Sessions and Users

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Terminology tweaks have been made within the Google Analytics interface. The updates align with Universal Analytics as we move towards measuring users across multiple touch points.

  • Sessions (previously 'Visits') are the total number of interactions that have occurred on your website, mobile app or other platforms that you are measuring. An example of a session is if someone comes to your website and views one or more pages. If they leave your website (or are inactive for more than 30 minutes) then the session ends and a new session is reported when they come back to your website (or view more pages).
  • Users (previously 'Unique Visitors') are the total number of unique individuals that have been to your website or used your mobile app (or engaged on other platforms). Technically it is the total number of unique user IDs that have interacted over the given time period. For example if someone viewed your website on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you would have a total of 3 sessions, this one individual would then be counted as 1 user.

Other terms have also been updated inside the interface to reflect sessions and users. For example Pages / Visit is now Pages / Session and Average Visit Duration is now Average Session Duration.

Technical Considerations: Unless you have implemented Universal Analytics with your own user ID, then a user will be counted for each separate device (or platform) they use. For example if someone visits your website on their laptop, then on their mobile there would be 2 users reported by default. However if you have a method for identifying that person across devices you will be able to modify your Google Analytics to count that person as 1 user across devices.