If you are new to Google Analytics you may think most of what you are looking at is in a foreign language. Hopefully this post will help to demystify some of the terms used in Google Analytics. I will also be posting something soon that will provide an introduction to what Google Analytics can do “out of the box.”
- Advanced Segments- This is an option that is available on almost all of the reports you can view. Advanced Segments allow you to drill deeper into your data. For example if you are looking at a report of “New Visitors” you can select advanced segments and see how many of those new visitors viewed your site on a mobile device.
- AdWords- The AdWords report will help you if you have synced Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
- Audience- A Standard Report in Google Analytics that allows you to view data about the audience your site has reached and how they have interacted with your site.
- Automatic Alerts- See Intelligence Events
- Behavior- Section of reports that helps you understand how users interact with your site.
- Bounce Rate- Percentage of users who come to your site and leave only viewing one page
- Browser OS- Identifies what Browser Operating Systme users are using to view your site
- Campaigns- Reports generated to help you understand the performance of online and offline campaigns. This is more of an advanced feature.
- Cookie- What Google Analytics uses to track user behavior
- Conversions- You can set goals for your site. When those goals have been met a conversion takes place
- Custom Alerts- See Intelligence Events
- Dashboards- Basically this is a summary of the Google Analytics data available to you. Dashboards can be customized so you can quickly see the data that is relevant to you.
- Data Hub Activity- Reports that integrate information from Google’s Data Hub Partners and helps you view social conversations taking place with your brand
- Demographics- Reports that provide information to help you identify what market your message is reaching. See also Language and Location
- Dimension- Data that relates to language, location, referral source, browser type etc…
- Direct- Visitors that type your web address into a browser or visit you through a bookmark
- Engagement- Report that helps you determine how engaged users are with your site. How many pages do they view? How long do they spend on your site?
- Exit Pages- Pages where users leave your site
- Frequency- How often a visitor visits your site
- In-Page Analytics- Allows you to navigate your site and view performance reports at the same time.
- Intelligence Events- An event can be anything that you would like to have Google Analytics monitor for you. For example if traffic falls 50% in one day, or conversions increase 25% in one day. Intelligence Events come in two types, Automatic Alerts and Custom Alerts
- Automatic Alerts- A group of events preset by Google Analytics.
- Custom Alerts- A group of events determined by the user.
- Landing Pages- Not everyone lands on your home page when they come to your site. The Landing Pages reports will help you identify which pages users land on most frequently and how those pages perform when a user lands on them
- Language- A Dimension that shows you what language site users speak
- Location- A Dimension that shows you where site users are located
- Metric- Data that relates to visits, bounce rate, page views, etc…
- Mobile- Reports with data generated by users using a mobile device (VERY IMPORTANT- If you have low mobile traffic it doesn’t mean people aren’t looking at your site on a mobile device, it more likely means your site looks bad on a mobile device)
- Network- Identifies what network users are using to access your site
- Network Referrals- Report that helps you understand which social network has sent you traffic
- New Visitor- A Visitor (see definition of Visitor) that has never been to your site, or has cleared the cookies on their machine.
- (not provided)- Google used to provide you tell you what keywords triggered your site in search results. Now they hide all of that information in the black box call (not provided)
- Organic- Traffic that comes to your site from organic search results
- Paid- Reports related to Google AdWords performance and other paid search campaigns. Anything other than Google paid search has to be manually uploaded.
- Page Depth- Shows how many visitors visited deep into your site. For example a page depth of 1 means one page was viewed. A page depth of 10 means 10 pages have been viewed.
- Pageviews- A measurement of how many pages have been viewed
- Plugins- This report helps you identify social sharing that is taking place through your social sharing plugins.
- Real Time- A feature in Google Analytics that allows you to view user interaction with your site as it happens.
- Recency- Time between visits
- Referrals- Sites that refer traffic to your site
- Returning Visitor- A machine that has previously been cookied by your site that is returning to visit your site
- Search- Reports that are designed to help you understand traffic that comes from organic search
- Shortcuts- Allow you to create a quick link to your most commonly viewed reports straight from the homes screen.
- Site Search- Allows you to see how many users are using your sites search bar and what they are typing into the search bar. This takes a little advanced set up.
- Social- Reports designed to help you understand and track the role of social media with your websites performance
- Sources- Something that sends you traffic
- Trackbacks- They are basically a blogging high five. They have little SEO value but will show you what kind of bloggers link to your content
- Technology- Reports provided to help you identify what technology is being used to view your website
- Traffic Sources- Reports created to help you identify where your traffic comes from
- Visit Duration- How long users are engaged with your site (measured in seconds)
- Visitor Flow- A report that visually shows you how users navigate your site and when and where they leave your site
- Visitor- Google Analytics registers a visitor by placing a cookie on a machine. Therefore if you visit a site with three different machines you are three visitors.
My Two Cents on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you understand the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. I recommend spending some time to get to know Google Analytics. Come up with 4 or 5 reports that you can place on your Dashboard. Try to use Google Analytics to understand the effectiveness of your Social Media efforts, and advertising campaigns. Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you understand where to effectively spend your internet marketing dollars. Let me know what you think. Place your comments in the comment section below or contact us here at Vivid Image for any specific questions you may have.