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Destination Goal completions don't ALWAYS match Unique Pageviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

If a goal is counted only once in a session, and a Unique Pageview is also a once-per-session pageview count, shouldn't the unique pageviews for a goal page be equal to the destination goal completion counts? This is not our case.


Destination goal regex  ^/(home|for-your-home|business|for-your-business)/products for March 2 shows 1,831 more unique pageviews than goal completions:

9,568 unique pageviews (All Pages Report filtered against same regex)

7,737 goal completions


I exported the Goal URLs and the filtered All Pages Reports to find the discrepancies, and they're all over the place:

  1. some have to do with different page titles (which I understand impacts unique pageview counts and are not considered in the destination goal counts which are purely URL-based),
  2. others are over/under counted by either the Goal URLs Report or the All Pages Report (while some are perfectly represented in both), 
  3. others are in the the All Pages Report and not at all in the Goal URLs Report. 


The total for all these variances adds up to the observed 1,831 difference.


Why would GA not consistently count a unique pageview matching the regex as a goal? or why would it sometimes count it as a goal but not as a unique pageview?


See sample of spreadsheet in image below showing matches/non-matches between the two reports.

 sample_spreadhseet.PNGcomparison sample

Thanks for any light you can shine on this!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Destination Goal completions don't ALWAYS match Unique Pageviews

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi :-)
Only information i can find on this is the following:


Unique Pageviews/Screenview

Why doesn't the number of goal completions always match the number of unique pageviews or screenviews?


Goals are a count of how many sessions reached a certain page/screen or group of pages/screens. This may not exactly align with unique pageviews and unique screenviews. For example, your user went to /index > /step1 > /thankyou > /thankyou/confirmation, and you've defined your goal as /thankyou using head match or regular expression match. In this example, there are 2 unique pageviews for /thankyou and 1 goal completion.


In web views, unique pageviews are determined by the URI and page name combinations. For example, if you had a URI /thankyouconfirmation with the names 'Thank You' and 'Confirmation', then there would be 2 unique pageviews but only 1 goal.

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Destination Goal completions don't ALWAYS match Unique Pageviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks, Bronwyn, for taking the time to answer. We've accounted for the URL+Title combination nature of unique pageview counts. We'll take another look at the regex logic.