What Happened to Visitors and Visits in Analytics?
You probably don’t follow the Google Analytics blog as closely as the data nerds at Blue Corona do, but by this point you might have noticed that Analytics is no longer reporting two very important metrics: “visitors” and “visits.”
According to an April 17, 2014 blog post,
- The Visitors web metric and Active Users app metric are now unified under the same name, Users.
- Visits are now referred to as Sessions everywhere in all of Google Analytics.
“Visitors” in Analytics Are Now Reported as “Users”
Looking for “visitors” metrics in your Google Analytics profile? If you take a look at your Audience > Overview dashboard, you’ll notice that “visitors” have been replaced by “users”:
According to Google, “users” refers to the total number of users to your property for the requested period of time.
Along with this change, the names of the following metrics and dimensions have also changed:
- “Visitors Flow” report in Google Analytics is now called the “Users Flow” report.
- “Visitor Type” is now reported as “User Type.”
Note: “User Type,” which defines whether someone is a first time user or a returning user, is still being reported as “New Visitor” and “Returning Visitor” for the time being. Not sure if this was an oversight or if the update is still being rolled out to some accounts.
“Visits” in Analytics Are Now Reported as “Sessions”
Taking a look at your Audience>Overview dashboard again, you’ll notice that the “visits” section has been replaced with a “sessions” section.
According to Google, “a session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc.”
This changes a couple other metrics and dimensions you might be used to seeing:
- “Time on Site” is now reported as “Session Duration.”
- “Avg. Time on Site” is now reported as “Avg. Session Duration.”
- “% New Visits” is now reported as “% New Sessions.”
- “Pages/Visit” is now reported as “Pages / Session.”
- “Visit Count” is now reported as “Session Count.”
- “Days Since Last Visit” is now reported as “Days Since Last Session.”
Check back for any future updates on Analytics and other online marketing news. And if you need some help analyzing your data, I know a guy. (It’s us. We’re the guy.) Learn why it pays to have someone analyze your “free” Google Analytics data.
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