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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