Google Analytics - Visitors

We are often asked how visitor numbers are calculated in Google Analytics and how this could differ from actual student numbers.

It is important to note that total visitors is not associated to having a user profile in Talis Aspire Reading Lists (TARL). This includes users visiting the site that may not be part of the university.

Google analytics has the concept of new and returning visitors, so a user maybe counted more than once.

Google Analytics uses cookies to track user’s behaviour, these cookies are specific to the browser and device which is being used. So when a user visits TARL via their computer at home, then on their mobile phone or device, they will be classed as a new visitor on both occasions. If they then look at the site on a computer in the library, they are a new visitor again. Likewise, if they clear their cookies on a device, they become a new user again.

This means that though a good guide, Google Analytics is often not 100 percent representative of user activity.

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