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Google Analytics. When Unique Visitors is Higher than Visits.

One of the most important things about the data you look in your monthly metric reports is to pause and to ask yourself if the data you are seeing makes sense. One of the things I encountered in the new model for reporting metrics in google analytic is that in some reports the Unique Visitors Reports is higher than Visits. In some cases, Google Analytics report more visits than unique visitors for any given page.

 

For example if we look at the overall comparison of our metrics for the month of March 2012 for X Company, it seems to make sense. Visits higher than Unique Visitors. And this actually makes sense to certain extent. 

 

 

Now, if we do a segmentation for these same reports for the /ASIA/ region we will find out that Unique Visitors is Higher than Visits, and you might ask yourself “why?”

 

 

 

 

So after looking at this report we will be asking ourselves how it can be that there are more Unique Visitors than Visits to a Page?

 

Well, it turns out that the answer lies in the data model used by Google Analytics.  The visit is assigned to the first page but not subsequent pages, whereas unique visitors are assigned to each page:

 

For example:


Visit=1                Visit=0                  Visit=0             Total: 1 Visit

 

Unique                Unique                 Unique

Visitor=1             Visitor=1               Visitor=1          Total: 3 Unique Visitors

 

 

You might probably think if there is any case where pages have 0 visits attributed to them?

And the answer is Yes, There sure are.

 You can just add a secondary dimension to segment this custom report by “Landing Page” for example:

 

 

Let me know if you have any questions and if the data model used by Google Analytics makes sense.

 

Pablo Trinidad
Web Developer and Founder | Web Analytics and SEO

Picassosweb.com

trinidad@picassosweb.com

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Hi Pablo,

I have a question regarding the data model for unique visitors.

If this is how the data model for unique visitor works, then how can we get the absolute unique visitor of a website?

Because this kind of data model shows that a count is added everytime a visitor views another page, then it is no longer considered as unique visitor of a site..

Hello Claire,

You cant the way Google Analytics is setup for the public. You can use other tools like Omniture, DMS in .Net 

Google just launched "Universal" Analytics, so I am hoping they fixed this issue with had with asynchronous.

I have other articles I have written, here is my site if you are interested in reading those.

Dallas SEO 

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