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Sessions are 1/3 the number of clicks?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

In Google Analytics, if I go to: Acquisition > AdWords > Campaigns I can see that over the last month the site received 1052 CLICKS from adwords campaigns to the website.

However, if I go to: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels I see only 237 sessions from Paid Search and 17 sessions from Display ads.

Now yes, I'm conflating Clicks with Sessions, but I'll explain why...

If we add up the 237 sessions from Paid Search plus the 17 sessions from Display ads, we arrive at 254, which is pretty close to the 237 sessions that the Adwords report (Acquisition > Adwords > Campaigns) has in the sessions column. But how does 237 get anywhere close to the 1052 clicks on Ads that are bringing them there?

But why do we have almost 4 times that number of clicks to sessions? Or put another way, why is it taking nearly 4 clicks per session, and getting billed as such?

Re: Sessions are 1/3 the number of clicks?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi David


Clicks and Sessions are different metrics.


Clicks gets recorded when any user clicks on the Adwords Ads. Google charges you on the basis clicks on most of it's ad types.


While Session calculation in Google Analytics is not as simple as that of Click. According to Google, following steps are required to fulfilled before a session is calculated.


  1. When the click takes place, the browser is pointed to the advertiser's landing page.
  2. The advertiser's website then responds to this request and starts to transfer data from the web server to the user's browser.
  3. When the browser starts to download the landing page, there may be a request for several files at the same time, including JavaScript, CSS, images, video, audio, etc. The requests for JavaScript include the Analytics tracking code.
  4. The JavaScript file (ga.js or analytics.js) must first be downloaded and interpreted by the user's browser.
  5. The user's browser/device and security settings must support:
    • Cookies
    • JavaScript
    • Images
    If any of the above are disabled, Analytics may not be able to record a session. Universal Analytics doesn't strictly rely on cookies and users may handle client ID in their own ways.
  6. Next, the browser sends a separate request to, the Analytics servers.
  7. Finally, a session is recorded.

I hope this explains the difference you are getting in your account.


Following are the links you can refer to:


Re: Sessions are 1/3 the number of clicks?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Thank you for your response.

Yes, I understand the difference (and stated that in my post)

What I'm looking at is a difference of 3:1 clicks vs sessions. That seems
very off, wouldn't you agree?

Re: Sessions are 1/3 the number of clicks?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Yes, the difference is definitely on the higher side. Can you just check where did you place your analytics tracking code on your site..

Ideally it should be before the closing head tags </head)> on every page of the website you wish to track.

More details here: