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Session is defined as the period of the time a user is active on your site or app.

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What are Sessions?

Google defines a session. 'as the period of the time a user is active on your site or app.'

During a session, Google Analytics collects every interaction a user makes on a website within a specific time frame, including the number of page views, screen views, transactions, etc.

A session is one of the top 15 metrics every marketing leader must measure in the website analytics tool.

What is the default session timeout duration in Google Analytics?

Each session will end after a certain period of time and below is the list. 

  1. Time-based expiration (ends after 30 minutes of inactivity)
  2. End-of-day expiration (terminate at the end of the day based on your time zone)
  3. Campaign-based expiration (ends every time a user's campaign source changes) 

Time-based Expiration

If users do not interact with the website for 30 minutes, their session will end automatically.

When visitors leave the website open without doing anything, their session expires in 30 minutes. However, if the user returns after 20 minutes, clicks on a link, or scrolls the page, the session is extended by another 30 minutes

End of day Expiration

A session will automatically terminate at the end of the day and according to the time zone settings.

For example, If a user visits a page at 11:40 PM, the session will end automatically at 11:59:59 PM, and new sessions will start at 12:00 PM

Campaign Based Expiration

A session will expire if a user returns to a website from different campaign sources like Google, Facebook, and Email.

For example, Google Analytics stores information when a user visits a website through a specific link from the campaign. The first session will expire if that same user visits the page through a different campaign

To know more about session timeout, read our blog, everything you need to know about session timeout in Google Analytics.

What is the Average Session duration in GA?

Average session duration is a metric that measures the average length of sessions on a website. GA begins counting a session from the moment the user lands on the site and continues counting until the session ends.

Google Analytics calculates average session duration by dividing the total duration of all sessions ( in seconds) during a specified time frame by the total number of sessions during that same time frame

What is a good average session Benchmark?

According to the research, a reasonable benchmark for average session duration is between 2-3 minutes.

Any session that lasts longer than three minutes is considered a good average.

Engaged session in GA4

GA4 has removed bounce rate as a metric from the interface and replaced it with Engaged Sessions. Engaged Sessions offer a deeper insight into how visitors interact with the content, giving a more nuanced understanding of their behaviors.

The number of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds had a conversion event or had 2 or more page or screen views.

It is possible to extend engaged sessions from 10 seconds to 60 seconds.

Why is it essential to track Sessions?

One of the most important metrics to analyze a website's performance is 'Sessions' in Google Analytics.

The more you know about the visitor's interaction with a site, their behavior, and the website's performance, the better it is to help with their marketing efforts.

Evaluating a website's sessions makes you know how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing efforts are performing for your business.

How to measure the Session in Google Analytics?

To measure the session, first open Google Analytics, then in the left-hand column select the audience tab, then overview

In the Overview report, GA displays the total number of sessions per specific period.

How to measure the session in Google Analytics 4?

To measure session In GA4 first go to reports, then click on the acquisition, then select the traffic acquisition there you will see the sessions reports.

How do visualize sessions in Dashboard?

In Dataflo, we segment data based on the session duration, % of a new session, session per user, and session by channel, which will help you analyze this metric in a more detailed way.

Take a look at the data visualization for more on how to track sessions in a Dataflo dashboard.


Session in Dataflo Dashboard

Session Duration

Session duration in Dataflo Dashboard

Percentage of New Sessions

Percentage of new Session in Dataflo Dashboard

Session Per User

Session per User in Dataflo Dashboard

Session by Channel

Session by Channel in Dataflo Dashboard

Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a session on GA4 ?
How to find sessions in Google Analytics?
What is an engaged session?
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