Are my Google Analytics goal numbers inflated?

Sometimes your Google Analytics goal numbers might seem off. What causes this? Can it be prevented?

Video transcript:

So yesterday, I was at the online Local-U, which is about local search and Google Analytics. I know a lot about analytics. And then I hear somebody who knows a lot more than I did. I often set up a thank you page as a goal- thank you pages as a separate URL. One of the things that they were saying was (I wonder if you ever experienced this or checked on this) that sometimes, people may keep a tab open for you. I haven’t had that come up because I noticed that. However, many say it goes through. I usually have that many people that are scheduled appointments. Bye. So, what are your thoughts on that, David?

I go into Google Analytics and create a filter to weed it out. I’m continuously checking every month. I want to make sure. Sometimes I’ll be like, “Wow! Look at how many leads we got this month!” Then you’re like, “oh crap, that someone has a tab open somewhere.”

I work with a guy Who had so many tabs up and couldn’t close them. You couldn’t use the mouse to click the x. He alone was generating leads for clients. We went into his computer when he left for lunch. We changed the setting on his browser to delete all the tabs on reopen. When he got back, he was mad, but he couldn’t even close those old tabs.

Suppose that is one of the examples. so some people will say, “Because of that, you shouldn’t use confirmation pages.” Either way (like if we do events), those can have duplicates, too. Universal Analytics said, “We’re giving you goals submission forms and stuff like that, but don’t treat these as real numbers. treat these as trends.” So even Google Analytics acknowledges that. Just because analytics says “five” doesn’t mean you got five. Instead, use it to compare against itself, and you’re going to end up being able to have an idea of your success.

There are all kinds of things that you go wrong when a goal is triggered: a javascript code error that’s not throwing the event or a plug-in on your browser conflicting with the javascript that was not through the event. Etc. You can’t guarantee the numbers.

I use confirmation pages because I think it’s a better user experience. It reassures me that I have done something, But I acknowledge when I report to my clients that when I say that you got fifty leads last month, I don’t know if you got fifty. You got around fifty. Is that good or bad? Compare it to last month. Better: compare it to the same month the previous year. Now we know whether that’s good or bad.

You can try yourself crazy, going through and accounting for every lead submitted. Besides, most, like WordPress sites, record the submission of forms. It just doesn’t attribute the source to it, which is what could go into analytics

So it’s true, but things go wrong either way.

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