Sessions in Expert and Google
A session is a period of time where a user interacts with your site. A new session begins when a user loads a webpage, and ends when they close the browser or are inactive for 30 minutes. Interactions after 30 minutes of inactivity are part of a new session for that user.
When does a new session begin?
- When a user visits your site
- When a user who was not logged in logs in
- When a user leaves your site and comes back after more than 30 minutes
- When a user is on your site, leaves their computer for more than 30 minutes, then returns and continues navigating your site
- When a user closes their browser and returns to the site in a new browser window
What ends a session?
- Closing the browser
- 30 minutes of inactivity
- When the user's computer changes from one day to the next
- For example, if they start browsing at 11:30 PM and finish after midnight
- Turning the computer off and on again, because this will close the browser
- For Google, when the campaign source changes
- When a user arrives at your site via a search engine, referring website, or campaign-tagged URL such as an ad banner
What does not end a session?
- Opening a page on the site in a new tab or a new window
- Leaving the website and coming back within 30 minutes
Why do my site reports show more Expert sessions than Google sessions?
In Expert, a single user can generate two sessions. This happens when, for example, they begin on the site as an anonymous user (not logged in) and then log in at some point during that session. In this case, the Anonymous session will end, and a new Seated Member session will begin.
If a user declines my site's cookies, does their session still count?
Yes. Session cookies are considered strictly necessary, so they are enabled even when a user disables other types of cookies.
The Sessions Insight Report breaks down user sessions and behavior to help you understand how and why customers use your site.