Unique Visitors in Google Analytics vs. Kissmetrics

Unique Visitors in Google Analytics vs. Kissmetrics

Google Analytics and Kissmetrics both use first party cookies and similar logic to determine the number of unique visitors to your site, and how many times they start a browsing session. Remember that every piece of data in Kissmetrics is tracked down to the individual person. What your account considers as “the individual person” is directly related to how you’re identifying people.

If Kissmetrics reports too few visitors…


Are you calling identify for anonymous visitors, before you know who they are?

If you identify anonymous visitors as “visitor” or “anonymous”, in essence, all anonymous activity will appear to be a result of one person named “visitor” or “anonymous”.

You can let our JavaScript Library handle generating these anonymous IDs and only identify after the person Signs Up, Logs In, or Subscribes to a Newsletter, all of which are actions that provide you some identifying information.

If you need to template the identify call for every page, you can safely call it with an empty string, to preserve the anonymous ID.

_kmq.push(['identify', '']);
  • Is your Google Analytics set up to track more pages or subdomains than what the Kissmetrics JavaScript is tracking?

You can check for this by looking for your own site as values to the Kissmetrics’ Referrer property.

  • It’s possible for one person to browse from several browsers (home, work, and mobile), and appear in Google Analytics as several unique visits. However, if you identify them in Kissmetrics, we can combine the activity from multiple browsers into one unique visitor. This opens up the possibility of Google reporting 2-5 times more unique visits than Kissmetrics would.

If Kissmetrics reports too many visitors…

  • This would be indicative of a visitor (a human person) being represented by several unconnected Kissmetrics identities.

The most common scenario that causes this is if you are trying to track your visitors’ progression across multiple domains. Please refer to these two articles for How Kissmetrics Handles Tracking Multiple Domains, and How Google Handles Tracking Multiple Domains.

  • Is Kissmetrics tracking more pages or subdomains than your Google Analytics setup?

You can check for this by examining the values of the Kissmetrics’ URL property, which indicates where people started browsing.

  • Have you set up GA to filter traffic that is generated from your internal IP range?

KM does not have such a filter built into it, though you may consider some of the methods to filter out internal users.