Website analytics tools such as Google Analytics will generally utilize cookies to record a user’s behavior. The cookies will always be associated with the specific browser you’re using, meaning, Chrome and Safari cannot share the cookie-generated on each browser.

The same is also true for individual sites since now most browsers block third-party cookies. So any first-party cookie generated on google.com will be different and inaccessible from the cookie generated on woopra.com.

When you visit a website with the Google Analytics code, a Google cookie will be generated and stored in your browser. When you come back to the site, Google will know that you’re a returning visitor since it’ll check for an existing cookie. This information gets sent back to google as a “hit.”

While this type of tracking can lead to general site analytics, such as which pages are viewed the most -- it really doesn’t help to understand the complete story. Since GA doesn’t track any emails or focus on individual profiles, this often leads to misleading numbers.

For instance, say we want to know how many times bob@email.com logged into your site. If Bob logs into your site on their mobile device and later logs in on their computer, Google Analytics cannot tell this is actually the same person since they only use cookies. It’s like taking a picture of the sky with your camera phone and then trying to find Saturn out of all the white dots -- not going to happen.

If you want to see Saturn, you’re going to need a better tool. Woopra is such a tool that can take a picture of the night sky and also has a telescope view to see Saturn’s rings. Woopra not only utilizes cookies but also focuses on individual profiles that track the complete user journey.

When Bob logs in on his mobile then later on his computer, Woopra will automatically merge these two profiles based on his email address. This results in one profile containing his complete behavioral history including both his mobile and computer events.

The takeaway here is that simply relying only on cookie tracking will only give you a partial and often inaccurate picture of your traffic. Having the ability to identify users will bring your analytics to the next level.