When Visits Aren’t Visits


  1. Hi Ana,
    I was wondering about what you mean by “Segments apply to the entire visit, so making a segment on a page works with the visits metric”.
    That if I make a segment for page = “dogs.html” the visits count show how many visits that saw that page, not just the ones that landed on dogs.html?

    In that case, am I right that “The visit is ONLY associated with the landing page” does not apply to segments?

  2. Hey Maria,
    Exactly, if you make a segment for page = dogs.html, and then navigate to Audience > Overview, the visits count will show all visits that saw that page, not just the ones that landed on it. That’s why it’s better to use segments in the case that you want to see total visits (or other visit-related metrics like orders, revenue, etc), NOT filters.

  3. Thanks for replying so quickly!
    Do you have any official Google source for this beside your own reports? Couldn’t find anything this specific in the Google help pages.
    Do you know if this applies to (advanced) filters for entire profiles as well? Or do they use “the segment way”?

    1. ha, I just checked and also couldn’t find anything in the help pages that clearly addresses this. However, you can verify that this is the case by making 2 custom reports: one with Page as the dimension and Visits as the metric, and the other with Landing Page as the dimension and Visits as the metric. They will be exactly the same. Also note that the default Content > Site Content > All Pages report doesn’t use Visits as a metric (it uses Unique Pageviews) so this only becomes an issue when you start customizing certain reports/dashboards.

      If you make a profile that filters out traffic except for on certain pages, the overall visit count will reflect normally (i.e. it will show visits that passed through the page, not just landed on the page). Hope that helps 🙂

      1/10/13 UPDATE: I don’t know if this is new or I just didn’t find it before, but I came across some documentation here: http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2934985&topic=2524483&ctx=topic. It says:
      If you build a custom report that has page level dimensions (like Page, Page Title, or a page level custom variable) Unique Visitors might appear greater than Visits. This may occur when viewing the visits metric against any sort of page level dimension because visits are incremented on, and therefore associated with, the first hit of the session.

  4. Hi Ana,

    Have you seen this issue affect conversion rate data in the dashboards too? I’m seeing some discrepancies for conversion rates between what’s on the dashboard and in the Standard Reports while using the Page filter.. possibly because visits are used as part of the calculation?

  5. Yes exactly. You can’t use page filters with any visit-related metric, which include visits, revenue, conversion rates. etc. Basically if it’s not a metric available on the Content > Site Content > All Pages report, it’s not available when you’re using a page filter.

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