Header widget area left
Header widget area right

The Google Analytics Terms You Need to Know, From A to (Almost) Z

by Chelsea Higgins

marketing

 

Analytics can be a tricky business, and understanding the terms can be the hardest part. That’s why we’ve put together a glossary of terms to make deciphering Google Analytics a little bit easier.

analytics memeA – Acquisition:

What is it?

One of the main sections of Google Analytics is acquisition. This section is broken into ten subsections that help you better understand where the visitors to your site originated from. For example, a visitor could be directed to your site through direct traffic, social media or a search engine.

Why is it important?

Knowing how your website acquires its visitors helps you better understand which online marketing tactics are working best and driving the most traffic to your site.

 

B – Bounce Rate

What is it?

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your site after arriving on the landing page without interacting with the page. For example, if a Google search brought you to the Work page of the BIGfish website and you didn’t click on any of our awesome case studies before you exited, you would count towards our bounce rate.

Why is it important?

The importance of bounce rate lies in its ability to help understand users’ behavior on your page. A high bounce rate means users are not interacting with your site; this can be caused by either design issues that make a page less user friendly, or if a page has all the information a user is searching for, they’d have no need to visit other pages on your site.

bounce

C – Conversion Rate

pavolvWhat is it?

Conversion rate has to do with whether a user completes a desired action (think Pavlov and his dogs). In marketing and analytics, conversion rate has largely to do with ads. An online advertisement is set up with a goal, which can be anything from website clicks to watching a video. Conversion rate tells you how many users who interact with an ad complete your desired goal.

Why is it important?

An ad’s success lies in how well it completes its goal, so conversion rates act as a metric in measuring this success. The higher the conversion rate, the more successful the ad. Conversion rate can be affected by a number of factors, including interest of visitors, attractiveness of offer and the ease of the process.

 

D – Direct Traffic

What is it?

Direct traffic is all traffic to your website that doesn’t come from a referral (see below). When you type in a website’s URL directly into the navigation bar, click on saved bookmark, favorite or browser history, you are you are participating in direct traffic.

Why is it important?

Knowing which pages users visit directly allows you to better understand user behavior and what information they seek the most from your site. For example, if a top traffic driver on the BIGfish site is www.bigfishpr.com/blogs, we can tell that visitors are interested in reading the BIGteam’s views on PR, tech trends and other musings. This information would lead us to make sure the content is always fresh and that there are easy navigations to other pages within BIGfish site from the blog page.

 

E – Engagement Rate (okay this might not be for Google Analytics, but you should know it anyway)


engagement
What is it?

Another metric similar to conversion rate, engagement rate measures the level of interaction users have with a piece of created content. Engagement rate comes in handy when dealing with social media content where likes, shares, comments and video views all show user engagement with a post.

Why is it important?

Engagement rate for Facebook is calculated by adding the number of reactions, comments and shares in a given day,dividing that by total reach of a post on a given day and multiplying that by 100. Most social media sites have similar calculations for finding engagement rates. These rates help you better understand what type of content resonates most with your followers on a given social media platform.

 

F –  Frequency

What is it?

Under the audience behavior section of Google Analytics, you can find the frequency report, which counts how many repeat visits there have been to your site.

Why is it important?

The data from the frequency report is important because it grants you insights into the nature of the visits to your website, which can come in handy when planning your marketing campaigns.

 

G – Google Analytics Academy

What is it?

Google Analytics Academy offers a crash course in Google Analytics. It’s free, and you get a certificate of certification at the end to put on your fridge (or resume).

Why is it important?

Knowing the terms is the first step, but navigating Google Analytics is the next step. With Google Analytics Academy, you can get a better understanding on how the dashboards are set up and how to accurately read the information you are looking at.

 

H – Hit

What is it?

A hit is just another term for visitors’ interactions with your website. The term “hit” includes pageviews, transactions, items, events, social interactions or user timing.

Why is it important?

Hits occur each time a tracking code is triggered by user behavior. Through tracking behavior, hits help better understand what visitors are looking for when they visit your site.

 

I – Interests Report

What is it?

The interest report is part of the audience section of Google Analytics and enables you to better know who is interacting with your site.

Why is it important?

In understanding who your users are, you can better target them through advertisements and content to drive more traffic to your site.

 

J – JavaScript

What is it?

Sadly this has nothing to do with coffee. JavaScript is a computer programming language that is used to make web pages interactive. All coding languages aren’t created equal. HTML, CSS and JavaScript all perform different tasks to create a webpage. HTML creates the basic structure of a site, while CSS controls the format, presentation and layout.

Why is it important?

JavaScript’s ability make a webpage interactive is important because it helps to control the behavior of different elements on a web page. Without JavaScript, we wouldn’t be able to collect the behavioral data that makes analytics so important.

java

K – Keywords

What are they?

Keywords are the terms and phrases search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use to sort and index webpages based on the ads you set up. The keywords you chose are used to show your ads to the right people. For example, when someone enters a search into Google, your ad will appear based on the similarity between their search term and your keywords.

Why is it important?

Using relevant keywords helps ensure your ads are being viewed by users who are most likely to interact with them and add to the conversion rate. A good keyword list can improve the performance of the ad and even lower the price.

 

L – Landing Page

What is it?

A landing page refers to a website page that contains a form or call to action that generates a lead (a.k.a, a person or company that has displayed interest in a product or service). Landing pages are targeted and only include links that help to increase the conversion rate.

Why is it important?

Landing pages are important because they serve as the first step of the conversion path (or a series of interactions that end with lead capture*), making them an important part of increasing your conversion rate.

* A lead capture is simply the form users are asked to fill out on the landing page.

 

M – Mobile

What is it?

Part of the Audience Report on Google Analytics, the mobile section provides insights into what percentage of your audience is viewing your website with mobile devices. This section allows you to compare conversion rates across mobile platforms and desktop conversions.

Why is it important?

As smartphones allow more people to access your website on the go, knowing how these interactions differ from desktop interactions can help you design your mobile site to best achieve the desired conversions.

 

N – New vs. Returning

What is it?find you meme

The new vs. returning report in Google Analytics looks at how users interactions with your site may differ depending if they are a new or returning visitor. However, it’s important to note that Google denotes a user as new depending on the browser and device being used. This means that if someone first views a site on their iPhone and then goes home to view it on their desktop PC, they will be categorized as a new user in both interactions.

Why is it important?

Despite the challenges of marking each interaction as new, the new vs. returning report looks at visits, pages per visit, average visit duration and bounce rate. This report will let you know which type of visitor is driving the most traffic to the site, as well as who is interacting with the site more.

 

O – Organic Search

googleWhat is it?

Organic search refers to traffic from search engines that is not paid for through AdWords.

Why is it important?

The importance of organic search is the fact that it is free and that you can drive traffic to your site without having to pay for Adwords; it also gives trust and credibility to a visitors search. Organic search is so important that the entire SEO industry was built around it.

 

P – Pageviews

What are they?

Similar to a hit, a pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, another pageview is recorded as well.

Why is it important?

Pageviews are important because they demonstrate which pages are the most viewed, enabling you to see what content your users are most interested in. However, the real value of a pageview comes when it is compared to engagement rate and number of unique visitors

 

Q – Quantify

What is it?

Analytics helps you quantify user engagement. (Not really an analytics term, but what else starts with “Q”?)

 

R – Referrals

What are they?

A referral is traffic that arrives at your site through another source, like a link or another domain. For example, clicking on the hyperlink on the word referral in the previous sentence will direct you to our newest BIGclient, Thread International, and this blog post would be referenced as a referral page in their Google Analytics.

Why is it important?

Referrals are important because they are an effective client conversion channel. Clicking on a link means you are already interested in learning more about the company or topic associated with a link, making a user more likely to complete a conversion path.

 

S  – Sessions

What are they?

In Google Analytics, a session refers to a group of website interactions that take place in a given time frame. To give a cheesy explanation of a session, think of it as a lunch box. Your lunch box might include a bunch of different items (sandwich, drink, apple and, if you are a member of the BIGfish team, Cape Cod chips), but in the end, each individual item is part of the larger lunch.

Why is it important?

Sessions are important because they are the basis for many of the reports, features and metrics used in Google Analytics. Without a session acting as a container collecting all of the interactions a user has with a site, understanding visitor behavior would be impossible.

 

T  – Time on Page

What is it?

Time on page measures the length of time a visitor spends on a page. The time is calculated by subtracting the time a visitor originally came to the page from the time a user goes to the next page.

Why is it important?

Time on page helps to gage your users interest and engagement with the content featured on the page. The more time a visitor spends reading/viewing your content the more interest they have, which can help inform what type of content you should be utilizing.

U – Unique User

What is it?corrine

A unique user refers to how many different users a site has over a given time period and filters out all repeat visits during that time. For example, if Corrine from The Bachelor is the only person to view her nanny’s fan page, but she checks it every day for a month, her nanny’s page has one unique user and 30 total visits.

Why is it important?

Unique users indicates how many different people your site reach in a day/week/month/year. It also indicates how many users come back to your site during that time period. This information can help to better understand user behavior on the site and better track traffic.

 

V – Visitor Flow

What is it?

Visitor flow is in application in Google Analytics that allows you to see the path people take when on your website. For example, the visitor flow would show that, from the homepage, a majority of users then click on the “about” link, where some users are lost but others go on to click on another link.

Why is it important?

Visitor flow is important because it helps to understand user behavior and offers a visual on how users interact with the site.

W – Website

What is it?

It’s 2017…this should be self-explanatory.

X, Y & Z -…

Can you think of any analytic terms for X, Y & Z?  Share them with us in the comments below or tweet us at @BIGfishPR!

 

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.

OUR STORIES HAVE HOOKS

BIGfish is an unconventional PR agency that helps its clients redefine their industries through thoughtful storytelling and strategic PR campaigns. By integrating traditional PR with social media and marketing support, BIGfish generates awareness and motivates consumer behavior.

Twitter Updates

    Sorry, no Tweets were found.

Connect with us