Sessions and page views – newbies and occasional users in particular often have difficulties finding their way around the terminology of this tool in the world of Google Analytics. Learn how Google Analytics defines sessions and page views in this article.
Information about sessions in Google Analytics
A session is a group of interactions that take place with your website within a certain time frame. By default, a user has a session on your site in which they perform a series of interactions, such as multiple page views or social interactions. So sessions are not the same as clicks. In addition, in the vast majority of cases, sessions will deviate quite significantly from the page views and click downwards.
In general, a single user can also open several sessions: The sessions can take place on the same day or even for months. However, a new session can only be started after the end of a session. In principle, Google Analytics distinguishes between two ways in which sessions are ended:
- Time-based end: A time-based end occurs either after 30 minutes of inactivity by the user or at midnight. The standard setting of 30 minutes can be set to a minimum of one minute and a maximum of 4 hours in the property settings, depending on your preference.
- Campaign change: This occurs when a user joins via a campaign, leaves the session and then returns to your website via another campaign. Analytics stores the campaign source information. So every time the campaign value is updated, Analytics opens a new session.
This is how Google Analytics determines the number of visits and sessions
Every time a user interacts with your content, Google Analytics assigns them a number. With every new session, this increases accordingly. For example, if user X first interacted with your content in January, the number of sessions will be 1. If that user visits the site again in March, the number of sessions will be 2. This will continue on each subsequent visit.
You can see an overview of the number of sessions in the frequency and topicality report in the form of a histogram. These are displayed in a range from 1 to 60.
Now you are safer in the world of Google Analytics! Time to look at bounce rate in the next article.