Hi, Lauren Kaye here with this week’s Content and Coffee with Brafton. What would you think if I told you Google Analytics reports don’t show the whole picture of your website traffic? Click play to watch the video below and find out more about your site traffic, or read the full text below. 

Don’t worry, the search engine isn’t withholding data about your visitors (that we know of). It’s actually doing you a favor by filtering out a significant portion of site traffic that comes from bots.

Around 61 percent of all visits are bots – not human visitors. That’s according to a report from security platform Incapsula, which studied 1.4 billion visits to 20,000 sites over a 90-day period. This study showed people only make up about 38 percent of your website traffic.

Remember that favor I mentioned? This is where it comes in. Google filters out most of these bot visits, including traffic from its own search crawlers. That way, content analytics reports only show you the instances when humans actually visited your pages and engaged with your content.

Bots are responsible for over 60 percent of the visits to brands' pages.

If this information was mixed in with data about bot visits, it would be that much harder to get an accurate read on how many people are coming to your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing once they get there.

But, this does mean that when we look at analytics reports, we’re really only seeing a small piece of the bigger search traffic pie. There is more going on than meets the eye, and we need to consider the broader scope to make smarter marketing decisions. Crawlers might be visiting your pages more than people, but that speaks to the importance of SEO and how frequently content is indexed.

And this is something we need to remember when looking at any single metric in content analytics reports. They’re all part of a bigger picture that we may not be able to see or understand by isolating the variables. A healthy web marketing strategy demands that we consider what’s going on at the peripheries, too.

Thanks for tuning in! Catch you next week, and happy content marketing.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.