Google Analytics: Users vs Sessions vs Pageviews

At first glance, Google Analytics Audience Overview can be a bit overwhelming, as it presents a lot of metrics, and some of them are closely related. For example, the Users, Sessions and Pageviews metrics are hard to distinguish, which is why we wrote this quick article.

What’s the Difference Between Users, Sessions, and Pageviews?

  • The Users metric represents the number of unique people that visited your website at the selected time frame. So if five people visited your website on Sunday morning for ten minutes, then left your website and came back on Monday morning, they will be counted as the same Users, so you had give Users visiting your website in total.
  • The Sessions metric represents the number of visits to your entire website. So if a single user visited 3 pages in your website on Sunday morning, that will be counted as one Session. If that user came back again on Monday morning to view 5 more pages, that will be counted as another Session. So in this example, there were two Sessions counted for that User.
  • The Pageviews metric counts each individual page view by any of your Users. Each session can include multiple page views. For example, if a user navigated to 5 different pages on your website on Sunday morning, and then 5 more on Monday morning, the total Pageviews count will be 10.

Summarizing the differences between Users, Sessions and Pageviews

What’s being countedNumber of unique peopleNumber of website visits, from entrance to leavingEach page view is counted (potentially multiple page views in each session)
Expiration (recounting starts)N/ASessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivityN/A
Multi-device impactUsers will be counted separately when accessing from multiple devicesSessions will be counted separately when accessing from multiple devicesIrrelevant, as page views are counted on each impression anyway

Looking for a simple Google Analytics alternative?

It's not surprising that you're looking for help finding your way through Google Analytics. Over time, Google Analytics has grown to be a very useful, but at the same time very complex tool. Finding your way through hundreds of reports, filters and visualizations can become very cumbersome when all you want to do is get some very simple metrics about how your website is doing and whether you're gaining more traction to it.

With Visualime Analytics, you can get simple analytics set up within a couple of minutes. It's also privacy-first, so it doesn't use any cookies and doesn't track any of your users personal information.