We all have a massive amount of data at our fingertips – on Instagram, our Apple Health data, and more. We have SO much, in fact, that we’re covering this topic in multiple parts!
Let’s start this series off with the assumption that most of your site traffic is intentional. Google’s algorithm has become based more and more on user intent over time, so Google is quite good at making sure people land where they want to when searching. This means that when looking at your user and sessions data, it is likely that these users are 1) there for a purpose and 2) based in your local area.
With that assumption made, let’s dive into the difference between users and sessions. If it helps, pull up your funeral home Google Analytics account or the backend of your website to see what we’re referring to.
Users are the number of unique visitors that land on your website. If someone were to visit your funeral home website 8 times, they would still be counted as one user.
Sessions (or Visits)
This metric ticks up in count each time anyone visits your website. If you were to visit your funeral home website 500 times in a month, each time would show up in the sessions count (unless you block your own IP address from showing up – learn how at this link).
What does it mean?
Your sessions count will be higher than the number of users. Funeral home websites receive a great deal of local traffic, and people in your town may know multiple people whose obituaries are hosted on your site. Ensuring that obituary traffic is received on your funeral home website can be an important goal in SEO work because there are many other websites that may feature the same obituary.
If you were to divide the number of Sessions over a time period by the number of users over the same time period, you would get an average number of visits to the website per user. For example:
550,000 sessions in 2021/
280,000 users in 2021
1.96 sessions per user
This would mean that each user has visited the website about twice over the course of the year. According to Adobe, a customer will have 8.4 touch points with a brand on average before they commit to a purchase. Although demand is different in funeral service, the principle is still true: your brand needs to show up many times to be memorable. The more you can drive people back to your website, the more interaction they will have with your brand.
When you can interpret this data, it provides more guidance on what to change or continue doing in your digital approach. Getting traffic to your site should certainly be a goal – however, make sure it is intentional traffic and be sure to provide value when a user arrives on your site. Also, the Google algorithm favors websites that create content which matches searchers’ intent.
Give it a spin: calculate your average sessions per user metric, and tell us what you find!
In our next funeral home website analytics feature, we will provide insight on interpreting specific audience data. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions you'd like us to cover!