You might be surprised with the headline of this news article however it is quite true in most cases unless you have analyzed your data correctly and install correct filters in your Google Analytics.
Most small business in fact even big businesses are reading wrong data from Google Analytics and as a consequence may be taking wrong decisions.
Lets get straight to the point.
No #1 reason you are reading wrong data is because of fake referral traffic which can show increase in visitors and show higher bounce rate which may not be the case in reality.
For example: In your Analytics Click on Acquisition > Overview> Referral and you may see lots of traffic from following sites such as top1-seo-service.com or copyrightclaims.org or santasgift.ml ,etc in the image below which are all fake and not only that if you look carefully all these sites would have almost 100% Bounce rate which may create unjustified fear in your mind that may be your site content is not good enough for engagement.
No #2 reason for reading wrong data is -you may be counting your own company internal traffic to your website as visitor traffic (which again give you inflated figure).
Your site internal traffic (your employee visit to your site or your own visit to your site) can leads to misleading information in your Google Analytics.
Because you employees don’t act like visitors and alter the metrics such as users, sessions, page views, conversion rate and attribution reporting, which will have direct impact on your bid strategies and business decisions.
Bounce rate and average session duration can also be severely altered because of not excluding internal traffic.
For example your web developer may be working on your site for 2 hours at a time which is very high session duration and actual duration of visitor to your site may be low say 30 seconds but average of visitor and your site developer will be modest which will give you misleading info.
Following image reflect the difference in number of visitors after blocking fake referral traffic and internal traffic to a small business website over a week.
To be continued…