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Understanding Landing Pages vs. Pages and Screens in GA4

Graphical representation of website traffic analysis showing different user pathways, entry points, and engagement metrics on a digital dashboard, highlighting distinctions between landing pages and page paths in Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides various metrics to help you understand user behavior on your website. Two important but distinct metrics are "Landing Page" and "Pages and Screens: Page Path." Understanding the differences between these can help you better analyze your website traffic and user behavior.

Landing Page


The landing page is the first page a user visits during a session on your website. It’s where users “land” when they enter your site.


This metric is used to analyze the entry points to your website. It helps you understand which pages are driving traffic and are most effective at attracting visitors.


Common metrics associated with landing pages include sessions, new users, and bounce rate for the first page viewed in a session. These metrics help you determine how well your landing pages are performing in terms of attracting and retaining visitors.

Pages and Screens: Page Path


The "Pages and Screens: Page Path" metric refers to the path or URL of a specific page that a user visits. It includes all the pages viewed during the user's session.


This metric is used to analyze user behavior on individual pages and the flow through the site. It helps in understanding how users navigate through your site, which pages they visit most often, and the path they take from one page to another.


Common metrics here include pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, and exit rate for each specific page. These metrics provide insight into user engagement and content performance on your website.

Key Differences


    • Landing Page: Focuses on the entry point of the session.
    • Page Path: Focuses on all pages visited within a session and their respective metrics.


    • Landing Page: Used to identify the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and entry points.
    • Page Path: Used to analyze overall user engagement and navigation patterns within the site.

Metrics Context

    • Landing Page: Typically analyzed in the context of acquisition and initial user interaction.
    • Page Path: Analyzed in the context of user behavior and site content performance.

Relationship Between Landing Page and Pages and Screens: Page Path

The users counted in the total for "Landing Page" are included in the total for "Pages and Screens: Page Path" results, but there are important nuances to understand:

Inclusion in Totals

    • Landing Page Users: These are users who are counted based on the first page they visit during a session.
    • Pages and Screens: Page Path: This includes users who visit any page during their session, which would inherently include the landing pages they entered through.

Unique vs. Total Counts

    • Unique Users: A unique user visiting multiple pages will be counted once in the "Landing Page" metric (on the first page they visited) but can be counted multiple times in the "Pages and Screens: Page Path" metric (once for each page they visit).
    • Total Users/Sessions: If you're looking at total sessions or users, the "Pages and Screens: Page Path" will aggregate all pageviews, including those of the landing pages, thereby encompassing the users who landed on specific pages.

Example Scenario

If a user lands on Page A, then navigates to Page B and Page C, here’s how the counts would look:

    • Landing Page: Page A would have 1 user.
    • Pages and Screens: Page Path:
      • Page A would have 1 user.
      • Page B would have 1 user.
      • Page C would have 1 user.

So, while the "Landing Page" metric helps identify the entry points and initial interactions, the "Pages and Screens: Page Path" metric provides a comprehensive view of user navigation and behavior throughout their entire session, which includes but is not limited to the landing pages.

By understanding these differences, you can better utilize GA4 to analyze both how users arrive at your site and how they interact with it once they're there. This comprehensive approach allows you to optimize both your entry points and overall user experience, leading to more effective website performance and user engagement.

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