Usually one of the first things a new client will ask me about is adding Google Analytics tracking to their website. There seems to be a lot of hype about Google Analytics which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best website statistics program to use. It’s free, so like anything else, you get what you pay for. As a matter of fact, I compared Google Analytics results head to head with the actual web server statistics from one of my client’s websites and the sever logs reported twice the amount of visitors than what Google served up. So what gives? An excerpt from an article below explains in a bit more detail:
From a mathematician’s perspective it’s not that good at all. All professional web analysts know that Google Analytics significantly underestimates traffic in the overwhelming majority of cases. Anyone who has ever compared the stats from their web server with the stats from Google Analytics knows that the two sets of numbers rarely match up.
After my own research into this, I have come to the conclusion that although Google Analytics is still a useful tool, I would not rely on it entirely for accuracy. I would, as always, tend to believe my actual website server log statistics first. Any good web hosting company will provide access to your website server statistics so why not play it safe and compare your actual server statistics with what Google provides?