How accurate are website traffic trackers?

Abi Abrahams, Thursday 11 October 2018
7 min read time
 

 

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Your business website is like a bee hive of digital productivity. As the busy bees cast out to find nectar, returning it to the hive to make honey, your digital marketing team present campaigns to your audience, hoping to bring them onto your website and convert them into new business opportunities.

 

Your website visitors are valuable - they show an interest in your brand and could one day become clients. Tracking your website visitors makes sense; it boosts marketing strategy, improves lead generation results and progresses your sales pipeline. But how reliable are the tools we use to do this important job? Can they give us the accurate data we require? 

 

Why businesses use website traffic trackers

 

As with any piece of Martech, it’s important to understand why businesses need it, and what return we can expect from a new investment. The benefits of tracking website visitors are many; these visitors are such a vital part of business success. Whilst there are several ways to track website visitors, all offering different sets of data and insight, there is very little to lose by measuring your website traffic, and much to gain. 

 

  • Improve lead generation - The ability to understand where website visitors come from, what pages they look at and even who they are, opens your eyes to the power of website visitor tracking. Whether you use the data gained to drive more effective, personalized campaigns, to update your website for increased conversion or directly follow up new leads identified, tracking your website visitors vastly increases your lead generation success.
  • Promote lead quality - Website visitor tracking provides businesses with all the information needed to create a successful lead scoring system. This ensures only the highest quality leads, with the best chance of becoming clients are passed on to your sales team. This helps boost ROI on your website traffic tracker, whilst contributing to an improved lead nurture strategy.
  • Close more sales - Advanced website visitor trackers (such as Lead Forensics), alert your sales team to pipeline leads visiting your website. This helps your sales team take instant, timely action to improve sales pipeline movement and follow-up each important interaction with communications tailored to their business needs. This enables your team to close more sales, by keeping your brand and product always front-of-mind.

There’s little doubt - website visitor tracking can seriously boost your sales and marketing results. But we wouldn’t be proper marketers if we didn’t weigh up all the factors involved. How can we be sure the data gained from website visitor trackers is accurate? Sometimes it sounds too good to be true… 

 

Common causes of inaccuracy

 

There are many different reasons the data produced by website visitor trackers may not be 100% accurate. Some of these are small, and easily fixed, others are more intricate, and some we just have to accept as part of the website tracking world. Here are 3 common causes of website traffic tracking inaccuracy: 

 

1) Different tools, different rules 

 

As website visitor tracking is so useful to businesses, there are many different tools available to do the job. This is a positive thing - as it offers a wide variety of tools to choose from, but this can also cause confusion and inaccuracies… 

 

As these tools all measure slightly different data, many marketers use more than one to get a broad picture of their website audience and their needs. But where one tool may measure most visiting location and another doesn’t, it’s likely both these tools will measure the big data- overall web traffic, popular pages and common referrals. This is where discrepancies occur, as different tools show different results leaving businesses to ask which is closer to the truth.


There is a simple explanation for this - tools have different rules in how they measure and count website metrics. Google Analytics for example doesn’t count repeat visits from the same device within a half hour period - it’s all counted as one single visit. Other tools, such as Lead Forensics count every individual visit. This means the number of overall web traffic will vary between these two tools. To be sure on what is accurate, understand the rules behind the measurements. 

 

2) The IP problem 

 

Whilst there are some inaccuracies we can easily fix, the IP problem sadly isn’t one of them; however, if we are aware of the inaccuracy, we can easily plan around it. IP addresses allow computers and other electronic devices to access the internet and online networks with a unique identifier, appearing as a short collection or numbers or code. These IP addresses help some website visitor trackers identify visitor location, contributing to insightful audience understanding to better campaign planning and design. 

 

However, IP addresses come in two forms, static and dynamic. Static IP addresses remain constant (a device will always use it when connecting to the online world), but a dynamic IP is ever-changing. This means website visitor trackers struggle to correctly extract useful data from a dynamic IP address, miscommunication results and causing inaccuracies.


Added to this, IP addresses are assigned to a device by an ISP (internet service provider), so when their location is tracked, an external database is often used to identify the location. This database can sometimes be vastly out of date, once again causing the data gathered to be less than 100% accurate. 

 

3) Installation frustration 

 

This is a common cause of data inaccuracies, and luckily - it’s an easy fix too! A vast number of website visitor trackers use a JavaScript code to gather visitor data and report it back to the user. As many tools differ, and many web-developing software differ too, it’s easy for businesses to incorrectly install their code and gain inaccurate readings. Some codes only need to be added once, and they will automatically appear on all pages, others will need adding to every individual page you’d like to measure, otherwise you’ll only get a partial view of your website visitors. 

 

Take the extra time to check you’ve properly added the tracking code to all the pages needed. Your web developer will be able to help you with this, as will the supplier of your website visitor tracker.

 

The best tools for data accuracy 

 

We’ve done some digging, and to get you started on the right foot, here’s a few of the most accurate tools available for website visitor tracking. Each tool offers a variety of information, helping organizations improve results and grow their business. 

 

  • Google Analytics - A globally popular tool used on 30-50 million websites, Google Analytics provides advanced website metrics, including big data figures such as overall traffic and most popular pages alongside finer visitor details like most visiting locations and industries. Google Analytics remains an accurate tool because of its ability to detect false visits, triggered by automation or bots. It recognises real people, and accurately measures their behaviours.
  • Similar Web - This tool offers comparable website metrics to Google Analytics but delves deeper into search engine optimization and keyword success, helping businesses boost marketing campaigns and content creation. A recent study discovered that Similar Web was highly accurate in its ability to correctly measure how visitors arrive on your website. Some organic searches are difficult for website traffic trackers to attribute, and Similar Web was only 1% away from total accuracy- not a bad score!
  • Lead Forensics - Offering an innovative business lead generation solution, Lead Forensics doesn’t just track your website traffic, it identifies them too. Using an advanced IP tracking solution along with a privately-owned database of business contacts, Lead Forensics can provide the names and locations of visiting businesses with contact details and website journey analysis, all in real time. The data provided remains highly accurate thanks to the 100+ people working on the three rounds of data verification and annual cleanse. Lead Forensics are proud to offer a highly accurate and effective website visitor tracking solution. Find out more - book your free demo today!

With these tools set up, you’ll gain a highly detailed account of your website visitors, understanding who they are, how they found you, and what you need to do next.

 

Free guide - Revolutionize your business lead generation with the latest technological advancements! Find out more- download B2B lead generation: how modern technologies offer new business opportunities for free today!

 

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Topics: Lead Forensics, Lead generation, Business management, B2B marketing, IP tracking

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