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19167Re: Google Analytics conversion discrepancies

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  • Hugh
    Sep 4, 2008
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      Hi Tim,

      I appreciate your thoughts and investigation. I'm increasingly
      beginning to think it may be a unique issue down to tagging -
      something I'll need to check with the client.

      At least it was a worthwhile exercise for you.

      Hope all is well.

      Hugh



      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Tim Leighton-Boyce"
      <tim.lboyce@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Hugh,
      > I now have several days worth of data to consider.
      >
      > First I have confirmed for myself that there certainly is a latency
      issue,
      > as well all knew already. I saw a 38% increase in goals for 31
      August
      > between reports run on 01 and 02 September and a 36% increase in
      > transactions. The counts did not increase in the reports run on the
      3rd day
      > (today)
      >
      > The figures for 01 September showed slightly smaller increases
      between day 1
      > and day 2 -- 29% for goals and 31% for transactions.
      >
      > Returning to your main point now: once the figures had stabilised my
      overall
      > group showed that number of transactions was slightly more than
      goals: 1.2%
      > for the 30th and 0.47% for the 31st.
      >
      > The difference for September 1st was 1.29% -- of course I cannot yet
      confirm
      > that figure will not change by tomorrow, but I suspect that it will
      not. I
      > mention the September 1st figure only because it does contain a
      single
      > instance where one of the sites did 'settle' showing fewer
      transactions that
      > goals. About 1% fewer.
      >
      > It looks to me as if I am confirming what others have suggested
      would be the
      > case and not what you're experiencing yourself. So it's of no help.
      But it
      > was certainly an interesting exercise and I'm glad to have done it
      since it
      > confirms, in my opinion, that the system is performing very well
      given the
      > inherent limitations of the technology. I'm always pleasantly
      surprised by
      > how accurate it is. Of course these figures have not been cross-
      checked
      > against the back end systems for these sites. It's been a while
      since I went
      > down that painful road, but when I did we used to run with a
      discrepancy of
      > less than 3%, I think.
      >
      > Tim
      >
      >
      >
      > 2008/9/2 Hugh <hugh.gage@...>
      >
      > > Hi Tim,
      > >
      > > Firstly at least it's not just me, so F.U.D. slightly relieved.
      > >
      > > On the scheduling issue, I am certain that GA has a latency issue
      with
      > > goals and I have stopped taking the previous day's goal data
      seriously
      > > until at least a full 18 hrs has elapsed since the end of the
      > > reporting day in question.
      > >
      > > Thinking about the analysis you are doing I have just downloaded
      > > weekly goal and e-commerce conversion data on one of my clients
      from
      > > w/c 6th July to w/e 30th Aug so hopefully all scheduling / latency
      > > issues will have been eliminated. Looking at the data in each week
      > > over the course of that period, goal conversion is higher than
      > > e-commerce conversion by an average of 2.6% (not percentage
      points).
      > >
      > > As mentioned by Brian Clifton in his post
      > > (
      > > http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/10/23/transactions-
      v-goal-conversions/
      > > )
      > > I would expect if anything e-commerce to be higher than goals.
      > >
      > > It's interesting that your test on the 30th showed more
      transactions
      > > than goals in all cases. I wonder if there is some other tracking
      > > issue between the two perhaps related to the tagging process or if
      the
      > > issues just vary from site to site.
      > >
      > > I'd be interested in anything else you unearth.
      > >
      > > Hugh
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      <webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > "tim.lboyce" <tim.lboyce@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > 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
      > > > head.
      > > >
      > > > 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.
      > > >
      > > > Tim
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      <webanalytics%40yahoogroups.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
      <webanalytics%40yahoogroups.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
      > > > tracking
      > > > > > 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
      > > > e-commerce
      > > > > > > 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]
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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