Google Analytics 101

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for measuring traffic and the behaviour of that traffic on your site.

Best of all it’s completely free. However when you open up Google Analytics for the first time, it’s very easy to be intimidated by its vast array of menus, navigation, graphs, visualisations and language.

Here I’ll offer a quick overview of the language involved when studying Google Analytics, which should help clear a few things up, before pointing you towards further resources on the site for more expansive guidance.

(Quick note: the examples I’ll be using here are from a now defunct website used by e-consultancy in their study)

Quick A-Z of keywords

Here are a few of the more common words you’ll come across in analytics.

  • Bounce: the user’s activity on your site just involved the loading of a single page
  • Conversion: refers to an activity carried out by the user which fulfils the intended web page purpose (product purchase, download, newsletter subscription etc.)
  • Entrances: the number of times visitors entered your site through a specified page or set of pages.
  • Entry (or Landing) Page: the entry page is the first page viewed by a website visitor.
  • Exit Point: the exit point is the last page viewed by a website visitor
  • Page Impression: a page is loaded or reloaded by a user.
  • Sessions: the activity by a unique user in one visit to your site
  • Visits: the total number of visits to your site, from unique or repeat visitors.
  • Unique Visitors: the number of unduplicated visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.

To make things clearer, let’s take a look at how this information is relayed in Google Analytics.

Audience Overview

This is the first page you’ll see when you fire up Google Analytics. We’ll be concentrating on the seven key metrics reported here.

  1. Sessions: the activity by a unique user in one visit to your site
  2. Users: the total number of distinct devices that have accessed your site*
  3. Pageviews: the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted
  4. Pages/Session: the average number of pages viewed during a visit to your site.
  5. Avg. Session Duration: the average duration time of a session
  6. Bounce Rate: the percentage of single page visits (i.e. visits in which the visitor left your site from the entrance page)
  7. % New Sessions: the percentage of visits that were first time visits (from people who had never visited your site before)If you would like help or want to learn more about Google Analytics make sure you get in touch. Sharpmonkeys is a digital marketing agency based in Worcester.