Session Quality Reporting in Google Analytics Explained


Much of the data you gain through Google Analytics tells you about your visitors’ behavior and their interactions with your website. You can use this to predict how close a user is to a conversion, but the answer will be an estimate.

Session quality reporting takes the guesswork out of your equations. Google Analytics automatically gives each session a quality score to show how close a user is to a conversion. Scores range from 1 to 100 — the higher the engagement, the higher the score.

Finding Session Quality Scores

You will receive session quality data if you have an e-commerce website processing at least 1,000 transactions a month. Bear in mind that Google Analytics requires at least 30 days of data to model, meaning you may need to wait a while if you’ve only just hit this number.

To see if your website has session quality data, look under “Reports.” You’ll find “Session Quality” by heading to “Audience” followed by “Behavior.” The data refers to the previous 24 hours.

When a property has less than 15 views, the report is visible for all views. When a property has 15 or more views, the report is visible in default view. If there is a view besides the default linked to BigQuery, the report will also be visible in that view.

How Session Quality Scores Are Calculated

To calculate session quality scores, Google Analytics uses similar machine learning as with Smart Lists and Smart Goals. Each score refers to a separate session. You can also see an average session quality for all the sessions in a particular dimension within a defined date range. For instance, you can specify a source or country.

Creating Segments from Session Quality Scores

Just the fact that you can examine users and divide them into high-quality and low-quality is a big improvement. It means that you are no longer limited to segmenting according to converting and non-converting. Now, you can split non-converting further into highly-engaged and less-engaged. Better yet, Google Analytics makes it easy to create such segments.

Simply click the icon next to the session quality score and a box will appear, allowing you to create a segment. Give the segment a name (or use the automatically-generated one) and decide if you want to enable any view or just the current view. Click “Create Segment” to save and to apply the segment to your

Then, there are a few ways to put your segments into action.

Examine Behavior

One option is to create a segment of at least a minimum score — say, of 71. Then, you can compare the behavior of this segment to your complete user base and see how it differs. For instance, you may find that these users are following a particular conversion path, that they found your site through certain keywords, or that they were attracted by a specific campaign.

It is equally important to pay attention to the less-engaged users by checking all the same factors as above. This may make you reconsider trying to rank for particular keywords or dedicating your budget to certain campaigns. You should also examine the conversion path that less-engaged users are taking and look for ways to direct them to a more effective path.

Remarket to a Segment

Session quality scores are particularly useful for remarketing purposes. For instance, scores between 91 and 100 indicate that users that are ready to convert. These users likely spent time examining product descriptions or added products to their cart. By segmenting and then remarketing to them, you can push them to complete a sale.

You can also create remarketing audiences to publish to marketing platforms like AdWords. This enables you to continue interacting with users when they’re elsewhere. Furthermore, you can publish audiences to Optimize to better understand which elements of your site are contributing to the most conversions.

Find Bot Traffic

One last way to use session quality reporting is to identify bot traffic. The likelihood is that you are already setting Google Analytics to exclude traffic from all known bots. However, this still lets some bots through — which you’ve probably noticed by strange activity you’ve had to isolate. Session quality reports make it easier to remove bots from reports: simply create a segment where quality equals 1.

As benefiting from session quality reporting involves no complex steps — it’s already there in your Google Analytics account — there’s no reason not to start using this feature.

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