Google Analytics visits per page

What do you do if you want to know how many people visited a specific part (single page or subfolder) of your website? Very often people want to know this so they can report about it. A company can have multiple business units that all have their own subfolder on the company website, and they all want to know what their pages did. Or a campaign manager wants to know how many visits his action page attracted.

The first guess for most people would be to create this report with the Google Analytics Custom Report function:

It gives you nice looking numbers about the amount of visits for the specific pages:

But hey, guess what, this is:

WRONG

It's a long story about Google's data model and their way of data processing, but you're not looking at the number you thought you where. When you create this Custom Report, Google shows you the amount of visits where that specific page was the first page the visitors saw. Also known as the landingpage. Let me show you a new report:

And the outcomes:

Look, it's magic, both columns show (almost) the same numbers which proves my point.

My advice

Do not ever use the metric "visits" for the dimension "page". Google should make it impossible for people to create this report, it will cause anger, disappointment and distrust ;)

How to split visits per page or subfolder?

There are only 2 good ways to do this properly: Create a segment for a group of pages or subfolders. That segment will exactly tell you in how many visits people saw the specified pages. And yes: the content reports will also show other non-specified pages, because people visited those too during the visits on the pages you specified.

The second solution can help you with that: create new profiles that will only track the specified pages or subfolders you included in the profile filters. The huge disadvantage is that it only works from now on. And it's good for tracking a few subfolders, and not every single marketing campaign, because you are limited to 100 profiles max.

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  • http://www.driesbultynck.be Dries Bultynck

    Coincidence or not.. a week ago we had the same discussion on the workfloor and we came to the same conclusion. They should have better handling with non-match metrics and dimensions.

    That's just Google. It's all there but you need to figure it out yourself.

  • Pulles

    Hi Andre,

    Nice article! Ik prefer to use profiles, what do you prefer?

    • http://andrescholten.net André

      Profiles for chopping up bigger parts of a website (business units for example) and segmentation for smaller parts like campaigns pages.

  • http://forwardslash.nl/ Jules

    I thought "unique views" is Google Analytics' equivalent of "visits per page".

    ..(searching)..

    Found it:
    http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=47813

    • http://andrescholten.net André

      You're absolutely right, unique pageviews tells you the amount of visits where that single page was viewed. But if you want to know the visits to a group of 5 pages you can't just add the numbers in that column up.

      That's also one of my wishes: Google should remove the total of unique pageviews above each table. You can't just add them up, the numbers says nothing.

      • http://forwardslash.nl/ Jules

        Correct, I was wondering the same: "why add a total? Does not compute."

        The unique views counter does seem to work on a per-subdirectory branch, so if your 5 pages are the only ones within that directory, you're in.

        BTW, there is an (unatractive, but possible) other solution: retag your pages. In stead of /x.html and /y.html, tag them with /a/x.html and /a/y.html. Then view the content drill-down of the /a/ branch.

  • http://www.e-zen.be Béate Vervaecke

    Thanks! that explains a very confusing report showing visits and visitors per page, in which some pages had more visitors then visits.

  • Rodrigo Tanco

    Your blog is really interesting. I think the possibility to make diferent profiles and us filters is a great idea. But i Think you could also get this reports by creating a custom segment to measure this. Another possibility would be to implement customvars in to categorize sections.

  • kian

    I am implementing google analytics on our website first page, I want to know where can I find the chart that shows me the number of visits per day? for my website.

    • http://andrescholten.net André

      If you look at the "visitors" part in Google Analytics you wil see a chart with al your visits.

  • Bhavesh

    thanks buddy..........you are a life saver

  • http://www.allyreeves.com Ally Reeves

    ... And how to create a segment? This is great btw, super helpful I was just setting up page visit parameters and getting all kinds of squirrly numbers. Wish GA had more tabs for info on how these numbers are reached.
    Tweeted this :) @allyreeves

    • http://andrescholten.net André

      @Ally: if you want to create a segment just click on "advanced segments" -> "create new segment". Then create the segment like this: "include 'page' containing 'page-urls-being-visited'".

      • Nando Velazquez

        Hi André, I just did that and clicking the button "Test Segment" appears a message with the text "This condition matches 0 visits". I'm not sure if that is because my site has a month alive although already has more than 40 visits or I'm doing something wrong.

        • http://andrescholten.net/ André Scholten

          Hi Nando, it looks like you're doing something wrong, probably a wrong URL in your segment?

        • Nando Velazquez

          Hey André, I just fix this, it seems I was setting a bad url for my page...thanks man!

        • chen

          Hi Nando, how did you fix that, it seems that I have the same problem "this condition matches 0 visits"

      • Razkal

        After creating the advanced segment in which (standard) report should I look into then to see the total visits per specified URL or page?

  • jay

    hello i just want to count totol visiter per page ...

    so for than i created one test advance segments ..

    so i used page title contain MYPAGETITLE... I got accurate result but i need this result on my website.... is it possible... ?

    • http://andrescholten.net/ André Scholten

      I don't know exactly what you want? You want to share this number on your site?

  • cjvannette

    I can't believe there isn't a simple way to see how many hits a particular page got. Another one for the WTF Analytics folder.

  • CoosCoos

    Life saver! Thx

  • José Alves

    Hi, and if you use the unique visitors metric in the custom report?

    • http://andrescholten.net/ André Scholten

      Then you will see the amount of visitors that visited a page during a visit. And that's a reliable number.

      • José Alves

        Nice, thank you.