Baffles some of the best coders on the planet!

8 replies
Alright, I'm not sure if anyone will be able to figure this out, but it's worth a shot:

Basically Google analytics is showing that people are converting and downloading my software, however, I require the user to fill out a form before downloading. I have confirmed the numbers in my google analytics with the logs.

Here's my page: it's HTML and Javascript only.

The problem is that I am only receiving about 25-50% of the form submits in my google sheet. How is this possible??? :confused:

For example, you will see there are 3 inputs on 5/14 shown here:

You will see that Google reports 6 conversions on 5/14. Meaning 6 downloads here:

How can this be?? How can a user download the software without submitting a form? Even if the user submits a BLANK form, Google would report a timestamp (note I have validation on my form).

So here's the code I use to submit the data to google and load the downloading page:
<scripttype="text/javascript">var submitted=false;</script> <iframename="hidden_iframe" id="hidden_iframe"
style="display:none;" onload="if(submitted)


<formaction=" EE6MQ&amp;ifq" id="commentForm" method="post" name="commentForm" onsubmit="submitted=true;" target="hidden_iframe">

Naturally, I thought that maybe I need a delay as the page is reloading before Google Sheets can collect the data. So I tested 10-15 submits while trying to lag and provide various inputs.. they all were successfully entered into Google Sheets as shown here:

.. I failed to recreate the bug.

So my question is what can be causing this bug??

Here's the page's code: Franchise Analyzer Professional - Franchise Analyzer Pro 5

If ANYONE can solve this problem, I will give you anything you want. Seriously. Anything.

P.S. Thanks in advance for the help - maybe you are better than some of these "hot shot" coders.
#baffles #coders #planet
  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad
    Well, I signed up to get the download link. Then I pasted that download link in another browser (no session, no cookies, no signup, no google sheet).

    So now you should have one form submitted and two downloads from me in your log

    You can protect your download if you want to, so that people have to sign up first. Of course, that only protects from people sharing the link. They can still send the software to each other once they've downloaded it.

    As it is now, it's possible to access both the download page and the download .exe itself without even going to your sign-up page.

    How did you set up the goal in Google analytics?
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    • Manfred,

      Thanks for your response. The goal is set up for every time a UNIQUE visitor goes to /downloading/. What's strange is I can go in my log and I see 6-8 uniques IPs that visited the /downloading/ page. However, I only had 2 people fill out the form. I can't figure it out!

      You are correct and I am OK with allowing users to visit the /downloading/ page without filling out the form. I will note that I have other links that do not require a form. However, I have accounted for these.

      Here's the reverse log from google analytics on 5/14 when I only had 2 form inputs:

      (entrance) >>/franchise-analyzer-pro-6/?OVRAW=free commercial analyzer software&OVKEY=free franchise information&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=5664366523&OVKWI D=28915791523&OVCAMPGID=89590523&OVADGRPID=2300069 411&OVNDID=ND2 >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1) (entrance) >>/franchise-analyzer-pro-7/?OVRAW=Matco&OVKEY=matco tool franchise&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=5664367023&OVKWID= 28913781023&OVCAMPGID=89590523&OVADGRPID=230006941 1&OVNDID=ND2 >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1) (entrance) >>/franchise-analyzer-professiona/?OVRAW=matco tools&OVKEY=matco tool franchise&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=5634081023&OVKWID= 28913781023&OVCAMPGID=89590523&OVADGRPID=230006941 1&OVNDID=ND2 >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1) /register/ >>/ >>/features/ >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1) (entrance) >>/franchise-analyzer-pro-downloa/?OVRAW=carpet franchise&OVKEY=carpet franchise&OVMTC=standard&OVADID=5634130523&OVKWID= 28915473023&OVCAMPGID=89590523&OVADGRPID=230006941 1&OVNDID=ND2 >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1) (entrance) >>/franchise-analyzer-pro-3/?OVRAW=fantastic sams&OVKEY=fantastic sams franchise&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=5664364523&OVKWID= 28913817523&OVCAMPGID=89590523&OVADGRPID=230006941 1&OVNDID=ND2 >>/downloading/

      16.67% (1)

      I also received your input in the Google form... Do you think I need a delay or something? Maybe people with slow connections (or really fast) have the browser move to the downloading page before sending the data to Google. That's the ONLY thing I can think of causing this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad

    So, the concept is like this, if I understand you correctly:

    1. the visitor fills in the form
    2. onsubmit then submitted=true
    3. the target for the form is hidden_iframe
    4. when hidden_iframe gets the request, it fires its onload event
    5. onload checks "submitted" and redirects the main page to the download page

    is that correct?

    If that is the case, the script is first posting into the iframe and then "onload" redirects to the download page... might be an issue there.

    What if you use normal frames instead? The frame that the script post into can still be hidden, but the benefit would be that you can have the script redirect to the download page after submitting without "interfering" with the form post..?

    I hope that was clear enuf
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    • Good idea Manfred.. The problem is I'm not a coder. I have shown this issues to many coders (some who are quite reknowned - books, essays, etc published by them) and they don't know what the issue is.

      I beleive your analysis is correct, although you would have to look at the code to determine if it's correct. Can you develop another solution that would be more robust?

      Let me know.

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  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad
    Yeah, sure

    I'm guessing you are hosting your site on the Squarespace platform. Do you have access to customize the code? (PHP/html/javascript-code)
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  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad
    Just sent you an email!
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Wright
    From what I see from your source code, a user does not have to fill in the form page in order to reach your download page.

    It is possible that a user goes directly to the download page and bypasses the form submission and hence the information isn't collected by Google.

    It is more likely to be robots/spiders, instead of human users, that are accessing the download page. They would simply parse the your form page and extract your download link and follow on to the download page.
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