Understanding Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you’re more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.

When using Google Analytics you will come across various terms that require an explanation. Below I have listed the terms that may be confusing or require further explanation.

A/B Testing (Also referred to as Content (A/B) Testing.)
Testing the relative effectiveness of multiple versions of the same advertisement, or other content, in referring visitors to a site. Multiple versions of content can be uniquely identified by using a utm_content variable in the URL tag

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.

The ‘Clicks’ metric is the number of clicks on your search ads. This metric can be found on the Clicks tab of reports in the Traffic Sources –> AdWords section.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) CTR)
The number of times an ad is clicked on, divided by the number of impressions it receives. For example, if an ad is shown 20 times and receives 3 clicks, the clickthrough rate is 3/20, or 15%.

A conversion occurs when a visitor reaches a pre defined goal.
Cookie A small amount of text data given to a web browser by a web server. The data is stored on the users hard drive and is returned to the specific web server each time the browser requests a page from that server.
Cost Data Cost data is information imported from an AdWords account (i.e. impressions, clicks, cost, CTR, CPC)

Cost per Click (CPC)

An advertising model in which the advertiser pays a certain amount each time their ad is clicked, irrespective of how many times the ad is displayed.

The buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications. Buying and selling over the internet, etc.

IP Address
A unique identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network such as the Internet. An IP address is written as four numbers, each separated by periods. Each number ranges from 0 to 255.

Landing/Entrance Page
The first page that a user views during a session. This is also known as the ‘entrance page.’

Medium (in campaign tracking)

In the context of campaign tracking, medium indicates the means by which a visitor to a site received the link to that site. Examples of mediums are “organic” and “cost-per-click” in the case of search engine links, and “email” and “print” in the case of newsletters.

Search Engine
A Search Engine is a program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents in which those keywords were found, often ranked according to relevance.

Unique Views
A unique view, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique view represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.

Unique Visitors
Unique Visitors represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.
Tracking Code The Google Analytics tracking code is a small snippet of code that is inserted into the body of an HTML page. When the HTML page is loaded, the tracking code contacts the Google Analytics server and logs a pageview for that page and captures information about the visit.


Each visitor to your site enters via a link indicating where they clicked from, the keywords they used, if any, as well as campaign and medium information. This is done in a very simple way –
• The visitor lands on your website
• The Google analytics code on that page loads
• That code places a cookie on your hard drive (which is valid for 30 days)
• This cookie is called if you visit the site again (so the site knows if you are a unique visitor or have visited before in the previous 30 days).
The code on the site gathers this information and sends it to your Google Analytics account which gathers the information.