Why Google Analytics Show Zero Sessions?

You may sometime see zero sessions assigned to a page but at the same time see pageviews, user count, exits and other metrics for the page:

How come a page has got pageviews but is still not a part of a GA session?

How come a page has got 1 user but still no GA session is assigned to it?

This happened because Google Analytics assign session count only to the first hit in a session.

A hit is a user’s interaction (pageview, screenview, event, transaction etc) with your website that results in data being sent to the Google Analytics server.

A group of hits recorded for a user in a given time period is called ‘session‘.

A session count is the number of sessions recorded by GA in a particular time period.

When a person enter your website via a page (called the landing page), it triggers a pageview hit.

If this is the first hit sent to the Google Analytics server then GA assign the session count to the ‘pageview’ hit.

But GA does not assign session count to subsequent hits in the session.

As a result landing pages are assigned session count.

So in your GA reports you can see session count for all landing pages.

You should not see zero sessions assigned to any landing page:

Any page which is not a landing page does not trigger the very first hit (like very first pageview, screenview, event, transaction etc).

As a result no session is assigned to such pages and you see zero sessions reported by GA.

For example, in the screenshot below, the page ‘/ ecommerce installation’ is not a landing page. That’s why zero sessions are assigned to it:

Now how come this page has got 1 user, 1 pageview, 1 unique pageview and 1 exits, despite of zero sessions?

Google Analytics assign 1 user to each page in the session.

For example, if a person entered your website via the page: ‘/ecommerce/’ and then navigated to the page ‘/ecommerce/utility/’ and then to ‘/ ecommerce installation’ then here is how GA will report user count for each page:

Here GA has assigned the same user to each page he visited in a session.

But since it is still a single user, GA reported only 1 user (in the total column).  

If GA doesn’t do that then the ‘users’ metric will be inflated and you will see more users than the one, who actually visited your website.

You may find this type of reporting weird but that’s how it is, for now.

Since only the landing page is assigned session count, GA will report session only for the page  ‘/ecommerce/’:

A Pageview is counted every time a page loads into a web browser:

A unique pageview is counted only once for a page in a session:

An exit is counted only for the page from which a user left your website.

Now if the user left your website from the page ‘/ ecommerce installation’ then it will be assigned exits count. All other pages will be assigned zero exits:

Since GA assign session count only to landing pages, any metric based on sessions (like ‘pages / session’, ‘% new sessions’ avg. session duration etc) is also assigned only to landing pages and not to subsequent pages visited by a user:

Here, ‘/ ecommerce installation’ is not the landing page, so all session based metrics are reported zero by GA.

You are more likely to see zero sessions in your report when you create and use custom reports which query session metrics with hit level dimensions.

So you could see zero sessions assigned to an event category:

Similarly, you could see zero sessions assigned to an ecommerce hit like ‘Internal Promotion Name’ 

Another example,

You are more likely to see zero sessions in your report when you create and use custom reports which query session metrics with hit level dimensions.

So avoid doing that and you should be fine.

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Do you know the difference between Digital Analytics and Google Analytics?


99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Digital analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Digital analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Digital analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.


Digital Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Digital Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Digital analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Digital analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.


You learn data analysis and interpretation from Digital analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.


You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Google Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Digital analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Digital analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in digital analytics and marketing field.


So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

Here what You'll Learn On This FREE Web Class!


1) The number 1 reason why most marketers and business owners are not able to scale their advertising and maximise sales.

2) Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

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4) How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

5) How to learn and master digital analytics in record time.

 
 

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
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Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

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Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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