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I have an odd puzzle with Google Analytics

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by nocare, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. nocare

    nocare Junior Member

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    Hey all, been a while since I've been in these parts.

    I manage a website. Hosted on aws. Load balancing, 2 Servers, Aurora Mysql with replicas, images on S3 and a Cloudfront distribution.

    Our site isn't the fastest but it does ship 1.5-4MB in 2-4 seconds. Varies as ads loaded double everything. Those are on a 3 second timer and do lazy-load. I have done a lot of load testing and at 5 hits a second it can handle traffic without skipping a beat. At 7/8/9 hits per second for a sustained period the server starts to feel it.
    We only get about 7 hits a minute at our highest peaks so this isn't a worry to me.
    GA siteSampleRate = 100. I can see the timing hit fire after ~13ms when I load our site.

    Okay, so the problem I have is Google Analytics Page Speed. It shows, over thousands of samples, that our site loads in 10-20s average for users.
    I've gone ahead and set up pingdom and over the same period it reports a 4.7s median.
    Traffic is mostly coming from IPad tablets via Google ads... oddly enough.

    I know the server is fast. I know it's not suffering and slowing down. Yet i'm getting a barrage of hate over stats in GA.

    Here are some statements I get:
    It's going to negatively affect our SEO score because google uses that info in GA.
    It's going to affect the CPC price we get in Google Ads
    It's keeping our bounce rate high
    It's keeping our time-on-site low
    Our site is slow

    The trouble I have is I am the lead dev in a 2-dev team and I have stuff to do. Fighting data wars with bad marketing is a major waste of my time. I've already gone though a few months of time just optimizing the site and getting it to this speedy state.

    I'm open to being wrong. Pingdom tells me I'm not wrong. GA tells me I am. Nobody cares about anything but what GA says. I can't find anything regarding GA to help me overcome this.

    I could use some advice. I'm feeling like a scapegoat.
     
  2. davids355

    davids355 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Is it worth checking with google page speed insights? To see if that highlights some issue you might have missed in terms of speed?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. nocare

    nocare Junior Member

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    Yeah I've run through many of those tools which is where my site speed metrics come from. Pagespeed Insights at this point complains about things that would take a lot of work and not actually produce any results. It would just please the tool. We ace GTMetrix and YSlow. Our limitations found via JMeter are way beyond actual traffic numbers as well.

    Pagespeed insights is a moving target as a tool. We Reached 80/100 at one point and the tool made changes so we sit at 50/90 now. We test better than the majority of sites we compare ourselves to including our competitors.
     
  4. Guybrushthepirate

    Guybrushthepirate Registered Member

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    Google Analytics data, as far as refers to site speed, is misleading. GA only take a small sample of data when it goes to page load analysis (I think is 1% or even less), so this may bring analysts to wrong conclusions.

    I think you may work around in part the problem by modifying the tracking code and force GA to increase the sample data. You can find teh documentation on how to do that on Google Developers > Analytics > Measurement > analytics.js
     
  5. nocare

    nocare Junior Member

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    Yes I've already set siteSpeedSampleRate to 100 and verified it fires on every reload.
     
  6. nocare

    nocare Junior Member

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    I found the real issue.
    Slow internet connections (bad 3g, etc) load the site slowly.

    FML. As a dev this will be one of the worst things I have to spend time on. We have a 1.5mb payload and that takes 25s on perfect-scenerio slow 3g. 2g and below may as well be dial-up.
    Thanks to all who looked at this.