Google Analytics: Why Daasity Reports on Sessions

Here are Daasity we always recommend looking at sessions from Google Analytics (GA) instead of visitors when tracking your website traffic or doing further analysis.

The reason we make this recommendation is because of how Google tracks sessions vs. visitors and displays that in reporting.  Let's take this example:

Person Device Channel
A Desktop Paid Social
A Mobile Paid Search
A Desktop Direct
B Desktop Organic Search

We would naturally think that GA would report this as 2 visitors but depending on how we analyze the data within GA.

  1. Visitors are defined by a Unique ID that Google is able to assign to a device and link to a user across devices.  Why is this important?  If Google was unable to link the Mobile and Desktop devices for Person A then Google would report on this as 4 sessions and 3 visitors
  2. Visitors are reported on based on the granularity of the data.
    • If we wanted to know the number of visitors at the channel level then Google will take the same visitor coming through a different channel and show that as a unique visitor so we would see the above as 4 sessions and 4 visitors.
    • If we wanted to know the number of visitors at the device level then Google would report this as 4 sessions and 3 visitors.
    • If we wanted to just know the overall number of visitors then Google (assuming it could match the mobile and desktop person together) would report on this as 4 sessions and 2 visitors.

So you can see from the above example that Visitors can be very misleading as the number will change depending on how you extract the data but Sessions are always the same and this is why Daasity uses sessions in our reporting and recommends that you do the same.

So other great tips and tricks on Sessions and Visitors.