Pages Per Session: How to Track It + Why It’s Important

Pages per session is one of those key metrics that helps you track user engagement and experience.

It measures the average number of website pages viewed by a user during a single session. It provides valuable insights into user engagement, user behavior, content effectiveness, and conversion potential.

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Let’s get started!

Note: Tracking pages per session is no longer possible in GA4. It is still available in Universal Analytics, which is what we’ll be covering here.

Why Is the Pages Per Session Metric Important?

Tracking the pages per session metric can help you make informed decisions to optimize user engagement and improve user experience.

Let’s explore all this in detail:

  • User Engagement: Pages per session reflects the level of engagement and interest that visitors have when navigating your website. A higher number of pages per single session typically indicates that users actively explore your site, find value in your content, and spend more time engaging with it.
  • Content Relevance: The metric can provide insights into the relevance and quality of your site content. If a visitor is consistently navigating through multiple pages, this suggests that your content is compelling and informative.
  • Site Navigation and Structure: This metric can highlight the effectiveness of your website’s navigation and structure. If visitors easily navigate through multiple pages, it suggests that your site’s layout and navigation are intuitive and user-friendly.    

Who Should Track the Pages Per Session Metric?

This metric is particularly relevant for businesses that rely on website traffic and content engagement. This includes eCommerce platforms, media and publishing companies, and online service providers (such as SaaS companies).

Let’s now check out how to calculate this metric.

How Do You Calculate the Number of Pages Per Session?

To calculate the number of pages per session, divide the total number of pageviews by the total number of sessions. 

Here’s the equation:

In this case, “Total Pageviews” refers to the number of times that site visitors viewed the pages on your website. Meanwhile, “Total Sessions” represents the overall number of individual sessions or visits that users made to your site.

How Often Should You Measure the Pages Per Session Metric?

The frequency of measuring this metric depends on your website’s traffic patterns and site content updates. 

For example, if you change the layout of your site or add category pages, measuring your pages per session changes is vital to determine the effectiveness of your changes.

But it’s often best to measure it regularly (daily, weekly, or monthly) to track user engagement and user behavior.

What Is a Good Number of Pages Per Session?

A good number of pages per session ranges from 1.7 to 4.0, according to research conducted by Littledata. But then again, the ideal or “good” number of pages per session for your site can vary depending on factors such as your goals and website type. 

Ultimately, it’s best to analyze this metric in the context of your website’s goals, industry benchmarks, and historical data. This will help you determine what constitutes a good number for your specific case.

Now, let’s explore an example.

Example

Let’s say you have the following data for your website:

  • Total pageviews: 4,500
  • Total sessions: 1,000

Here’s how you’d calculate the pages per session:

Pages Per Session = Total Pageviews/Total Sessions                               
= 4500/1000                                    
= 4.5

In this example, users viewed 4.5 pages during each session on the website. 

In simple terms, every site visitor viewed almost five pages on your site before leaving — which is good since it’s above the benchmark discussed earlier.

However, if it was lower than 2 pages, it would be best to implement strategies to increase this metric.

How Do You Track Per Session in Google Analytics?

Here’s how to track the number of pages per session in Google Analytics:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and navigate to the desired property or website you want to evaluate.
  2. Once you’ve started your Google Analytics session, click on the “Acquisition” tab in the left-hand sidebar. From there, expand the “All Traffic” drop-down menu and select “Channels.”
  1. Click on the “Pages / Session” section in the middle pane to track the number of pages per session for your site.


What Is a Bad Number of Pages Per Session?

Anything below 1.4 is considered a bad value, according to Littledata.

But what causes the pages per session value to decline?
Let’s find out.

What Causes the Number of Pages Per Session to Decline?

These factors can result in a drop in the number of pages per session:

  • Poor User Experience: If a website has a confusing layout, difficult navigation, or a slow page load time, users may be discouraged from exploring multiple pages.
  • Lack of Relevant Content: If your website fails to provide engaging or relevant content, site visitors may not feel compelled to browse further.
  • Single-Page Design or Limited Content: Websites with a single-page structure or limited content (such as landing pages) usually have a lower number of pages per session. That’s because there are fewer pages to explore.

Now, it’s time to discover how you can improve your number of pages per session.

5 Failsafe Tips for Increasing the Number of Pages Per Session

Want to keep visitors hooked so they can navigate through multiple pages on your site? 

Try these strategies:

  1. Research Your Target Audience
  2. Collect Feedback From Your Potential Customers
  3. Create a Simple Website and Optimize the User Journey
  4. Craft Engaging, SEO-Optimized Content 
  5. Track Other Metrics Alongside Pages Per Session

1. Research Your Target Audience

Researching your target audience helps you understand customers’ preferences and interests. You can do this research on social media or through customer surveys and competitor analysis.

And by tailoring your content to customers’ needs, you can increase engagement and encourage users to explore more pages.

2. Collect Feedback From Your Potential Customers

By collecting customer feedback, you can identify areas for improvement and address any barriers that might prevent visitors from exploring more pages.

And how do you gather customer feedback?
Use surveys and interviews!

3. Create a Simple Website and Optimize the User Journey

Create a website with a clean and user-friendly interface that prioritizes ease of navigation.

How?
Streamline the path to customers’ desired content, ensure smooth transitions between pages, and remove any unnecessary steps or barriers. Also, optimize the user journey by strategically mapping out the flow of your website.

Take a look at Mailchimp’s home page, for example.

If you want to navigate to different pages, there are buttons for that in the top-left corner. And if you want to contact the business, create an account (or log in), you can do that with the buttons in the top right corner.

And what if you want to quickly check out their solutions?

You can simply click on each of the sections displayed in the middle pane. Essentially, everything you need is right there, and the information is arranged clearly.

4. Craft Engaging, SEO-Optimized Content

Create engaging, SEO-optimized content that captivates your audience. 

This can include: 

  • Addressing the search intent (the underlying purpose or motivation behind a user who performs a Google search)
  • Writing compelling headlines
  • Adding relevant internal links
  • Using compelling calls-to-action (CTAs)

Sounds complicated?

Leave it all to Startup Voyager — a reputed Content and SEO agency. We’ll help you craft engaging, SEO-optimized content that drives traffic and conversions.

The best part? 
You’ll save all that cash you’d be burning if you were to drive website traffic with link building or a Google Ad.

5. Track Other Metrics Alongside Pages Per Session

While tracking the number of pages per session, also monitor other metrics such as traffic, average session duration (avg session duration), bounce rate, and conversion rate.

Why?
This allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of user engagement and the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

Let’s now explore some of these metrics in more detail.

8 Metrics You Should Track Alongside Pages Per Session

The Google Analytics metrics worth tracking along the pages per session metric are:

  1. Traffic/Users
  2. Sessions
  3. New Users/Percent of New Sessions
  4. Page Views
  5. Average Session Duration
  6. Bounce Rate
  7. Click-Through Rate
  8. Conversions

1. Traffic/Users

This metric refers to the number of visitors or users who access your website within a given period. 

Monitoring it alongside pages per session can help you evaluate the engagement level of visitors and identify any discrepancies. For example, a high traffic volume but low pages per session might indicate that your site isn’t interesting enough for visitors to explore extensively. 

2. Sessions

This metric refers to the total number of individual site visits or sessions made on your website within a specific time frame.

A high “sessions” value means that your digital marketing tactics are working because people are visiting your site more often. Meanwhile, tracking pages per session can then tell you if all that traffic is being utilized effectively as they’re extensively viewing your site.  

3. New Users/Percent of New Sessions

This metric represents the percentage of users who visit your website for the first time within a given time period.

When you analyze it alongside pages per session, it helps you understand how well your website captivates the interest of first-time visitors. A high percentage of new users with satisfactory pages per session indicates that your site successfully engages new visitors.

4. Page Views

The page views metric (known as “Views” in GA4) refers to the total number of times that users view individual pages on your site.

This engagement metric can help you identify your best-performing pages. And if you want to increase your average pages per session, you can implement the best practices from the pages that garner a lot of views.   

5. Average Session Duration

The average session duration (avg session duration) metric represents the average time users spend on your website during a session.

When you analyze it in conjunction with pages per session, it offers a deeper understanding of the user experience. A longer session duration/session length with a higher pages per session indicates that users find value in your content.

6. Bounce Rate

The bounce rate metric represents the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page.

This metric is inversely related to the pages per session metric. A high bounce rate typically indicates that users are not exploring additional pages beyond the initial landing page.

7. Click-Through Rate

This engagement metric measures the percentage of users who click on a specific element, such as internal links, CTAs, or a button.

A higher click-through rate on internal links or CTAs within your content can encourage users to navigate to additional pages — potentially increasing the pages per session value.

8. Conversions

The conversions metric measures the percentage of users who complete a desired action on your website, such as buying an item or subscribing to a newsletter. It helps you measure the success of your marketing campaigns and content strategies.

Analyzing pages per session alongside conversions helps you assess the level of engagement, content relevance, and the ability of your website to guide users toward conversion.

Have some doubts?
It’s time to explore some FAQs.

3 FAQs on Pages Per Session

Tracking Google Analytics Metrics without fully understanding them can leave you more confused than ever. 

But don’t worry!

Below are the answers to questions you may have about this metric:

1. How Does Google Analytics Track Pages Per Session?

Google Analytics tracks pages per session by using a combination of JavaScript code and session-level data. When a user visits your website, Google Analytics assigns a unique identifier (client ID) to that user’s session. 

As the user navigates through your website, each pageview triggers a JavaScript tracking code that sends information to the Google Analytics server. The tracking code captures the pageview and associates it with the user’s session based on the assigned client ID. 

Google Analytics then counts the number of page views within a session. From there, it calculates the average pages per session by dividing the total number of page views by the total number of sessions.

So, does Google Analytics count the exit page (the last page viewed before leaving a site) when determining the number of pages viewed per session?

Yes, it counts the exit page too! 

A page view means that a page on your website has been loaded (or reloaded) by a user. So, that page will be included when calculating the pages per session metric — regardless of the total duration or average time (avg time) spent on it. 

2. How Long Does a User Session Last?

In Google Analytics, the default session duration is set to 30 minutes of inactivity. But it’s worth noting that you can modify the total time taken per session in Google Analytics based on your preferences.

3. How Do You Change the Session Timeout Settings in Google Analytics and Universal Analytics?

Here are the steps for changing the total duration that users can spend on your site before a session ends:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics 4 account.
  2. Navigate to the desired property or website when your Google Analytics session starts.
  3. Select the “Admin” tab in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  1. Navigate to the “Property” column and select “Data Streams.”
  1. Click the “Web” tab on the next screen (this should display your website URL). From there, click on your website URL to continue.
  1. On the next screen, scroll to the bottom and click “Configure tag settings.” From there, scroll to the “Settings” section and click the “Show all” drop-down menu.
  2. Select the “Adjust session timeout” option.
  3. Finally, adjust the settings in the “Adjust session timeout” section. This will now change the total time users can spend on your page before the session ends.


Note: In Google Analytics 4, the minimum allowed session duration/session length is 5 minutes, and the maximum is 7 hours and 55 minutes.

Now, let’s explore how to change the session timeout settings in Universal Analytics:

  1. Sign in to your Google Universal Analytics account and navigate to the desired property or website.
  2. Click the “Admin” tab toward the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  1. Navigate to the “Property” column, click the “Tracking Info” drop-down menu, and select “Session Settings.”
  1. When you get to the “Session Settings” page, adjust the session timeout duration in the “Session timeout” section. From there, click the “Apply” button to save the changes.


As indicated in the “Session timeout” section, the minimum required timeout value is 1 minute for Universal Analytics, while the maximum is 4 hours.

Boost Your Pages Per Session Value With Top-Notch Content

Pages per session is a vital metric that indicates the level of user engagement on your website. By analyzing it, you can make informed decisions to enhance user experience, optimize content strategy, and drive higher conversion rates.

And if you want to gain a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, be sure to track pages per session alongside other metrics.

But don’t forget that one of the best ways to increase the number of pages per session is by crafting engaging, SEO-optimized content.

Get in touch with Startup Voyager today and find out how we can help you create top-notch content that can 10x traffic and conversions. 🚗

Want to know the best part? 
We don’t rely on methods like link building to drive massive traffic to your site. 

About the author

Startup Voyager is a content and SEO agency helping startups in North America and Europe acquire customers with organic traffic. Our founders have appeared in top publications like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Inc, Huffpost, Lifehacker, etc.