Google Analytics Changes: Visits and Unique Visitors now Sessions and Users

Google Analytics rolled out some changes in April 2014 rather quietly, changing the naming of some of their most important metrics. The terminology changes were made to better support Google’s new Universal Analytics, which can measure traffic across both web and apps.

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Visits is now Sessions

The first major change is that Google Analytics has changed Visits to be called Sessions. The concept of sessions has always existed in Google Analytics, as a way of measuring actions a visitor takes on your web site within a given timeframe. Google Analytics defaults the session length to 30 minutes, though it can be customized to between 1 minute and 4 hours.

This means that if a user visits different pages on your web site, downloads files etc., and then views more pages several hours later, these are considered separate sessions (and previously would have been labeled as separate visits).

 

Unique Visitors is now Users

Secondly, the previous app metric Active Users has been combined with the web metric Visitors, and both are now just combined under the same name, Users.

In addition to unifying the reporting across web and app reporting for the new Google Analytics Universal Analytics, it also makes things a bit less confusing as Visits and Visitors often caused confusion since the terms are quite similar. This is why Visitors were generally referred to as Unique Visitors — and now they are Users, which makes more sense still.

 

For any users of the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards, which imports Google Analytics data into Salesforce to be displayed as part of your Salesforce dashboards, we will be updating the labels on the fields and reports in our next release in early June. That release will also include geographical data and improvements on reporting on Users (formerly Unique Visitors).

 

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