The blog or web owners who have used Google Analytics tools in reviewing their blog or web statistics are certainly familiar with the term “session”. However, there may be among us who still can not understand clearly what the exact definition of a “session” is. And to distinguish with other terms such as “hits”, “page views”, “users”, etc, is also not a simple matter.
Google Analytics has already given the definition of a “session” by “a group of interactions that take place on our website within a given time frame”. It means that “1 (one) session” may consist of several activities on the same website. In the other words, 1 (one) session can contain :
-multiple page views
-multiple social interactions
-multiple events, or
-multiple e-commerce transactions.
This can be analogous when someone visits a bookstore. In first visit (within a certain time allocation), he will probably do some activities, such as reading books, talking with shopkeepers, or make purchases of some books. Thus, he has 1 (one) session with multiple actions within a certain time frame.
How A Single Session Is Calculated ?
Based on the Google Analytic rules, a single session will be calculated in a specific time frame. By default, a single session starts at minute 0 and expire at minute 30 (it means that a time frame for a single session is 30 minutes). When a user, say, Randy, immediately arrives on your websites, he may firstly visit your home page at 10.00 am (spent 1 minute) and continued to visit your second page (spent 5 minutes). So his session will expire at 10.36 am. If there are no any kind of interaction from Randy between 10.06 and 10.36 am, so the first session will end at 10.36 am. If Randy continues to interact with new elements before 10.36 am, Google Analytics will reset the expiration time by adding an additional 30 minutes from the last interaction. Otherwise, when he leaves your page (not active) after the last hit and come back after 30 minutes, then he starts a new session. So, for one user, Randy, in this example, has record 2 (two) sessions which each session may have several page views, social interactions, events, and transactions.