Difference between Pages and Screens vs Landing Page Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
If you noticed, in Google Analytics 4 you can find two reports on your website's pages, i.e. the Pages and screens report and the Landing page report. Both reports are essential for a comprehensive analysis of user interactions on your website, providing valuable insights to optimize your digital presence. However, to gain truly valuable insights into user behavior on your websites, it is important to understand the difference between these two reports. This guide will delve into the difference between the Pages and screens report versus the Landing page report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)!
In case you prefer watching a video, here's a quick video explanation you can find on XYZ Lab's Youtube Channel!
Difference between Pages and Screens vs Landing Page Report in GA4
If you navigate to your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) > Reports > Engagement, you'll find the 'Pages and screens' report and the 'Landing page' report.
Landing page report is the report that shows you the pages that acted as the first interaction between the user and your website. This report only shows you the pages that the user landed on for the very first time when they came to your website. Thus, in essence, the report shows you how people entered your website.
For example, in our Landing page report, we can see that the highest amount of sessions came from (not set), and the second highest actually comes from our blog post /how-to-track-button-clicks-in-google-analytics-4. Essentially, this means that a large amount of users actually first entered our website through this blog post.
The landing page report is highly useful to know which pages are your best-performing pages that attract users to first visit your website. In the context of SEO, you can use the page to filter down to organic traffic to find the pages that are giving you organic traffic from search engines. In the context of paid ads, for instance Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads, you can find where the system is sending the traffic if you have URL expansion on.
Now, once a user enters, they can, of course, visit other pages. For example, when I first visit XYZ Lab's website, I can enter through the home page, this home page will recorded in the Landing page report. Afterwards, I might navigate to other pages. In this case, all my visits will be recorded in the Pages and screens report.
Pages and screens report is the complete report of the traffic for all the pages on your website. It shows the data of all the pageviews, traffic, sessions, etc on your website. The report doesn't show only the data of the landing page (the first page a user enters), but will show you the information on all pages regardless if the page is the user's first or subsequent visit. The value of the pages and screens report is to identify the most popular products, sections, and categories of your website. This report is also helpful in understanding how users interact with specific content within your website.
Note that under the Pages and screens report, you can change the dimension from the dropdown menu. Instead of viewing the 'Page title and screen class', you can view the 'Page path and screen class' (which means the URL of your pages). You can consume the report based on the Page title or Page URL depending on your preference.
Landing Page Report: The first interaction between a user and your website. The landing page reports include the URLs that acted as an entry point - the URLs where the visitor FIRST landed on your website.
Pages and Screens Report: Pages and Screens report includes data relevant to ALL the visits to your website's URLs (regardless of whether this was the first interaction or not).
Why is the report called Pages and Screens?
It is called Pages and Screens because GA4 is a hybrid tool that can track both websites and desktop/mobile applications. Pages refer to website URLs, whilst screens refer to mobile app screens (interfaces). For websites, every time that you change the URL, it will be referred to as 'page'. Meanwhile, for mobile applications, every time that you proceed and change the interface, it will be recorded as 'screen'. If you don't have a mobile / desktop application, then the screens report will not be relevant to you.