Google Analytics Terminology - Basic Explanation

Those who are just starting to learn Google Analytics, go through these basic glossary to show your excellent level of basic understanding.

Understanding Basic Google Analytics Terminology
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  • Unique Visitors vs. Visits

A unique visitor refers to the number of visitors to your site. This number is not duplicated. So if Sally visits your site 100 times, she will only count as 1 unique visitor.
Visits are the number of visits. So in the example above, Sally’s activity would count as 100 visits.

Marketing consideration:
These metrics will let you know the extent to which your website visitors return. If you hope to be a consistent source of relevant information, you would want to see visitors returning.
  • Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

Pageviews refer to the number of times a page is viewed. Unique pageviews refers to the number of times a page is viewed in one session.
So let’s say that Sally is reading a blog post. She then clicks on a link you’ve given to another post. She then hits the back button to return to the original post. This counts as 2 pageviews and 1 unique pageview for this post. If she closes her browser, and then returns to your post the next day, she will be counted again.

Marketing consideration:
To get a better understanding of how much reach your content is actually getting, look at the unique pageviews number. 

  • Bounce rate  
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people that leave your site from the page they landed on. In other words, they don’t dig deeper into any of your content. They arrive, and then they leave.
Marketing consideration: If your website is based around a blog, and your blog posts are on your homepage, your bounce rate will be VERY high (around 80%), and that’s fine. Visitors come to read the latest post, and then leave.
If your website is not based on a blog, and your bounce rate is high, something is going on. Are you not delivering the content they want? Is your outdated design or vague copy throwing them off?
Bounce rates vary quite dramatically from industry to industry, and will also vary from page to page. One major alarm bell is a dramatic shift in bounce rate over time. Such a change should be looked into to.

  • Avg. Time on Site 
The average time, in minutes those visitors spend on your site.  
Marketing consideration: If your site is light on content and is used by visitors to quickly grab contact information for example, your time on site will not be very long. If you have created a site chock full of content that you want your visitors to peruse, you will want to see more time spent.

  • Exit - %Exit is (number of exits) / (number of page views) for the page or set of pages. It indicates how often users exit from that page or set of pages when they view the page(s).

  • Bounce Rate - Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).
  • Avg. Time on Page - The average amount of time users spent viewing a specified page or screen, or set of pages or screens.
  • Unique Page-views - Unique Page-views is the number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once. A unique page-view is counted for each page URL + page Title combination.
  • Pageviews - Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
  • Sessions - Total number of Sessions within the date range. A session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (Screen Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.
  • Pages / Session - Pages/Session (Average Page Depth) is the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
  • Avg. Session Duration – The average length of a Session.
  • % New Sessions - An estimate of the percentage of first time visits.

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