Are your measurements correct?

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You have done your research, you gained the proper insights and you have proven the worth of both yourself and SEO.

But what if I told you that you are mismeasuring? Do you know how to fix such an issue?

Up until 2012 (or more accurately, up until 2014), Classic Analytics ruled the web when it came to measure your organic website traffic. In 2013, Google offered people to upgrade to Universal Analytics easily and swiftly (whether you liked it or not).

Classic vs. Universal

The main difference between the two is how they track sessions.

A session is described as a 30 minute window where user’s activities are logged in the system until timeout (unless you change it to a different time set). If an individual had been idle for 30 minutes, and then resumed his activities, a new session was tracked and attributed for such an individual.

But Universal is different; it doesn’t start a new session, it paints the same user as one that reached our site via a referral channel, the source being our website.

The main boggle here is that we might be working with wrong data sets when trying to measure the effectiveness of our efforts as we attribute different sessions to different sources.

How big a problem is it? According to Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller, at least 95% of websites did not know of this problem at all and how easy it was to fix it.

The fix is very simple to implement, all you need to do is add your referral domain to the referral exclusion list and that’s it.

Caveat emptor, you have to make sure that your site is implemented with the Universal Analytics tracking code for this to work properly.

How to make sure it’s there? Universal Analytics tracking javascript file name is analytics.js while Classic’s is ga.js.

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