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Google Analytics is a powerful tool for businesses to utilize. It provides valuable insight that can be used to assess your website’s performance as well as understand visitor behavior. Reviewing your Google Analytics data on an ongoing basis is very important however, it can be overwhelming at first. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of terms we think you should know when you are working with Google Analytics.

Common Google Analytics Terminology

%Exit

How often users exit from a page. It is calculated by dividing the number of Exits with the number of Page Views.
You’re probably thinking that this metric will always read “100%” since everyone has to leave your site at some point, right? Well not quite. While the number of exits will equal the number of entrances, the %exit will not equal 100% because the %exit takes into account the total pageviews for the entire site, and because not everyone leaves a site on the same page they entered from.

Confused? That’s okay! That’s why you have us to help you out 🙂

Acquisition

How your website acquired users.
There are a number of ways users can access your site. When we look at acquisition, we are able to see those methods that are being used. Acquisition breaks down how many people are accessing your site via organic searches, direct searches, referrals, and more. It is a great way to gauge your site’s traffic at a glance.

Average Position

The average ranking of your website’s URL in a query.
Average position will represent where your URL is shown on a SERP in a search engine like Google or Bing. For example, if one person searches for “cars for sale”, your site appears at position 3. Then another person searches for the same thing, and your site appears at position 5. The average position for your site would then be 4.

Behavior

Indicates what your users are doing on your site and tracks how your site is being navigated.
As you can probably already tell, tracking the behavior of your users lets you see the flow of pages that are visited from the moment your site is accessed to the moment it is exited. This is a useful tool when you want to see if users are getting to your product page and making purchases or if they are filling out contact forms.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page.
This is a metric that we would like to see as low as possible. While the average bounce rate ranges from 41-55%, it’s always a good idea to keep it below the average. This is an especially important metric to keep track of because it tells us how well a website is performing. If you have a rising bounce rate, that most likely means that your site is boring to users and causes them to leave after viewing just one page. If you need help with lowering your bounce rate, feel free to get in touch with us!

Channels

A system Google Analytics uses to group traffic sources.
As we discussed earlier, there are different methods users use to access your site (i.e. direct search, organic search, referral search). Channels are just the groupings of those methods Google Analytics uses to organize data. On Google Analytics, you will mostly see “Organic Search”, “Direct”, “Social”, and “Referral” as the most common channel groupings.

Conversion

An action that is counted when a user interacts with your ad and then takes an action that you’ve defined valuable for your business.
Conversion is a metric that every business wants to keep track of. Google Analytics lets you do just that. As a business owner, it is especially useful to know how well your site is performing at having users make a purchase or calling your business.

CTR

Click Through Rate. Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
CTR helps measure how well your ads are performing. It can be used to gauge keywords and landing page performance. The higher the CTR, the more relevant and helpful your ads are to users.

Direct Traffic

Traffic from those who enter your website URL directly into their search browser.
Direct traffic is a clear indicator that people remember your website URL. We’ve found that the URLs that are shorter and contain 2-3 words typically have a higher percentage in direct searches.

Engagement

The measure of users interacting with your site.
You have probably heard this term thrown around once or twice. Measuring user engagement means that you are able to see how well your sight is performing in having your users interact with your site. In Google Analytics, there are two reports that collectively measure engagement, Sessions Duration and Page Depth. Sessions Duration shows you the amount of time users are spending on your site. Page Depth shows how many pages within your site users are visiting.

Entrances

The number of entries by visitors into the pages of your website.
As the term implies, everyone has to enter your website to view it. This metric will always be at 100%.

Events

Interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load.
Events are only tracked when certain page elements are assigned to be an event. This can include a video, a form, a button, an image, etc. It’s a good way to see how users are interacting with your site and to see if the events you’ve assigned are effective enough.

Final URLs

URLs that you’ve directed users from your Google Ads advertisements.
When you have an ad campaign through Google Ads, you are able to see how they perform on Google Analytics. Analytics lets you see which links are more engaging than others. This report is primarily designed to coincide with your landing pages as you want to bring users to your site and make the conversions you want.

Impressions

The number of times a page has been viewed by users. Typically referenced to when discussing ads.
If you’ve heard of engagement, you’ve probably heard impressions in the same sentence. While both terms typically go hand-in-hand, they describe different situations. Impressions can be misinterpreted if not properly understood. While it’s always nice to see that your content is being seen, sometimes that just isn’t enough. Rather than having your site being seen, you would also want to have those users act upon your ad. So in that sense, impressions (though frequently discussed) may not be an important metric to keep track of.

Landing Pages

Pages that users entered your site from.
Having landing pages included in your site is an important thing to keep in mind. You want to have a landing page that is interesting enough to have users visit your site. Analytics lets you measure the performance of those landing pages and breaks down the impressions, CTR, clicks, and sessions.

Medium

Medium describes how your users accessed your site.
Here, you will mostly see data listed as “organic”, “referral”, and “none” (which refers to direct searches).

Organic Traffic

Traffic from those who access your site from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Organic traffic is a metric that indicates people are searching for a topic or service and they come to your site in hopes of having their questions answered. This is an important metric to us because we always want our clients to appear as one of the top search results on each search engine.

Queries

The actual search query that triggered impressions.
Gauging the search queries can be a powerful tool in optimizing your site’s content. Search queries show what your users are searching for before they visit your site. This kind of insight can be helpful in making your site more relevant for your users.

Referral Traffic

Traffic referred from any 3rd party websites (blog posts, articles, etc.)
As the definition states, this referral traffic means that your business is being discussed or referenced to on blogs and articles. It indicates that your business is interesting enough that people want to write about it and let others know.

Session

A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (Screen Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.

Source

The place users are before seeing your content, like a search engine or another website.
Tracking sources is a great way to see where your users are coming from before they visit your site. Some of the most popular sources are Google, Bing, and Facebook.

UA Code

Each website will be assigned a unique Tracking ID that needs to be placed into the code of the website.
This one of the most important steps when you are setting up your Google Analytics account. Without the UA Code embedded into your site, Google Analytics will not be able to track your site’s performance.

Users

Users who have initiated at least one session during the date range.

Users Flow

Represents the paths users took through your site, from the source to where they exited the site.
Users Flow primarily focuses on the demographics of your users. Similarly to behavior, you are able to see the flow pages users visiting and interacting with. In addition, you are able to see a breakdown of what kind of users are viewing your site, from the kind of web browser they are using, to the service provider. This can help you get an idea of what your users are like, which can ultimately help you develop a campaign with a greater focus.

At Connections Marketing, we are more than happy to share our knowledge with you. Our Qualified Google Analytics specialists can help answer any questions you may have. If there was a term or concept that sounded interesting or that you wanted to explore, get in touch with us!

Don’t have Google Analytics account? Create an account for FREE by visiting, anayltics.google.com

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About the Author

Ariene Malicdem

Project Manager || SEO Lead

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