A beginner’s guide to Google Analytics in 2017

Google Analytics is an amazing tool for measuring traffic and to study the behavior of that traffic on your site.

You can extract meaning out of your data, report back accurate ROI that helps you further improve your strategies. The best part? it’s completely FREE!

However when you open up Google Analytics for the first time, it’s very easy to get intimidated by its vast array of menus, navigation, graphs, visualizations and language.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of the language and terms involved when studying Google Analytics, which should make it easy to get started. Let’s take a look at a few Google Analytics terms before getting started.

Google Analytics Glossary of Key Terms

Bounce: A Bounce is a Session during which the user takes no action on your site whatsoever. Generally, you want to limit Bounces from pages that direct Visitors to other pages on the website, like a homepage or landing page.

Entrances: Entrances represent the number of Sessions that started on a specific page or group of pages. Entrances can show you how often specific pages serve as Landing Pages for Visitors.

Events: Events are custom actions that are distinct to a particular Google Analytics account. Events can include actions like clicking hyperlinks, images, or stop and play buttons in video players. They’re often key for measuring conversions. Visitors can trigger the same Event countless times in a single Session, but it will count as only one Unique Event. You can compare Total Events to Unique Events to analyze how your users interact with different pages.

Exits: Exits are different than Bounces. Exits occur in all Sessions, but Bounces denote only single page Sessions. You especially want to limit Exits from pages where people find other content, like your homepage or a landing page.

Page Value: Page Values are used in especially in e-commerce applications. They assign a relative value to some page viewed prior to a monetary transaction.

Return Sessions: Return Sessions represent the number of repeat Sessions during a specified time period. The presence of cookies in the user’s browser will determine whether they are a New or Return Visitor.

To make things clearer, let’s take a look at how this information is represented in Google Analytics.

Audience Overview

This is the first page you’ll see when you fire up Google Analytics. We’ll be concentrating on the seven key metrics reported here.

google analytics glossary

 

Sessions: A Session (or Visit), represents one connection of a user who spends on a particular website, starting when the first Web page of that site is loaded in the browser and ending when the user either leaves the website, closes their browser, or the Visit times out after 30 minutes of inactivity. Sessions measure website traffic volume over time and are the foundation of many important traffic metrics.

Users: the total number of distinct devices that have accessed your site

Pageviews: A Pageview represents an HTML file being loaded in a Web browser. Pageviews measure traffic volume over time at the page-level, whereas Sessions measure traffic for your whole site or platform. Unique Pageviews is an important metric because it functions similar to Sessions, only at the page-level.

Pages Per Session: Pages per Session measures the depth of a Session and can be a measure of engagement, depending on the content of your website. Pages per Session is an average, and should be measured across different user groups to help understand user behavior.

Avg. Session Duration: the average duration time of a session

Bounce Rate: The Bounce Rate represents the percentage of single-page Sessions (Total Bounces divided by total Sessions).

% New Sessions: the percentage of visits that were first time visits (from people who had never visited your site before)

The screenshot above belongs to one of our client Car Insight, who had 1/4th this traffic before joining hands with CONQ. You can see their complete case study here. The case study also displays how we managed to rank our client as a leading player for specific keywords in the automotive industry taking over some of the industry giants who have been in the market for 10+ years and are heavily funded too.

 

Rahul Lakhaney

Rahul Lakhaney

I've worn many hats in my career—sales, UI/UX, client relations, growth hacker, chief technologist and founder. As a result, I have a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects and to navigate complex challenges.