Google Analytics Glossary

Understand the basic terms of Google Analytics below.
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GA Terms and Definitions

Acquisition

How visitors/users get to your website. This can be someone typing in your website into the URL (direct), from social media, ads, etc. These users will be further defined by channel, source and medium.

Active User(s)

A user that has visited your website more than once, identified by more than one session. In the “realtime” view, these users are on your website currently.

Average Session Duration

When a user completes a defined action. Can be a purchase, contact, sign up, etc.

Campaign Name

Google Ads campaign name. Visible if you have Google Ads connected to Google Analytics.

Cookie

Set of information about you browsing a site stored on your browser. A cookie is created first time a user visit a website. Cookies are used to identify returning users. If a cookie is cleared for a specific site, that user would be seen as a new user next time they visit the site.

CPC

Cost-per-click or CPC is how much you pay when a user clicks on your Google Ad and visits your website.

Conversion (Rate)

When a user completes a defined action. Can be a purchase, contact, sign up, etc.

User

One unique user. May be counted as new user, if cookies are cleared.

Bounce (Rate)

When a user leaves page/site without any activity. Bounce rate is the percentage of users leaving without activity.

<50% = Good
50-70% = Can Improve
>70 = Needs analysis & improvement

Channel

Grouping of how prospects visit your site. Ie. Organic searches, paid ads, email, social media.

Goal

Goals are any type of conversion that you set up. For example, a prospect sends you a message through your “contact us” page or someone purchases a product from your site. These have to be set up manually. More details.

Global Site Tag

Code that has to be placed in your website to allow Google Analytics to collect data from your site and users.

Google Tag Manager

Google’s tool to help manage multiple codes/tags to your site. This is called a deployment tool and can make having multiple tracking codes (ie. GA tag, FB pixel, Hotjar, etc.) on your website cleaner. For advanced users. More details.

Keyword

Word or phrase that people used to get to your website. These will be from Google Search Console or Google Ads, if you’re running paid advertising. 

Google Search Console

Google’s tool to help website managers get data about which pages are doing well in Google Searches and which keywords are working well. More details.

Landing Page

The first page someone gets to on your website. 

Session

Group of user interactions on your website. Usually ends 30 mins after inactive. More details.

Session Duration

Length of time a user stays on your website. Often shown as an average of all users in that segment/filter.

Not Provided

To protect users’ privacy, Google will hide certain keyword data. These get put into the “not provided” section. If you’re seeing a lot of this, try to figure out their intent and user flow, which might give you a clue to what they were interested in. Here’s a good article by Neil Patel on this.

Not Set

Similar to not provided, “not set” is visible in different parts of GA to indicate this information is not available, usually for privacy reasons. A common example is a user location is “not set”. 

Page Value

Estimated value each page is bringing to your business. This is visible if you have a e-commerce website or you’ve set up goal conversions. 

Pages Per Session

During a specific session, this calculates how many specific pages a user viewed/went on.

PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

This is information that may all other information you have in Google Analytics, such as a name or email address. You are not allowed to collect and store these types of info into Google Analytics, according to their Terms of Service. You may however be able to input a User ID into GA. You must discuss this with your lawyer and technical team before implementing this.

Property

A property is a “container” that collects information from your website or mobile app. Each account can have multiple properties, which will have a different GA tag. These can be further siloed into “views”. 

Page View

One single page view.

Source / Medium

Specific ways prospects found your site. Ie. Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.

Referral

Referrals are websites that your users were on previously and clicked on a link from there to get to your website. If you’re getting a lot of referral from a particular website, create a stronger partnership so you can get more traffic from there.

Transaction

A single purchase on your website. Each purchase / transaction may have multiple products. 

Tracking ID

The piece of JavaScript code (also referred to as snippet) that allows Google Analytics to collect user data from your website.

Users Flow

Visual representation of how a user went from one page to another in your site. These will be signified by the blue lines from one page to another. Red signifies they left the website at that page. Helps you figure out what part of your website my need improvement. 

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