We at 2oddballs Creative know that understanding Google Analytics and its terms can be difficult.
We have started sending out different reports to show our clients proof of our work and the effect it has on their businesses. One of those reports is on Google Analytics.
Some of the terms used in those reports may be common sense but a good chunk of them could be confusing if you’ve never received a report on your Google Analytics account. Or maybe you have and your previous agency just didn’t explain it well. In either case, we don’t want you to be confused when we send you performance reports.
Understanding Google Analytics terms
Here are some of the common statistics and terms that we will include in our Google Analytics reports and what they mean:
- Users/Visitors: This one might be pretty easy. This number is the amount of people who visited your site during the time period specified. We may also indicate whether these are new or returning visitors if necessary.
- Sessions/Visits: Per Google, a session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. Basically, if a visitor enters your website a session begins. It only ends after 30 minutes of activity or at midnight in most instances.
- Session duration: You guessed it, this is how long the average session on your site is.
- Bounce rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of visits in which users have left your site after viewing just one page.
- Pageviews: This is the total number of times a page has been viewed by users.
- Unique pageviews: The difference here is a pageview is only counted once regardless of how many times a user returned to the given page during their session.
- Landing page: The page a visitor begins their session on. Where they “landed” on your site first.
- Direct traffic: Visitors that typed your website’s URL directly into the address bar to get to your site.
- Referral traffic: Visitors who have ended up on your site by clicking a link from another site, social media, or via a search engine.
- Organic traffic: The number of users who found your website in search engine results and clicked the link to get there.
- Paid traffic: Users who clicked on one of your Google Ads to get to your website.
- Keyword: Regardless of organic or paid search, the term a user entered into Google to find your ad or your website among the organic search results.
Reading your Google Analytics report
A few things…
First, the terms above are not the only ones you’ll find if you go looking into your Google Analytics account. These are simply the ones we’ll most likely use when sending you our report of the search engine optimization work we’ve done on your website or something else relevant to the traffic of your website.
Second, traffic does not always increase at a 45 degree angle. In fact, even the most optimized websites will experience decreases in traffic. So, if your report shows unfavorable data from time to time, please understand it’s normal. There are ways for us to tell if something is broken or needs further optimization and when we see those signs we will notify you.
Finally, if you still don’t understand any part of the reports we send even after reading the explanations we proved within, please respond to the email we send. We will be more than happy to help you make sense of all the data. If you need help navigating your Google Analytics account, Google has a guide for you here.