When looking at statistics found in iPaper and comparing it with data found in your Google Analytics rapports, there are bound to differences.

Defining a session

Foremost, there are key differences in the definitions of a session between iPaper and Google Analytics.

iPaper (Source: Flipbook statistics):
The registration of an iPaper session happens when one of your readers clicks your flipbook URL and view it.
Your Flipbook will then save a browser session cookie on the reader's device (PC, Phone, etc.) An iPaper session is therefore linked to a browser session.

So, returning readers will not be recorded again, as long as the user have not completely closed their browser program/app or turned off their device entirely.

As long as the user has the same cookie value, it is the same session. As such, iPaper does not track unique visits, but this metric is available by integrating with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics (source):

A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame.

For example, a single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions (...).

A single user can open multiple sessions. Those sessions can occur on the same day, or over several days, weeks, or months. As soon as one session ends, there is then an opportunity to start a new session. There are two methods by which a session ends:

  • Time-based expiration:

    • After 30 minutes of inactivity

    • At midnight

  • Campaign change:

    • If a user arrives via one campaign, leaves, and then comes back via a different campaign.

These differences in definition, will naturally mean that the number of sessions recorder will differ from these two very different marketing systems.

Is the Google Analytics script being loaded for all your visitors.

Another reason for differences between iPaper and Google Analytics can be attributed to the blocking of the Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager scripts.

Whenever the Google Analytics script fails to load, obviously no Google Analytics sessions are loaded.

But, because the iPaper data tracking script is built into iPaper. The iPapers sessions will always be recorded.

There are numerous reasons why marketing scripts, such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, are potentially blocked in the individual sessions.

Potential Google Analytics blockers include:

  • Cookie banners: The iPaper cookie policy feature will block all marketing cookies, unless explicit visitor consent has been given. Marketing cookies include Google Analytics and GTM scripts. Because the iPaper session cookie is functionally essential, those sessions are still recorded.

  • Google Analytics blocking browser extensions: Some users will have various tracking blockers installed on their devices. Once again the iPapers engagement tracking has the underhand because we fly under the radar so to speak.

  • Privacy-focused browsers, will block Google Analytics "out of the box.": Some browsers (such as the Brave browser) blocks Google Analytics as a default setting. Once again, iPaper will still count visitors using privacy-focused browsers.

As you can see, there is no clear winner here.
Given the way iPapers session tracking differs from Google Analytics, there should, theoretically, be more sessions in Google Analytics than in iPaper.

But, on the other hand, iPaper escapes the potential blockers, often leaving you with a higher session count in iPaper than in Google Analytics.

Please remember, this is only a partial list of reasons why your Google Analytics data does not always align with the session count and other statistical data found in iPaper. For good reason, we will never know the exact setup on each of our end-users devices.

For more information about Google Analytics, Please check out our other related articles.

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