When it comes to measuring the success of your digital strategy, Google Analytics is the first place to look. Your website is the heart of your strategy and checking Google Analytics is like running an EKG. It’s got all the data you need to figure out if your site’s working properly or in need of a lifesaving intervention.
As helpful as Google Analytics is, intuitiveness isn’t really its strong point. Reading an Analytics report can be intimidating, so we’ve prepared this guide of some common terms. Read on and you’ll be fluent in what we (fondly) call geek speak in no time!
Here are five key Google Analytics terms defined:
- Pageview – “Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed,” Google Analytics Help states. Basically, each time a viewer loads a webpage on their browser, it’s recorded as a pageview. Reloads count, as well.
- Session – Session represents the amount of time that a user is active on your website. There’s a thirty-minute time limit during which a visitor can come and go while still participating in their original session. If a user is inactive for longer than thirty minutes, a new session begins once they return to your site.
- Conversion – Every business has action-based goals for its website; the completion of these goals is known as conversion. You need your viewers to perform meaningful actions while visiting your site – purchases, video views, “likes” and page shares are a few common ones. Simply put, once a visitor does what you want them to do on your website, you’ve “converted” them.
- Source/Medium – How exactly does your site attract traffic? Source/Medium view will provide you with answers. Source describes the origin of your website’s traffic. Search engines and links from other sites are common sources. Medium categorizes the source – organic (unpaid) search results, paid-for search results and referrals are just a few examples.
- Metric – A metric is a measurement of data that reveals crucial information about the performance of your website. Metrics allow you to analyze your viewers’ activity, conversion rate, the popularity of your content and many other important factors. With this data, you’ll be able to make informed decisions when upgrading or tweaking your website.
No matter what your site’s objectives may be, Google Analytics can help you reach them. By adding these five words to your vocabulary, you can begin to master Analytics and truly transform your website.
Need more? Here’s a handy list of Google Analytics resources, and a video from Analytics Academy that defines key metrics and dimensions: