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  • Discrepancy in session counts between GA4 metrics

    Posted by Blair on 9 May 2022 at 4:54 am

    Hey, I’m a bit confused. The total sessions are showing as 3,800 but when I add up the channels like organic, direct and so on, the figure comes out to be 3,837. Earlier in UA, they used to match, but not now. Can you guide me on how to get a correct tally of all channel sessions?

    I even tried switching the default channel group around to other channels and it’s still not adding up right.

    Layla replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Jacob

    Member
    25 July 2022 at 4:47 pm

    In simpler terms, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) handles sessions differently from previous versions. In GA4, if a user visits your website, leaves, and then comes back through a different channel within the same session, GA4 classifies it as one session but counts both traffic sources. Therefore, when you add up the sessions from all the individual channels, the number might be higher compared to the total sessions count.

  • Layla

    Member
    11 November 2022 at 6:44 am

    This discrepancy may be due to sessions that are counted in multiple channels. For example, during a single session, a user might arrive via organic search, then return direct within a short time period. In Google Analytics this can be considered as one session, but two channel interactions. Therefore, when you add up the channels individually, it could exceed the total number of sessions.

    If you’re using the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, they would attribute a single session to different channels which might lead to a higher session count when you add up channels manually.

    In essence, the difference doesn’t imply an error in counting, but rather it’s a reflection of how Google Analytics attributes sessions to different channels. To get an accurate representation, it’s more beneficial to analyze the performance of each channel on its own, rather than try to combine them for a total. Understanding each channel’s contribution can give you a better impression of which are successfully driving users to your website.

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