Google Whisperer’s Guide to GA4 Reports: Pages per Session
No matter how hard we all complain, Google Analytics 4 is not going away. As we have discovered, the easiest way to conquer GA4 is one report at a time. This next Google Whisperer guide is all about page visits per session. An important part of measuring the success of any website is seeing how many sessions a page had during a period. After all, a fair amount of SEO work is building new pages and optimizing existing ones and being able to determine the relative success of this work is vitally important.
In Universal Google Analytics, the process was straightforward. In Google Analytics 4, it is an entirely different ballgame. The process is not difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but it requires using a different set of tools while changing your approach.
Before we get started, let’s define a session. Per Google, “A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions.”
It’s important to note that sessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivity, at midnight, or by leaving the site and returning via a different campaign or medium. A real-world example of this last option is fairly common. For example, if a user originally arrives on the site through an organic search, then leaves to do some comparison shopping, but sees a retargeting ad and clicks on it, they would start a new session rather than be considered a returning user.
With all of that out of the way, let’s take a look at how to view the number of sessions per page.
The first step in the process is to go to the Analysis Hub and click on Exploration:
After you click on Exploration, you’re presented with two columns of options (Variables and Tab Options) and the report itself. Notice that you can set up more than one “exploration” of the selected data.
For the purposes of viewing sessions, we need to add some Dimensions and Metrics.
- Click on the + to the right of Dimensions and a panel will open on the right side of the window with a search interface
- Search for Page Path, click the box to the left of it, then search for Session medium: Cross-channel last click, click the box, then click the Apply button
- In the Rows section of the Tab Settings column, drag and drop Page Path on top of City to replace it
- Repeat the previous step in the Columns section, replacing Device category with Session medium: Cross-channel last click
- Click on the + to the right of Metrics, search for Sessions, click the box, and then click the Apply button
- Replace Active users with Sessions in the Value section
The report now shows the most popular pages down the left column and the session medium in columns. The pages are sorted by name starting with / (the homepage).
If you have been following the Google Whisperer Guides to Google Analytics 4, you already have your testing GA4 property set up and can start matching your previous page load goals to new GA4 conversion events. And don’t worry. If I lost you in the land of reporting, reach out and I am happy to help anytime!