You might be surprised to learn that, despite both Google Analytics and Adohm reporting metrics with similar names such as “users” or “sessions,” these measurements actually refer to different things. This can largely be attributed to the differing definitions of those terms between each tool due to their differences in architecture — which refers specifically to how they’re built out internally rather than externally (i.e., what platform is being used). For instance, session data compiled by Adohm will always contain more information about your customers/visitors because we believe it gives you a more intuitive perspective when looking at business performance over time.
Some of the distinctions you’ll notice are:
- Traffic sources segmentation
- Number of sessions
- Length of sessions
- Range of users
- Range of events
- Bounce rate
We’ll go through the main distinctions to help you understand why your GA reporting may differ from Adohm’s.
- By default, sessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivity. This means that if you leave your computer with a webpage opened and then come back to continue browsing for another few minutes before leaving again for an hour-or more- GA will count this as 2 separate sessions while Adohm only counts 1 because their system knows when it should stop tracking activity on the site based off different time periods (e.g., 5-minute intervals).
- The session duration is the difference between the most recent and first interaction (the 30-minute time limit is disregarded for calculating session length).
- Keeping a customer’s attention and reversing their instinctive push-off point on the website is essential. To do this, Adohm uses event tracking that generates session start codes for visitors with 20 minutes of inactivity before expiring – smart design!
- Session duration is calculated by taking the difference in seconds between session start and end times. A customer’s last page closed within 20 minutes of their initial request will not affect this calculation, as it does with other timeouts like GA (which has been ignored). 20 minutes is a long time to go without any internet access. The way the timeout works, if someone closes their browser window but returns within 20 minutes of being gone for one session then this will still be considered as only 1 visit even though they could have stayed on-site longer had it been available!
What mechanism do we use to determine when a page is closed?
Session pings are sent to check whether an online session is still open. If the page was closed before then, there will be no more sessions_ping packets and an event called “session end” with a timestamp of last ping + 30 seconds generated 20 minutes later (the timeout).
Cookies and users are two of the most common problems that people have with their computers.
- Google Analytics has a feature called “User-ID” that can be used for cross-device identification, but this needs to be set up manually and is often not done.
- The number of users in Google analytics represents the number of cookies created because they could come back again from different devices or browsers (every browser and each one bears its own cookie), you do not really know how many individuals are behind these numbers – even when an individual visits your website multiple times on various gadgets as well as operating systems; there’s no method by which he/she will ever show up more than once within their account so long since all those profiles have been identified through unique user id codes given out at installation time.
With cross-device identification, Adohm is able to track your user’s activity on any device. This means that when they log in or make a purchase from one of our sites the cookie will be merged under their account and give you an accurate view into how many people are using it as well!
Sampling of data
- GA 360 relies on the free version to generate non-default reports with more than 500,000 sessions.
- GA 360 does not start sampling data until reports reach 100 million sessions.
- Sampling data implies that only a portion of your traffic data is picked and examined, with the sample used to compute the overall findings.
In Adohm we don’t sample data at all.
Is the data real-time?
On the (slower) hard drive of the server, Google Analytics stores data and processes it into a variety of pre-made tables. It may take up to a day to migrate your Google Analytics data into a free version of Google Analytics. It takes anything from several hours to more than a day in the premium edition, called GA 360.
The data is received in real-time as a customer interacts with your website (within seconds) at the moment they make an action.