The difference between AdWords Clicks, and Sessions, Users, Entrances, Pageviews, and Unique Pageviews in Analytics

Data in your Analytics account can be easy to misinterpret due to the many similar terms used in different reports. Below you'll find a more detailed explanation of the terms that most often lead to questions.

Clicks vs. Sessions

There is an important distinction between clicks (such as in your AdWords reports) and sessions (such as in your Audience reports). The Clicks column in your reports indicates how many times your advertisements were clicked by users, while Sessions indicates the number of unique sessions initiated by your users. There are several reasons why these two numbers may not match:

  • A user may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, AdWords records multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one session. This is a common behavior among users engaging in comparison shopping.
  • A user may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark. The referral information from the original session is retained in this case, so the one click results in multiple sessions.
  • A user may click on your advertisement, but prevent the page from fully loading by navigating to another page or by pressing the browser's Stop button. In this case, the Analytics tracking code is unable to execute and send tracking data to the Google servers. However, AdWords still registers a click.
  • To ensure more accurate billing, Google AdWords automatically filters invalid clicks from your reports. However, Analytics reports these clicks as sessions on your website in order to show the complete set of traffic data.

Learn more about the differences between clicks and sessions.

Sessions vs. Users

Analytics measures both sessions and users in your account. Sessions represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the users to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional session and an additional user. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional sessions, but not as additional users.

Sessions vs. Entrances

Sessions are incremented with the first hit of a session, whereas entrances are incremented with the first pageview hit of a session. If the first hit of the session is not a pageview, you may see a difference between the number of session and the number of entrances.

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Content Overview report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.