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19102Re: Google Analytics conversion discrepancies

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  • tim.lboyce
    Sep 1, 2008
      Hi Hugh,

      I realise that I risk creating Fear Anxiety and Doubt in raising this,
      but here goes.

      I wonder whether different processing schedules may apply to
      e-commerce data and page views and if this could have a bearing on
      your question?

      For quite a while now I have noticed how the e-commerce conversion
      rate always looks alarming when I do my daily scoot around various
      profiles first thing in the morning (UK time). In fact, I'd stopped
      looking at it and had formed the impression that it tended to change
      during the course of the day.

      But, by coincidence, this morning before even reading your post I had
      noticed that the figure looked more like the truth on at least one
      site and had lodged a vague thought that things might have improved.

      See what I mean about F.U.D? I feel very wary about even mentioning
      this in case it fuels yet more doubt. Especially when my own first
      attempts to investigate further suggest that I am talking nonsense!

      By the way: my normal analysis is done on weekly figures, compiled on
      a Tuesday, so my impression that there might be a timing issue did not
      cause any problems in my real life. That's why I've never bothered to
      even try to check whether there was any basis for my impression.

      However, as a form of penance for all the confusion I risk causing by
      this post, I've just started a quick bit of investigation.

      I've compared transactions and goals across a random group of half a
      dozen sites, running on 3 different e-commerce platforms (partly to
      make the sample more general and partly to ensure that the data cannot
      be identified). Between them they've done about 1,300 transactions per
      day on the last couple of days. None of these are super-busy, but
      they're not tiny sites either.

      On the 30th all of them reported more e-commerce transactions than
      goals. The overall difference came to 1.2% more. There were variations
      within the group. One was spot on. The worst reported 2% more
      transactions than goals.

      The situation for yesterday (report run just now, 13:30 -- which may
      become relevant) was more varied. The average was 1.7% more
      transactions than goals. Which might appear to knock my theory on the

      But the variation was much more extreme. In fact some sites DID report
      fewer transactions than goals (2% fewer in one case) and at the other
      extreme one site reported 6% more transactions.

      Of course the real test will be to see whether the numbers have
      changed tomorrow. I will also try to check the data for today earlier
      in the morning and then again in the middle of the day.

      At the moment it looks as if there's nothing here to help throw light
      on your particular case, but I'll report back anyway.


      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Hugh" <hugh.gage@...> wrote:
      > Hi Feras
      > Thanks for your response. What I should have included in my original
      > post is that the total volume of transactions in the Goal is higher
      > then that shown in the e-commerce tracking. I think it should at least
      > be the other way around.
      > Hugh
      > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Feras Alhlou" <feras@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Hugh,
      > >
      > > It working as designed :). In Google Analytics' goal tracking
      reports, a
      > > visitor can convert only once, i.e. let say your goal is a
      > successful form
      > > submission or ecommerce/sales transaction, and a visitor submitted
      > the form
      > > twice or made two transactions (i.e. converted twice), the goal
      > > would count it as one conversion while ecommerce would count it as two
      > > transactions. The logic is that you really can only "convert" a
      > visitor into
      > > a lead/customer once.
      > >
      > > To get more details about this topic, check out the blog post by Brian
      > > Clifton
      > http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/10/23/transactions-v-
      > > goal-conversions/, this is especially helpful if you want to use the
      > > eCommerce feature in GA for track non-ecommerce transaction (a
      very cool
      > > thing providing very rich data!).
      > >
      > > Also, I believe Justin Cutroni's eBook,
      > > http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596514969/, covers some of these
      > techniques
      > > as well.
      > >
      > > Hope you find the above helpful.
      > >
      > > That is it for the week :), for those of you in the US and Canada
      > and other
      > > places that celebrate labor day at this time of the year, happy labor
      > > day/long weekend!
      > >
      > > ________________________________
      > > Feras Alhlou
      > > website: www.e-nor.com
      > > blog: www.e-nor.com/blog
      > > ________________________________
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 2:53 AM, Hugh <hugh.gage@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > Hi,
      > > >
      > > > For those who are using GA on e-commerce sites and have GA
      > > > tracking implemented, has anybody noticed if they are getting
      > > > different conversion rates on the e-commerce report compared with
      > > > their funnel goals where the goal page for both is exactly the same?
      > > >
      > > > I have put in a query with GA support but it's gone all quite.
      > > >
      > > > Hugh
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
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