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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
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More sessions than pageviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Simply clicking on Audience>Overview shows that there are more than four times as many sessions as page views. Not only do these numbers not make sense to me but the sessions numbers are almost four times the number of sessions of any other month we've ever had. Why is this happening now when we have not had a change in our Analytics settings or site code?


Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.58.41 AM.png

Re: More sessions than pageviews

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Mike,


This hasn't happen to me but I did some research and found it's pretty interesting.

In short words, visitors may have hits rather than pageviews.
Hit types include:

  • Pageview
  • Event
  • Ecommerce transaction
  • Ecommerce item
  • Social interactions
  • Userdefined

Create a segment for sessions with pageview=0, then check these reports for this segment:

  • Behavior - Events 
  • Acquisition - Social
  • Conversions - Ecommmerce

The hits in these reports should cause the problem.

Let me know what you find.




Re: More sessions than pageviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'm not used to using segments in analytics. How would I set up a segment that has all sessions where pageviews=0?

I created a new segment and under advanced>conditions I selected I created a new filter for sessions and used exclude. Then I set the conditions to page>contains>[domain] of the site. I was hoping this would set a filter on all sessions and exclude any sessions where there were no page views but I believe what I created was a filter that simply shows me all sessions that had a page view to a URI that does not contain my base URL.

Re: More sessions than pageviews

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭


If you have only one domain tracked in the GA property, which is the most common and proper use case, you don't need {condition: [page] contains...}. Simply include pageviews=0 like below




Pay attention to the timeline of each report and see if there is a spike at the same time when your first screenshot indicate.





Re: More sessions than pageviews

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

This helped out a ton. I was able to pin point a direct correlation between the spikes in sessions without pageviews and a event we have running on our site.


Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.32.34 PM.png


My question now is do events trigger sessions? How do I have so many sessions without pageviews that seem to be triggered by this one event?

Re: More sessions than pageviews

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Yes, events can trigger sessions.
Without any additional information, I would guess how this happens:
1. Users get to your site and then have not any hit for 30 minutes so the first session expires.
2. After first session expired, they did a hit (such as a video play, download a file, etc) which activate a new session!
3. But since the hit action does not reload the page or go to another, there is no new pageview sent to GA.
4. As a result, you have sessions 2X the number of pageviews. Repeat this procedure you can get even much higher multiples.
The proof is that All these sessions within this segment are returning visitors with bounce rate 0%.
By default, GA session timeout is 30 minutes. Depending on your audience behavior, you may wanna extend session timeout.

Let me know if my guess already addressed your concern or not:-)

If still not, please explain a bit about the background of this event: what purpose is it for? where do you send it from? how do you use this information? A URL where this event gets triggered may also help.