There are two types of people in the world, who will visit your website. One, who has never visited your website before and the second one has already. The new and returning visitors are analyzed by Google Analytics

This is how they differentiate between people who have already been on your site and those who are new to your website. 

This data point is very important when you want to know how many visitors you are getting. 

But remember despite getting the news from Google Analytics about the numbers of visitors, still, you cannot rely on Google Analytics for 100%. Now, let’s take a look.

 Why is that?

What Do You Mean By Users In Google Analytics?

What Do You Mean By Users In Google Analytics

Basically, users mean visitors who have initiated the first session with your website. Or maybe use an app for a given time.

 If you sign in to your account of Google Analytics you will see some metrics in the home view, and that is the number of users. 

Now this will vary on the timeframe you have chosen.

The answer to the question of  What report shows the percentage of traffic that previously visited a website?

 Is New vs Returning users.

What Are New VS Returning Users?

What Are New VS Returning UsersNew vs returning users simply means that there are some users who are new to your website and some users who have already visited your website. Period. 

Google’s tracking snippet gives you this information.

Therefore when somebody visits your website what Google does is, search for a tracking cookie in the device the user is using. 

There can be two outcomes

  1. If there is a cookie present, Google immediately tracks it as a ‘new’ user.
  2. If there is no cookie present then you can guess, right? Yes, Google considers this one as a returning user who has already been on your site.

Why Google Can’t Be Relied On?

As mentioned above Google Analytics gets to know the users who interact with your website by putting a cookie. With which Google Analytics can get the idea of who is a new user and who is a returning user. 

That’s how Google Analytics keeps track of the domain. It considers the number of times of earlier visits, source of traffic, the star, and end of a session. Google Analytics creates a string for a client ID to determine whether the user is new or returning.

By using the string made by Google Analytics itself, it matches and labels any extra sessions that are coming from the same exact browser, even the same device.

Four Ways Of Google Analytics Predicting The Result:

Google Analytics will count them as new because it considers each device used by a different user.

  1. Just the opposite, if you have visitors visiting your site from multiple browsers then Google Analytics will get a separate client id for each.
  2. Suppose a visitor is visiting your site but blocks your cookies created by Google Analytics, then Google Analytics obviously considers them as new, but in reality, the same person has visited your site 7 times that day.  
  3. If a person uses incognito modes to visit your website Google Analytics will again show them as new because the cookies won’t show up by the browser.

In short, you may get 10,000 visitors in a month and think that they all are different people but in reality, it can be the same person who has visited your site multiple times in a day. 

How To Understand the User Metrics In Google Analytics?

How To Understand the User Metrics In Google Analytics

There can be several reports in Google Analytics that show the analysis of the user metrics and their behaviours on your site. But we have picked the two most common ones.

Overview Report Of Audience

This overview reports of the audiences give views of users and new users who have landed on your website during a certain time span.

In this overview report, you can see

  1. Users using per session
  2. Number of pageviews
  3. Pages for per session
  4. Session duration in average 
  5. The bounce rate.
  6. A pie chart

Report of New And Returning Visitor

Beneath the Audience you will see the Behaviour section, it is where people are categorized under the User Type info:

  1. Returning user
  2. New user

In this report, you will find the words that are used as ‘user’ and ‘ visitor’ are synonyms.

 But you will find a technical difference too. You can make use of the new vs returning report to look after the details of every user type.

 Especially if you have a business. It will be easy for you to investigate the difference between the behaviours. 

Things Google Analytics Can’t Provide

Things Google Analytics Can’t Provide

Google Analytics. cannot always give you the exact information you are looking for, such as

  1. How much more time has been spent by the new visitors on your site than the returning visitors. 
  2. The conversion rate of returning visitors than the new ones.
  3. The higher bouncing rate of new visitors than the returning visitors. 

This is how you run into potential and serious problems. Google Analytics can give you the best report about the happening but it falls short on the side of the equation.

Google Analytics can’t give you the information about the peculiar behaviour of the new visitors, as well as the returning ones with betraying behaviour.

If you want to find out everything about everything then, I suggest you do something more investigating.


Google Analytics is very useful in the business field especially. It gives you information about everything.

But like we know not everything is complete, Google Analytics as well is not complete to be relied on. It has its flaws too. 

New vs Returning users is the answer of What report shows the percentage of traffic that previously visited a website?.

This article has focused on all the aspects for why it happened and also shown some faults by Google Analytics. 

Now I think the answer is clear “What Report Shows The Percentage Of Traffic That Previously Visited A Website?”

Leave a comment down in the comment box down below. 

Let us know how much you understood Google Analytics and the reports that show the traffic that has been gained by previously visiting the site. 

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Deepanwita Dey

Deepanwita has always considered writing as the ultimate weapon to share every thought an individual ambles through. For her writing is not just an activity it’s a motivation for the scarred mind. She loves writing in genres like fashion, lifestyle, literature etc.

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