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sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi - In the past week my GA traffic (both sessions and pageviews) have dropped considerably. Meanwhile my views on Wordpress stats have increased. Typically there is regular relationship between the two types of stats but now it is way off. I have not made any changes to my blog or GA code. Has there been a change in the GA algorithm? How do I know which numbers are correct and which number are wrong?

 

Thanks for your help!

Micaela

1 Expert replyverified_user

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Micaela,

 

A few of things come to mind that may be contributing to the data discrepancy between WP and GA. 

 

1. Have you checked week-over-week stats within your channel report in GA? Make sure to add a secondary dimension of Source/Medium to drill down to gain better insights. It is possible that specific channels may have fluctuated and are not recording within WP, but are in GA or vise versa. Try and pin-point a channel or multiple channels that may have contributed to the data fluctuation.

 

2. Have you added any new pages to your blog? If so, ensure the GA code has been placed correctly on these pages, as they could be receiving traffic, but without the GA code they will not track correctly so therefore traffic won't compare accurately from GA to WP. Try using this free tool to see if your GA code is missing on any pages: http://www.gachecker.com/

 

3. Have you adjusted any of your GA filter settings recently? Exclusion filters or hostname filters? If so, this could be contributing to data discrepancies as well.

 

Run through these and let me know if you are still experiencing issues.

 

Cheers.

 

 

-Tyler

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Have you applied any filters to your Google Analytics? That would be the first thing I checked.

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Number 3. (filters) is already mentioned above. 

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Tyler -

 

I checked the week-over-week stats as you suggested. The change in data started on July 21st. My primary channels are Organic Search and Pinterest - and the data drop/discrepancy is evident in both of those channels. 

 

The GA checker has not shown any problems and I have not done anything to my filters.

 

Any other ideas or suggestions?

 

Thanks-

Micaela

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Ok, well good to know that your filters haven't been edited to alter traffic. Also, glad to know that the GA code is present on all pages within your site.

 

What is your current date range? I suggest expanding it to a 12-month period to understand logical data fluctuations around each individual channel. Navigate to the channel report then expand your date range.

 

Ask the question: Do I notice traffic a pattern with the traffic ebb and flow? 

 

In addition, reference the check box to left of both "Organic Search" and "Pinterest" within the channel reports. Check both of these boxes then click the "Plot Rows" button that will populate to the left of the "Secondary Dimensions" button within the channel report. 

 

Once you have plotted the rows over the year timeline, reference the report to see if your recognize certain changes in the date within the line graph. Also, be sure to toggle through the day, week and month options to see how data is reflected.

 

If organic search is your dominate channel (willing to bet it is), then I would look at what specific landing pages are contributing to the decrease in traffic. Do this by adding a secondary dimension of "Landing Page" to the channel report to reference organic performance for those pages. 

 

If you noticed sharp decreases from select pages from the organic channel then it's time to look at Google Search Console to see if you have lost impression share of those select landing pages which can indicate a need to conduct proper on-page and technical improvements.

 

Let me know what you find and we can discuss more.

 

-Tyler

 

 

Re: sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

GA drop off July 21 2017.jpg

I looked at the data the ways you suggested and did not come up with any conclusions. As you can see from the screenshot attached, the drop off occurs with both organic search and pinterest. It looks more dramatic with search but only because it is the strongest channel. And as I mentioned before, my Wordpress stats are not dropping in this manner.

 

Also, I looked at the landing pages and was not able to isolate a problem with any particular page.

 

Thanks for your help with this!

sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 8
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Thanks for the screen shot.

 

Ok, looks like all channels are being impacted here, but again "Organic" being the most prominent.

 

Were you able to check Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to see any errors were present? We'll need to figure out if the site suffered a possible penalty or if this is just a fluke. 

 

Also, take at the new vs. returning users report. Ensure you are looking at a month over month timeline (26 days over 26 days is fine). If this is segmented to just new users and organic is the channel that is decreasing the most, then this may be related to the current amount of pages indexed within search engines and could possibly be related to a penalty or development error.

 

Another report to reference is the device overview report to see which device is the culprit (desktop, mobile or tablet). If it's segmented to mobile then that could tell us more about that problem as Google is cracking down on un-friendly mobile sites.

 

Let's keep digging here.

 

-Tyler

 

 

 

 

 

Re: sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Tyler,

 

I looked at Webmaster Tools and I received this message on July 3rd:

Nonsecure Collection of Passwords will trigger warnings in Chrome 56 for http://mindfulmomma.com/

I have one password protected page on my website for a resource library (no payments collected) and they want me to switch to https. 

Would this be causing a penalty?

 

New vs returning users report: Both segments are decreasing. Organic search for new users actually increased slightly month over month (see attached)

GA new vs returning July 2017.jpg

 

Device overview showed the decline in both places. I switched to a new mobile-friendly theme in April so I don't think this is the issue.

 

Anywhere else we can keep digging?

Micaela

Re: sudden drop in GA traffic vs Wordpress stats

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 10
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Yes, if you collected payments on the site then it would be mandatory for the entire site to be migrated over to a secure setting Https vs. Http. Either way, I'd suggest moving it over to a secure server ASAP. Security is now a component of Google's algorithm, as they are more likely to rank a site higher if it is secure over non-secure.

 

In search console, can you locate the 'Manual Actions" report and let me know if it says anything?

 

 Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 4.52.14 PM.png

 

I doubt you are going through any type of penalty right now, so breath a sign of relief! 

 

On a separate note, I'd suggest that you don't share your URL address. Instead, you can share it through a URL shortener. Sharing your URL will allow search engines to pick it up for this thread in certain cases.

 

I still think it might be a particular page or group of pages that might be contributing to this error. Also, browser data might share some insights as well.

 

I may suggest you grant me "View Only" access to take a quick look within GA to see if I can exhaust a few different scenarios. If you are willing, I'd be happy to take a quick look. Once I'm finished, you can delete my access.

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009702?hl=en

 

Chat soon.