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Google Analytics vs Server logs and SmarterStats

Published on Wednesday 09 October 2019
Categories: Programming and Code |

Server Logs

At the start of September we setup the free trial version of Smarterstats for our Virtual Swanage website to compare the visitor statistics against Google Analytics which we have been using for several years to view visitor traffic to the website and also to track down any issues with missing files which Google Analytics is unable to log.

Smarterstats uses the logs generated by IIS on the server whereas Google Analytics relies on JavaScript to detect visitors and capture their data.

After running both tracking systems for forty days, below is an overview of the difference in visitor numbers between both tracking methods.

  Smarter Stats Google Analytics
Visitors 33,825 9,007
Page Views 60,557 29,939
Bounce Rate 17.6% 67.25%

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Server Logs and Smarterstats

Server Logs and Smarterstats

As you can see from the above data, Google Analytics is logging less than a third of the actual visitors to the website and around 50% of the page views. The bounce rate for website visitors is also much different between the tracking systems.

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