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What's the difference between Second Page and Next Page Path for a Landing Page?

Edit1 I'm not able to upload attachments yet so I uploaded two screenshots here:
pic pic

I go to "Site Content->Landing Page" and select "Second Page" and "Next Page Path" as secondary dimension respectively.
I'm a little confused about the results... You can see that we get a lot of results with "Second Page" as secondary dimension, but only one result using "Next Page Path" as secondary dimension.
So what's the difference between the two?

What I actually want to get is: I give a customized visit flow/path to GA (PageA->PageB->PageC), and GA tells me how many visitors follow this route.

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"Next page path": the next page after visiting the page you have selected for analysis "Second page": the absolute second page of the visit.

Second page works if the page you are currently viewing, is indeed the landing page (first page) of the visit. If you are viewing data of a page the visitor just viewed somewhere during his visit, it is not the next page in the flow.

Example:

The visit: Page A > Page B > Page C > Page D

If you add 'next page' as a second dimension to Page A, it will show Page B. If you add 'second page' as a second dimension to Page A, it will show Page B. If you add 'next page' as a second dimension to Page C, it will show Page D. If you add 'second page' as a second dimension to Page C, it will show Page B.

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Next page path is deprecated . Google Analytics tracks the page you are on, and it records the page you came from. Since it can't know where you are going next, it can't record the 'next page'.

In the application, the 'next page' is actually the same as the 'page'. The 'previous page' is where they came from. They intended that you use 'next page' and 'previous page' together. You should not be used them with 'page'.

If you see 'next page' and 'previous page' being the same, people are refreshing the page or clicking a link that redirects them to a point elsewhere on the same page.

And Second Page Path is the second page in a user's session.So The Second Page will always be the second page browsed in a session.

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Based on the pageviews metric, it looks like all traffic is getting lumped into a single page.

I get the same behavior as you, unless I use "Landing Page" as the main dimension and pageviews as the metric. Then after running the report, use the "Secondary Dimension" drop down and add "next page path" as the secondary dimension. Once you do that it breaks the report up showing the next page path of all "landing pages". You can sort the report by "landing page" to see all the next page paths.

"Next Page Path" doesn't seem descriptive of the dimension. It appears to mean the final page the customer sees on the path. You should use "Second Page" to see a flow. "Page Path Level X" seems to work as a drill down dimension to show the full path.

  • Still not clear about "Next Page Path"... – ChandlerQ Mar 28 '14 at 2:17
  • BTW, can I trust "Previous Page Path"? Does this dimension mean exactly the page a visitor views before the current page? – ChandlerQ Mar 28 '14 at 2:18
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The landing page is the page which the person first visits your site on the chat. The next page is the page they go after they visited in that session. Each visit is recorded as a "session". If that member comes back using the homepage with another session, then the homepage will be their landing page and the next page after that is what they go to.

  • but what's the difference between "Next Page Path" and "Second Page"? – ChandlerQ Mar 27 '14 at 2:38

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