You may have noticed a difference in the number of organic visits reported as sessions in Google Analytics and those reported as SEO visits in OnCrawl when using Log Monitoring.

Why are there differences: the short version

Here's why you're seeing differences:

Google Analytics reports values based on samples for selected time periods. This may be different if you have a Premium account in Google Analytics.

OnCrawl counts all individual visits, day by day. 

To check this, you can force Google Analytics to give you day-by-day values by limiting the date range to a single day. If you have large volumes of visits, this can produce a difference of +/- 5% for certain days.

Why there are differences: the details

Reasons for differences in reported numbers

OnCrawl and Google Analytics may count different visits.

  • Google Analytics counts sessions from all visitors.
  • In OnCrawl, if you choose not to crawl subdomains, the "SEO visits" only reports organic sessions for the domain that was crawled (and excludes sessions for subdomains). Depending on how your Google Analytics account is set up, this may not be true in Google Analytics.

OnCrawl counts SEO visits, but Google Analytics counts sessions.

  • Google Analytics groups visits within a 30-minute period (or until a user leaves the site, whichever comes first) into a single session. A user may come back to a page multiple times within a session; however, Google Analytics will only count this behavior as a single visit, or "session".
  • OnCrawl counts every time a user requests and views a page. For SEO visits, OnCrawl counts every time a user opens your page by clicking on a link from Google, no matter how much time has passed since the last visit.

OnCrawl doesn't use aggregate sampling, even on Google Analytics data.

  • When using the Google Analytics API to fetch data, OnCrawl requests daily data rather than aggregated data for a given period. This allows OnCrawl to compare similar data: daily data in OnCrawl is compared to daily data from Google Analytics.
  • The longer the period you're looking at in Google Analytics, the bigger the sample size used by Google Analytics. Consequently, if you're used to looking at long periods of data in Google Analytics, when you view the same Google Analytics data in OnCrawl, it may look different.

For more coherent statistics, OnCrawl provides data for SEO visits from Google.

  • OnCrawl's SEO visits are SEO visits from Google (a single search engine) in order to facilitate comparison with Google bot hits.
  • Google Analytics reports on all organic sessions. See the section "How to check data concordance in Google Analytics" below for information on how to view only visits from Google in Google Analytics.

Why choose one method over another?

Aggregate sampling
This method makes trends and changes over extended periods much more visible. This makes Google Analytics a great tool for following general trends. It's easy to set up and use, and it shows data we're all used to interpreting.

Grouping page visits into SEO sessions
If you want to know how many times a page has been viewed, it makes the most sense to count page views.

Raw totals
If you want to track exact numbers, if you want an accurate snapshot for an audit, or if you want to process the data on your own, this method is more appropriate. If you have access to the server logs for your website, they are an ideal source for raw information.

How to check data concordance in Google Analytics

It's possible to compare the total number of sessions per page as reported by Google Analytics and SEO visits by OnCrawl (if logs are available). The sessions examined by OnCrawl are listed in Google Analytics as sessions per landing page.

Follow these steps to find the number of sessions for a specific page in Google Analytics.

  1. In your Google Analytics account, navigate to "Behavior", then to "Site Content" and "Landing Pages"
  2. At the top of the table of data below the chart, click on "Advanced"
  3. Make sure the drop-down menus list "Include", "Landing Page" and "Containing".
  4. Paste the URL you want to examine in the blank field.
  5. Click the "Apply" button.

Going further

If you still have questions about comparing sessions in Google Analytics with SEO visits in OnCrawl, drop us a line at @oncrawl_cs or click on the Intercom button at the bottom right of your screen to start a chat with us.

Happy crawling!

You can also find this article by searching for:
diferencias de cifras entre Google Analytics y OnCrawl, por qué el nombre de visitas SEO no es lo mismo, nombre de visitas orgánicas
différences entre Google Analytics et OnCrawl, pourquoi Google Analytics et OnCrawl ne donnent pas la même nombre de visites SEO

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