They both show different amounts of traffic on a daily basis. I use the Google statistics to look at traffic sources and bounce rates, with the inhouse package for the visitor numbers, again only looking at trend rather than the actual numbers.
Founder & CEO at HappiMatch
21 July 2009 19:53pm
I think 2 things are going on here.
First, bit.ly is a 301 redirected URL so it wouldn't behave like a referring URL would. The hits were not recorded as having a bit.ly referrer, rather whatever landing URL you used. The one visit you see in your analytics from that domain is probably a result caused by a server error, or from a preview feature that some twitter clients have.
What may be a better strategy would be to set up a tracking URL (http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578) and use that tracking URL for your twitter campaigns (as the shorted bit.ly). You should then be better able to see the results of your twitter efforts. You can make as many tracking URLs as you need if you want to segment out your campaigns.
Second, there will always be a discrepancy between the tracking reports and your analytics. It’s just the nature of an on-page analytics package like GA. If the page doesn’t load completely the visit might not be registered, etc.
That said, I agree with Nic with the idea of tracking trends not numbers, but setting up tracking URLs for your campaigns will help with more accurately monitoring the trends over time.
Web PR Consultant at Clickthrough Marketing
24 July 2009 15:47pm
Danny Sullivan has recently looked at this issue and sums it all up in his article on searchengineland
and there is another interesting post here on the discrepancies.
Hope this helps
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