Many of the terms used in Google Analytics may be unclear or misleading. Here are the most common ones, and some helpful explanations:
This is the ratio of visitors to a page that only visit this page and then return from where they came.
- If large sections have a high bounce rate then this could indicate that it will likely be devalued by the search engines and traffic being reduced in the future.
This is an individual ‘person’ that visits your website. They may visit several pages, but generally they are one person.
- There are some complications in how this figure is calculated as one person may start their journey of your website on a desktop computer and then continue on a mobile device or may restrict the serving of cookies. As such, this metric should be used with caution.
This refers to the number of visitors who take a particular desired action. Usually this means making a purchase, but it can also mean signing up for a newsletter or hitting “like” on Facebook.
A user may access your website a number of times during a set period. This metric is an aggregate of those visits.
This is concept of which words people used to type into a search engine and then clicked on your website.
You can now get ‘search query’ data which shows the keywords people used in the search engines and your website was listed in the main part of the results.
- To get this data you will need allow for Google Webmaster Tools data to be included in Analytics. You can find out how to do that here.
Analytics pre-defines sources of traffic into ‘channels’. They include:
Organic search - this is where you will get visits from your free listings in search engines.
Direct - this occurs when people type in your web address into their browser address bar - or visit from an application such as an email programme such as Outlook or Gmail.
Referral - when a visitor finds your website from clicking a link or banner on another website.
Paid Search - this is where you pay to be listed in the search engines such as by using Google Adwords or Bing Advertising etc.
Social - You may have your website being shared on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Google+ and other website such as TripAdvisor.