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I've spent hours and hours trying to find the answer and it seems Google is being intentionally vague about this...

In Google analytics "Landing page" is the first page IN A SESSION (proof). And a session only lasts 30 minutes.

How do I track first page FOR A USER? (the page they visited when they first visited my website, even if that was days/weeks ago, not interested in subsequent visits from the same user).

Reason: I would like to know which page brings me the most conversions, and for that - I'm interested only in "first-time" landing pages, I don't care if the same user came back later through another page. So if a look at a goal conversion - I want to track down their entry page.

Hope I make myself clear. Rephrasing: I'm interested in most popular "gateway" pages for users (not sessions). If the same user came 3 months later to another page - I'm not interested in that "second" landing page.

  • Google Analytics doesn't do that unless you are using "campaigns" as far as I know. – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 10 at 13:56
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This is not information Google Analytics is set up to provide. As Stephen mentions in his comment, if you could inform GA of a visit being a user's first, via UTM parameters, that would work.

That seems like a difficult thing to guarantee, though. Without that, you may be able to get at a portion of the information you want, though with limitations.

One note: a session can last longer than 30 minutes. Sessions end after 30 minutes of inactivity or at midnight, but if someone was clicking around on your site consistently for an hour one afternoon, that would be recorded as a single session.

I am assuming here that by conversions you mean "official" GA conversions: goal or transaction.

In the Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Model Comparison Tool report, make the following settings changes:

  1. Conversion dropdown: your specific conversion type

  2. Lookback Window: 90 days

  3. "Last Interaction" model: change to "First Interaction"

  4. Primary Dimension: Landing Page URL (available under Other > Acquisition)

Reading the table:

The date range you set for the report as a whole defines when the conversions occurred. The lookback window is relative to the conversion date and maxes out at 90 days. So if your homepage has 10 conversions attributed to it with the date range set to include only yesterday, it means that 10 conversions happened yesterday with the property that the earliest session the user had in the 90 days leading up to yesterday began on your homepage (whether the conversion occurred within that session or not).

Typically, setting very large date ranges is bad for accuracy, because in the reports that aren't under Multi-Channel Funnels, you'll get sampled data - numbers extrapolated from a subset of the data. However, these reports have different sampling rules, and you won't get sampled until your date range contains over a million conversions.

If the visitor arrived for the first time four months prior to converting, you won't get their true initial landing page, but you should get a good sense regardless, unless you have a very long average time to conversion. The Time Lag report, also in Multi-Channel Funnels, can give you a sense of whether that might be the case.

Without you being able to tell GA when a session is someone's first, I believe this is as good as it gets. It should give you trends and comparative value at least, and if your typical time to conversion is short, it will give you more than that.

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