Why Isn’t Google Analytics Showing My Traffic?

By | June 21, 2022

For such a popular program, Google Analytics has a number of issues that can crop up. Some of them are common, some of them are rare. Some of them are flaws in the way Google processes data. Some of them are user error. Some of them are user intent. They’re all potential reasons why your traffic is inaccurate or missing on some or all of your website. Here’s a selection of reasons why.

Your Page Isn’t Tagged

If you post a bunch of new pages and you know people are visiting them, but you don’t see a corresponding rise in your Google Analytics data, this is one possible reason. You simply didn’t add the right tracking code to those pages. In order for Google to record data about a page, that page needs to execute a bit of Javascript. If that Javascript isn’t present, Google can’t record any data.

The fix: Just implement the Google Analytics tracking code on those pages.

Your Analytics Code is Broken

Copy and paste is not infallible. Sometimes when you paste the code into your pages and save it, you accidentally hit S instead of Ctrl-S and type a character where no character should be. Sometimes you don’t actually select all of the code when you paste it in, so your Javascript ends before it’s supposed to. Errors happen.

The fix: Simply re-apply and re-verify the code. If you save and upload the new page and it works, all the better.

Your Code is Positioned Poorly

As the link above mentions, your GA tracking code should be in the head section of your page, no lower. Some people, eminently aware of the load times of their pages, choose to try to put the code lower on their site. The problem here is that it can load after a user has already seen and left the page, meaning their visit isn’t tracked.

The fix: Just position the code up in your <head> section of your page. Don’t ask questions, just do it.

Your Users Have Javascript Off

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that Google Analytics runs on Javascript. This is because Javascript is a ubiquitous type of code that runs on virtually every platform and every device. The problem is that your users might have Javascript turned off in their browser settings, or they might use an add-on like Noscript. If this is the case, the code won’t execute, and your visitor traffic won’t be tracked. Only those visitors, but if those visitors are a sizable portion of your traffic, your stats will be skewed.

The fix: There is no fix. Users won’t enable scripts just because you asked them, or at least most of them won’t, particularly if you tell them the reason why you want them enabled is to track their every move. You just have to deal with those users not being tracked.

Your Users Refuse Cookies

Google Analytics is also powered by cookies. In particular, it places a session cookie on the user’s computer, which tracks their session data. If the user is inactive for 30 minutes, or if they leave and come back within 30 minutes, their visit count is changed. Inactivity leads to a new visit count even if they never left your site, while leaving and returning may count as a continued session even if it’s a new user on the old device. Some users may also just disable cookies entirely, which prevents Google from tracking data properly.

The fix: Again, no fix here. Users won’t change their personal settings to allow themselves to be tracked. The other flaws are flaws with how GA works, not with how your website tracks information, and there’s nothing you can do about the Internet’s reliance on cookies.

Your Code is Duplicated

Do your Google Analytics numbers look unusually high? Are they, perhaps, twice what they should be? Amusingly enough, Google doesn’t verify that you only have one instance of the tracking code on a given page. If you were to put it in a site-wide header, while also putting it in pages individually, you might end up with more than one copy of the code on a given page. This doubles your counts for that page, and skews your results.

The fix: Look through your existing pages for instances of duplicated tracking code and remove the duplicates.

Your Goals are Too New

If, when you ask why your traffic isn’t being shown, you’re talking about your goals, I have some bad news for you. If you have a year’s worth of traffic recorded, and you make a new goal today, that goal effectively has no traffic behind it. Google does not retroactively apply your traffic to that goal. You will only have that goal measured moving forward.

The fix: Build a time machine, go back in time to when you first want to have that goal tracked, and provide the goal tracking information to your past self. Then battle to the death, as two copies of one person cannot reside in the same time without causality conflicts.

Your Data is Too New

You installed Google Analytics literally MINUTES ago, and it’s not showing you your traffic! You’ve even refreshed like a dozen times. What gives? Well, the problem is, Google Analytics is not real time.

The fix: Wait a day, you impatient fool.

Your Volume is Too High

If you’ve been tracking your data independently and you’ve found that Google Analytics is consistently off base, you might be falling victim to the sampling issue. See, when a site reaches a certain level of volume, Google determines that it’s too system intensive to record all data, and starts sampling. The problem is, this can lead to inaccurate reporting.

The fix: Have a less popular site, or use a different analytics suite.

The post Why Isn’t Google Analytics Showing My Traffic? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

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