Countly v/s Google Analytics: Basic terms

Follow

We know that the most commonly-used analytics tool is Google Analytics (GA), primarily due to its free option. To help our new users get a handle on using Countly with greater ease, we’ve compiled a brief comparison of the key terms between Countly and GA. This article has been kept limited to the metrics on Countly Analytics plugin. 

Session:

On Countly, if a user opens an application or visits a website, it counts as a session until they close it. When Countly detects that the user/visitor has been inactive for more than 20 minutes, it will terminate the session and start a new one when the user/visitor opens the app or visits the website again. 

On Google Analytics, when a user arrives on your site or opens your app, it starts counting from that moment as a session. If 30 minutes pass without any kind of interaction from the user, the session ends. However, every time this user interacts with an element (like an event, social interaction, or a new page), GA resets the expiration time by adding another 30 minutes from the time of that interaction (as different than Countly, where the 20 minutes is considered as an inactive period). Additionally, a session is considered as having ended if the device on which the user is active crosses the midnight mark, as well as if the user leaves after having arrived via one campaign, and then comes back through a different one.

There is a difference between GA and Countly when it comes to session logic - in particular, the inactivity time settings causes differences between GA and Countly results. If you’d like to compare the results, the best method is to configure inactivity time from Web SDK. But there will still be minor differences due to activity check logic named “cooldown” of Countly.

For more information, please visit here. For more details on the ‘cooldown’ period, please visit here.

Session on Countly refers to Session on GA.

 

Total Session:

On Countly, this is the number of times your website is opened. 

Total Session on Countly refers to Total Session on GA.

On Google Analytics, this is the number of total sessions during selected date range.

Tip: If you see a difference on session numbers between Countly and GA, it would probably be due to bots and the session logic on GA (if you have proper installation of Countly). Countly blocks the traffic created by bots more effectively compared to GA. Even so, the difference expected is lower than 5%. 

 

New Sessions:

On Countly, this is the number of first time visitors. This is basically the amount of visitors for selected period. New visitors open your website only once. If in any other period, visitor visits your website again, it won't be new user or new session hence:

  • If user uses another computer/device, it's a new user
  • If user uses another browser, it's a new user
  • If user uses incognito mode, it's a new user
  • If user clears browser/website data/cache, it's a new user

New Sessions = New Users (Visitors) 

New Session on Countly refers to New Visitors on GA.

On Google Analytics, a new session in Google Analytics starts after 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight — so if a user opens your website, walks away from their computer for 45 minutes, and returns to the page after that, it counts as 2 sessions.

New Session on GA refers to Unique Session on Countly.

 

Total Visitors:

On Countly, this is the number of unique visitors to your website for the selected period.

Total visitors = New visitors + Returning visitors

Total Visitors on Countly refers to New Visitors + Returning Visitors* on GA.

*no default metric

On Google Analytics, this is the number of users who have initiated at least one session during the date range.

The sum of new + returning visitors is not the same as the total number of users on GA → that’s because a single user may visit your site several times during the reporting period, which makes them both a new visitor (on their first visit) and a returning one (on any following visit).

New Visitors:

On Countly, this is the number of first time visitors. If, in any other period, the same user opens your app or website again, it won't be a new user.

New Sessions = New Users (Visitors) 

New Visitors on Countly refers to New Visitors on GA.

On Google Analytics, this is the number of first-time users during the selected date range.

New Visitors on GA refers to New Visitors or New Sessions on Countly.

 

Returning Users/Visitors:

On Countly, this is the number of users that have used your application at least one time before.

Retuning user = Unique Sessions - New Sessions 

Returning Users on Countly is the same as Returning Users on GA.

On Google Analytics, this is a user who returns to a site (using the same browser / same computer/device). If someone has visited your website within the 1 months and returns from the same device, they are marked as a Returning Visitor in Google Analytics. 

 

Average Session Period:

On Countly, the average session period tells you how long your users/visitors spent on your app or website and is calculated by the equation given below:

Average Session Period = Total duration / Total Sessions

Average Session Period on Countly refers to Average Session Duration on GA.

On Google Analytics, it measures how much time—on average—visitors spent on your website as a whole. Note that if someone only loaded one page and triggered no events, their session duration is reported as 0, even if they spent time on the site. This means that, by default, Google Analytics’ Time on Page and Session Duration metrics are lower than the true value of how long someone spent on a page or site.

Average session duration = Total session duration / Total Sessions

 

Average Request Received:

On Countly, this shows the number of write API requests Countly Server receives for each session (including sessions, session extensions, events, etc).

There is no default metric on GA; custom metrics can be used to measure it. 
Avg. Hits Per session on GA may be the equivalent of Avg. Request Received on Countly.

 

Time Spent:

On Countly, it shows total time spent inside the website for the selected time period.

Time Spent on Countly refers to Session Duration on GA.

On Google Analytics, it measures how long a user spent on your site in total.

 

Average Time (on Page View breakdown):

On Countly, this is the total time spent on a specific page (not overall website or app) for the selected time period. 

Average Time on Countly refers to Avg. Time On Page on GA.

On Google Analytics, it measures how long—on average—visitors spent on a specific page of your website, similar to Countly.

 

Average Time Spent:

On Countly, it gives you total duration spent using your application divided by total visitors count.

There is no default metric on GA; custom metrics can be used to measure it.
Total Session Duration Per Visitor on GA may be the equivalent of Avg. Time Spent metric on Countly.

 

Total Time Spent:

On Countly, it gives you the total duration visitors spent on your website during selected date range.

Total Time Spent on Countly refers to Total Session duration or 
Total Visit Duration
on GA.

On Google Analytics, it shows how long a user spent on your site in total.

 

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful

Comments

0 comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.