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 the following:

  • The "total visitors" count is not associated with 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 may be 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. This means that the same user may be counted as a new user when:
    • they visit TARL via their computer at home, then on their mobile phone or another device.
    • they then look at the site on a computer in the library,
    • they clear their cookies on a device, they become a new user again.

This means that although Google Analytics is a good guide, is often not 100 per cent representative of user activity in your reading lists tenancy.

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