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Expectation vs. Reality: Clicks = Sessions?

How often do you receive the question from the client: “Why Session volumes on 3rd party platform, Google Analytics, do not match clicks that the campaign has reached?” The question is a big head ace for advertisers. However, we wish to give clear answers and demolish the ongoing myth that Clicks = Sessions.

First, it is necessary to understand both concepts. Clicks indicate how many times your content was clicked by people while they were browsing online. Sessions, on the other hand, are a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame.

Second, it is relevant to know the cause of the ongoing mismatch between different metrics. There are several reasons why these two numbers may not match:

Ads may be clicked multiple times. A user can click on an ad multiple times, but Google Analytics will only count these clicks as one session.

Returning users. A user can click on your ad, bookmark your site, and come back later during a different session. In this scenario, only one click would be recorded, while Google Analytics would recognize this as two separate sessions.

A user clicks and leaves quickly. A user may click on your ad but leave quickly by hitting the “back” or “stop” button before Google Analytics has a chance to load its tracking code and record the visit as a session. However, this would be counted as one click.

Session timeout.
Google Analytics’ sessions are timed out after 30 minutes of inactivity. This means that if a user gets distracted and does something else during that time, then comes back and browses the site again later, it would be counted as two sessions.