While traditional approaches may have been adequate in yesteryear, in today’s multi-device, multi-source realities, to understand user behavior, we simply cannot define sessions only in terms of time or navigation or rely on a single source of information for sessionization.
Average Session Duration is an easy metric to follow: It simply refers to the average amount of time that visitors spend on the site before leaving. Sometimes people bounce away from the site immediately, which creates a session of only a couple seconds and lowers the score. Sometimes people forget to navigate away and leave their computers, creating a session that lasts for a couple hours and pulls the numbers the other direction. But as an average, the metric provides valuable data how long people peruse your site.
Visits and Sessions in Web Analytics — Resources about the visits/sessions metric in web analytics, which measures the number of times a website was visited. A visit comprises one of more pages viewed; one user could be measured more than once.
Visitors, Unique Visitors and Unique Users — Resources about the visitors/unique visitors/unique users metric in web analytics, which measures the number of people who visited a website. Each visitor/user could have visited the website multiple times and viewed multiple pages.
New Visitors, Repeat Visitors and Returning Visitors — Resources about the new/repeat/returning visitors metric in web analytics, which measures how many of a website's visitors are new to the site vs. returning to the site or visiting with a certain frequency.
Page Views and Unique Page Views — Resources about the page views and unique page views metric in web analytics, which measures how many times a page or URL was viewed on a website, in general or by unique users.
Time on Site, Session Duration — Resources about the times on site/session duration metric in web analytics, which measures the amount of time a visitor spent on a website.
Average Page Depth, Page Views Per Average Session — Resources about the average page depth metric, also known as pages per average session, which measures the average number of web pages viewed by a visitor to the website, indicating the level of user engagement.
Bounce Rate — Resources about the bounce rate metric, which measures how many of a website's visitors immediately left the site, an indication of visitor satisfaction with the website or its content.
Conversion Rate — Resources about the conversion rate metric, which measures the percentage of website visitors who performed an action beneficial to the site owners (a conversion). This is an indication of whether the website is meeting its goals.
Ad Impressions — Resources about the ad impressions metric, which measures how many times an ad placed on a website was viewed by potential site visitors (only some of whom actually click the ad and visit the advertising website).
Referrers and Social Media Traffic — Resources about the referrers metric in web analytics, which measures the number of visitors coming to a website via referring sites - other sites that link to the website. A special case of referral traffic is social media traffic - traffic to a website from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Direct Traffic in Web Analytics — Resources about the direct traffic metric in web analytics, which measures the number of visitors entering a website directly by typing the URL or clicking on a bookmark, not via other websites.
Source and Medium in Web Analytics — Resources about possible source of traffic to a website (referrals from other sites, search traffic, direct, links from emails, etc.) and the source/medium metric in web analytics, which measures how many of a website's visitors came from each source and provides details (such as a specific URL the visitors originated from).