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Identifying unique users

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# 1
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What is the best metric for identifying unique site users within a specified date range? We noticed that the new and returning visitor chart does not match the "Users" metric. Can you clarify if the New and Returning Visitor pie chart double counts users within a specified date range? Also, given that the sum of the New and Returning Visitors is greater than the "Users" metric, can you clarify whether all users are reflected in the "Users" metric?

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Identifying unique users

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Users is the right metric. 

 

'New Visitors' are sessions where the Google cookie did not exist -- i.e. a first recorded visit ever of that user (or they deleted the cookies).

'Returning Visitors' are sessions where there was an existing Google cookie in the browser. A single user could be represented multiple times in this number. 

A single user can be both a 'New Visitor' and a 'Returning Visitor' in the same report.

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Identifying unique users

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# 3
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Thanks Mike S, for replying the answer, then how & from where we can check the real numbers of users or people which are new or returning users on the website ?

 

 

In behavior >> New Vs Returning >> Sessions 

 

We can see the sessions in first column. Is this is the real user number ?

Identifying unique users

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

If you want "users" use the "users" metric (Audience Overview report). The New vs returning report does not show users; only 'new users' which are actually new users' first sessions. In new vs returning sessions, the new sessions is the number of new users to your web site. The returning sessions could be all the same people (new users that returned), or different people, or one person many, many times. A single user can have one or more sessions.

 

What you can deduce from the data (with example numbers to try to clarify):

e.g. 1000 users during period, 400 new sessions, 1200 returning sessions.

 

400 new sessions; therefore 400 of the 1000 users were new, 1000-400=600 were returning users.

 

Of the 1200 returning sessions, 600 were returning users, but the remaining 600 could have been any of the 1000 users that made another visit during the period (a new user that returns would have a returning session; a returning user that returns would also have a returning session).

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Identifying unique users

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# 5
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Hello there @Mike S! Maybe you can answer me for something I've been looking for for a while: whats the difference between "new users" and "new visitor"? Because, although they are similar, the numbers are always different.

 

A real example I got from my work:
newusers_newvisitor.PNG

What I really am trying to understand here: the difference between 3,115,127 (new users) VS 3,067,459 (new visitor).

 

I already read this link about the topic, that everyone references to, but it was not much help.

Thanks in advance

Identifying unique users

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

An odd quirk of GA...At midnight, GA restarts all of the sessions. On a daily basis, the numbers are consistent. Across multiple days, the new session at midnight causes duplication in the New Users count. The Users (New Visitor) count is de-duplicated, so it is lower...and the more accurate of the two.

 

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Identifying unique users

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# 7
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Thanks @Mike S! But, just to confirm, are they really measuring the same thing? The numbers are different because the "new users" are the sum of daily new users in the selected timeframe?

 

 The image, that was broken on the last post:

newusers_newvisitor.PNG

Identifying unique users

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Yes, confirmed. To verify for yourself, click into the New Visitor row, then select a Secondary Dimension of Date. Add up the first column of Users (by date) -- it should total to the New Users number at the top.

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Identifying unique users

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# 9
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Thanks so much Mike, for solving the "mistery" =)