Google Analytics and the Statistics panel collect data in different ways, and give different results.

How Google Analytics collects data

Google Analytics tracks visitors using a JavaScript program that a visitor’s browser requests each time they view a page. This JavaScript program sets a tracking cookie to track the visitor as they browse the site.

Due to data protection laws, including GDPR and PECR, the visitor must agree to accept cookies before Google Analytics can load. If the visitor doesn't accept cookies, they will not be tracked. This particularly affects visitors who bounce (leaving the site without viewing another page) as they are more likely to ignore the cookie notice.

Furthermore, many browsers now include tracking protection features that block Google Analytics even if the visitor accepts cookies, either by default (in Firefox), or if the user enables stricter tracking protection (in Edge and Safari).

As a result, Google Analytics will not include many of your visitors.

How the website editor collects data

The website editor counts all page views. It can determine these with complete accuracy as it is responsible for serving the pages being viewed. After serving the page, it records the following information:

  • The time of the request
  • The requested URL
  • The referring URL (the page on which the visitor clicked a link to the requested page)

The referring URL is used to determine whether the page view is the start of a new visit or the continuation of an existing visit, and is used to create the entry page and exit page reports.

As none of this information is personally identifiable data and cookies aren't used, data protection laws don't apply and visitor consent isn't needed. As a result, the statistics panel includes all of your visitors.