What is the number of Google Analytics sessions?

1.What is the number of sessions

The number of sessions refers to the number of times a series of flows from a search or advertisement entering a website to exiting the website.

The amount of time users interact with your site or app. If a user does not perform any action for more than 30 minutes, subsequent actions are considered new sessions. If a user leaves your site within 30 minutes and returns to the same site, it will be treated as the same session.

Source: Sessions-Analytics Help

Take a look at the diagram below. A browses the site at 9:00 and 13:00, and B browses the same site at 16:00. In this case, the number of sessions for Mr. A is 2 and the number of sessions for Mr. B is 1. In total, the number of sessions is 3.

Visits in Google Analytics

The session count is independent of the number of pages viewed. It is a measure of how many times a user has visited your site.

2. Differences in number of sessions, visits, and inflows

Visits and inflows are synonyms for sessions and have the same meaning.

The above words all refer to the number of times a user has visited the site.

3. Number of sessions and number of browsing starts

Visits are a measure of how many sessions have started on that page.

This means that the total number of starts on all pages of the site is equal to the number of sessions on the site.

However, the values are not always the same in the following cases.

Visits are counted at the first hit of the session, while browsing counts are counted at the first pageview hit of the session.

If the first hit in a session is not a pageview, there may be a difference between the number of visits and the number of views.

Source: Differences in Analytics Google Ads clicks, sessions, users, starts, pageviews, and page visits-Analytics Help

4. How to calculate the number of sessions

As I said earlier, "The number of sessions is the number of visits to your site."

Sessions are counted for each user

The number of sessions is counted for each user. For example, the number of visits to a site is the sum of all visits by users who have visited the site.

Also, in Google Analytics, "user" does not represent "person" but the browser that "person" operates. For example, if A accesses the site at the same time using a PC browser and a smartphone browser, it will be counted as two sessions.

After 30 minutes have passed since the last access, it is counted as a separate session

The same session will be maintained as long as you continue to access the next page within 30 minutes after displaying the page. On the other hand, if you access the page 30 minutes after displaying the page, it will be counted as another session.

For example, if you browse the page every 10 minutes from 9:00 to 9:20, it will be counted as one session. Forty minutes later, if you continue browsing the page every 10 minutes from 10:00 to 10:20, it will be counted as one session. There will be a total of 2 sessions.

In addition, if the page view (viewing the page) does not occur and the event occurs within 30 minutes, it is considered the same session. Even in the case of SPA (single page application) where page transition does not occur, if the event continues to occur in response to user operation, the session is maintained.

The default session duration (session timeout) is 30 minutes, but you can change it in Google Analytics settings. However, the time that can be specified is from 1 minute to 4 hours.

Sessions are counted daily

The number of sessions is calculated every day in the Google Analytics aggregation process. So, at 0:00, all sessions end once. If you access over the date, after 00:00 will be counted as a separate session.

For example, if you keep browsing the page every 10 minutes from 23:30 to 0:30, you will count as 2 sessions.

Inflow from another campaign source is counted as another session

If a visitor arrives at your site and then enters your site through a different campaign path, it is always considered a separate session. The 30 minute rule does not apply.

For example, first access Site A with Google search. Ten minutes later, if you return to Site A from a link on another Site B, it will be counted as two sessions.


Reference: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565?hl=en

5. Number of sessions and number of PVs (number of page views)

The number of PVs (number of page views) indicates the number of times the page was loaded.

A page view is when the page is loaded (reloaded) into the browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.

Source: Pageviews-Analytics Help

For example, suppose that Mr. A browses pages A → B → C in order and leaves.

Difference between sessions and PVs in Google Analytics

In this case, the number of PV of the site is counted as "3", but the number of sessions is counted only as "1".

6.Number of sessions and number of users (UU number)

The number of users (UU number) indicates how many users viewed the page.

The "Users" and "Active users" metrics show the number of users who viewed or interacted with your site or app.

Source: How to use demographics to identify users-Analytics help

Visits in Google Analytics

In the example in the image above, A visits the site and visits the site again after more than 30 minutes have passed. After that, B visited the site and left.

In this case, the number of sessions is "3", but the number of users is "2".

However, the Google Analytics "user" does not represent a "person" but a "browser" operated by a person.

If you are using a different "browser" than when you visited, the number of users will be "3", the same as the number of sessions. (The same applies when using a different PC or smartphone)

7. Sessions and Clicks

"Clicks" in Google Ads refers to the number of times a user clicked on an ad.

At first glance it sounds the same as "sessions", but it is a completely different metric.

"Clicks" and "Sessions" are separate metrics

Google Ads counts “clicks”, while Analytics counts “sessions”. For example, if a user clicks on an ad twice within 30 minutes without closing the browser, Analytics records it as one session. This is true even if the user left the site and returned immediately. Specifically, if you click the ad once, then click the back button and click the ad again, it will be recorded as one session in Analytics, but as two clicks in Google Ads. Will be recorded.

Source: Differences in Analytics Google Ads clicks, sessions, users, starts, pageviews, and page visits-Analytics Help

8. Estimated / average number of sessions

Since the access data such as the number of sessions varies depending on the genre of the site, etc., it cannot be said that it is a rough guide, but as an example, the number of monthly sessions of this blog is shown below.

Anatomy Blog Monthly Sessions

At the moment the monthly sessions are around 14,000.

9.Unit of the number of sessions

As described above, the number of sessions is counted as one unit, "a series of flows from the visit to the site until the user leaves."

10. How to increase the number of sessions

Here are some ways to increase the number of sessions:

・ Use advertising and increase inflow from advertising

・ Increase inflow from search by taking SEO measures

・ Create content that is quoted from external sites.

・ Increase the number of inflows to sites using SNS

11. How to check the number of sessions in Google Analytics

There are three ways to check the number of sessions with Google Analytics, as follows. The method of checking depends on what you want to know the number of sessions.

① If you want to know the number of sessions on the entire site

After logging in to Google Analytics,

1. Click Audience> Overview
2. Check [Entire Site Session]
Google Analytics shows site-wide sessions from the "users" report

② If you want to know the number of sessions of the referring page

1. Click on Acquisition> All Traffic> Sources / Media
2. [Session of each referrer] can be confirmed
In Google Analytics, you can see the number of sessions by source from the “Acquisition” report

③ If you want to know the number of sessions on each page

1. Click [Actions> Site Content> All Pages]
2. [Browse] indicates the session of each page
In Google Analytics, you can see the number of sessions per page from the "Behavior" report

As you can see, in Google Analytics, even if the number of sessions is the same, the method of checking changes depending on the number of sessions.

12. Access analysis tool "Anatomy" that can easily check the number of sessions

With the access analysis tool "Anatomy" that visualizes Google Analytics, you can easily grasp information on inflows on one screen.

First of all, in Anatomy, the number of "sessions" in Google Analytics is clearly described as " inflows ".

And the inflow number of each reference source is the numerical value written on the blue icon (①). And when you look at the screen capture display part (②) on the right side, you can see the top 8 pages with many transitions from the reference source.

1. Inflow icon (Google search)
2.Top 8 pages with many transitions from Google search
In the access analysis tool "Anatomy", you can check pages with a large number of inflows for each reference source

To check the number of inflows on each page, simply click the inflow button (①). The number of inflows for each page is displayed on a green tile (②). If you want to know what page it is, hover over the green tile and you can see it in the screen capture (③) on the right. Furthermore, if you want to know only the search inflow among the inflows, click the search inflow button to switch the numerical value on the tile.

1. Inflow button
2. Number of page inflows
3. Screen capture
Access analysis tool "Anatomy" allows you to check the number of inflows per page at a glance

In this way, in Anatomy, the number of inflows for each referrer and the number of inflows for each page can be easily checked on one screen. And it is very convenient for analyzing because you can understand the screen capture and the transition of the user together.

Conclusion

Knowing the number of sessions on your site is very important in your access analysis. However, if you find it a little annoying to use Google Analytics, try "Anatomy" once.

If you have any concerns about your Google Analytics settings, such as the source / media settings not working properly, there is also a service that can diagnose the settings of Google Analytics, so please try them together.

Click here for related articles ▼