Google Analytics vs. WebTrends Sample Range December 2-8 th Performed January 13 th 2008 Author Thomas Bosilevac
<ul><li>This report is being presented due to a reported discrepancy found and reported between Google Analytics and WebTrends. The conclusion of this report states that discrepancies are well within the 1-15% range. </li></ul><ul><li>This document provides a high-level explanation to differences in the two reporting engines and offers suggestions toward decreasing the gaps even more. </li></ul>
Dashboard Metrics visits, page views, etc Although the presentation of the data between Google Analytics and WebTrends is quite different there are metrics that can be directly compared. This first section highlights such metrics as Visits, Page Views, and Visitors. In summary, both tools report extremely similar results.
<ul><li>Google Analytics is known for its simplicity. Their dashboard provides an extremely easy means to look at the KPI’s of the site. Unfortunately this simplicity does not provide the granularity needed to make deep changes to your website. </li></ul>
<ul><li>When breaking apart the key metrics where applicable, you can see how the difference is really quite bearable. </li></ul>
Content Overview GA provides a new Row for every variation of the URL along with the Query String. That said, there are 102,090 pages listed in the all inclusive profile to WT’s 465. Both tools can be configured to display URLS with or without Query Parameters WebTrends provides a new Row for each domain the user was utilizing, whereas Google always assumes www.yourdomain.com.
Acquisition Source Segmentation Campaign Analysis is measured very similarly between Google Analytics and WebTrends. GA relies upon a series of utm parameters, and WT relies upon WT.srch andor WT.mc_id. Currently WebTrends is configured to measure visits, page views, unique visitors, clickthroughs, revenue and a host of many more metrics for many appropriately tagged campaigns. Google Analytics is configured only for Google Adwords. That said, the GA reports provided for this Acquisition source are far superior to those found in WT.
Paid campaigns such as zwoops that have appended a campaign identifier have a very similar count of Page Views. Note WebTrends does not Total Visits due to the overcounting of Visits that would occur..
Google AdWords Campaigns <ul><li>The highlighted (and disputed) metric displayed above may be more closely aligned with WebTrends campaign tagging that is more in line with the various Google Campaign buckets. </li></ul>Visits will only count once per session and are grouped together. Increase of visits may be due to varied campaign distribution.
Traffic Sources The acquisition pie chart is wonderful and must be admired. Out of the Box Google has managed to display the 4 key acquisition points to most sites. Unfortunately the granularity does not extend far past this point. WebTrends provides varied levels of granularity in listing different referral sources as well as the list and filtration methods used to group domain traffic.
Traffic Sources As seen, WebTrends for better or worse provides a much more detailed viewed into the actual referral domain. This makes comparison with Google Analytics difficult against sources with many known domains such as Yahoo, Google, and maybe even searchingbooth.com. Direct Traffic is something that likely is defined and categorized differently by both providers.
Organic Traffic <ul><li>When trying to view Organic Search traffic it becomes even harder to truly compare. </li></ul>In WebTrends, Referrals are counting each and every time a user comes in through Search Engine, and for each key phrase used. Google may only be counting one instance per Visitor.
Organic Traffic <ul><li>Yahoo was much closer when also excluding for yahoo mail users. </li></ul>You will also notice WebTrends shows all domain variances including country and product line. This makes in near impossible to try and compare.
<ul><li>In Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics and WebTrends are essentially based upon the same data collection methods. Therefore, the collection metrics (Pages, Visitors, Visits) should remain roughly the same. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and Campaign Segmentation results start to separate due to varied methods in the way each tool needs to be configured. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics provides visually rich, quick, contextual data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WebTrends provides flexible and robust segmentation in a definable manner </li></ul></ul>