You can find a number of useful statistical applications on the net that provides graphical statistics regarding your website. Using these are quite helpful regarding your website and blog as you can view important statistics such as where your visitors came from, which pages were viewed, length of visit, unique or returning users, setup goals etc.

Some of them are free (Google Analytics) and with others there’s a fee involved. One of the most known ones is Google Analytics. The name says it all.

After using Google Analytics for a couple of years together with other stats applications , I have noticed that Google Analytics generally reports the lowest number of visitor traffic.

Do you think it’s because Google Analytics is correct and the other statistic applications are wrong? Maybe Google Analytics is just missing some traffic?

You will find that there are two types of web analytics available today and these are called Log file analysis and Page tagging.

Log file analysis

Log file analysis applications such as Awstats and Webalizer records everything about the server (your website) visitors. The log files are on the server and all the data is logged no matter what settings or browser your visitors are using.

Page tagging

These are third-party online applications which involves the placement of a snippet code directly onto the page you would like to track and analyze. There are many available and popular ones are Google Analytics and Statcounter. These applications work with a snippet of code you place on the selected page you would like to track and they are usually written in Javascript.

Why does Google Analytics report inaccurately?

Well the most common one I can think of is – If the user has Javascript code disabled in their browser, Google Analytics won’t report anything because it works with a snippet of Javascript code placed in your pages. It is estimated that 7-10% of internet users have Javascript turned off in their browser. Well this could be a problem for some, It’s not with me as the other stats applications I use also work with Javascript code snippets.

The true measure of visitor traffic is generally somewhere in the middle and is more than what Google Analytics reports and less than what the other web analytics reports. Use your analytics to measure trends and understand that the actual number of visitors may be somewhat different.

What’s your experience with Google Analytics or any other third-party applications?