What is the difference between “sessions” and “page views” in Google Analytics and Analytics Counter? I have your counter on my brand new blog and I have one very, very, long page. I would think in my case that sessions and page views would be the same. Am I wrong?
Session and Page Views are two different Google Analytics metrics.
Session is a set of actions made by one user in your blog within particular period of time (session continues until user make some actions on your website). By default in Google Analytics session lasts for 30 minutes. If during 30 minutes a user does not make any actions on your blog, this session will be finished, and once he/she renews activity (after 30 min) it will be considered as a new session.
It is possible to set the length of the session in the Google Analytics settings.
Why it is necessary to customize the length of the session? It is true that each website / blog has different content. Some of them has only text, another photos, another videos, some a combinations of everything. As a result it takes different period of time to view everything and stay active on site. This influence session duration.
On text sites, a user can leave the site after reading several articles on pages.. The period of action on the site by such users is rather short, so setting the session duration of 30 minutes will be suitable.
But what about video sites? Videos can be of different duration, from 1 min to 1 hours. Perhaps, the user will watch videos longer than 30 minutes. According to the standard settings in Google Analytics, the session of this user will automatically end after 30 minutes of inactivity. But in reality, the user will still be on the site. If a user renews activity on the page since 30 minutes, this 1 session will be split into 2, as a result there will be 2 sessions made by one user.
In this case, it makes sense to set the session duration slightly longer than the length of the longest video.
Done with sessions, let’s move on to page views.
Page views shows the number of viewed pages during this very session. For example, if you have 3 pages and new user visited your blog and checked 3 pages, you would see: Session: 1, Page views: 3. So, during one session user can view a particular number of your pages, 1,3 or all pages, depends on user.