Google Analytics – Difference between Users & New/Returning Users
Google Analytics is an excellent tool but sometimes its metrics can be tricky to understand.
In Google Analytics Dimensions and Metrics API you can easily understand what the metrics mean:
User: The total number of users for the requested time period.
New User: The number of users whose session was marked as a first-time session.
Visit (now session count): The session index for a user. Each session from a unique user will get its own incremental index starting from 1 for the first session. Subsequent sessions do not change previous session indices. For example, if a user has 4 sessions to the website, sessionCount for that user will have 4 distinct values of ‘1’ through ‘4’.
Sometimes it can happen the numbers not adding up correctly, but that may be related with the fact that you need to give a few hours for Google to properly calculate the sessions and give you a correct ratio of new/returning.