Google Analytics Tutorial: terminology

I understand that Google Analytics at first can look a bit confusing, why there are pageviews and unique pageviews, which users are unique and which are not. If you’ll know the main terminology of Google Analytics you will get what it is about and manage to check those monthly statistics which can improve not only traffic but also the conversion of your website. Check my list of Google Analytics tutorial: terminology.

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The main terms of Google Analytics


Pageviews – the number of times user view a webpage that has the inserted tracking code of Google Analytics. It is a count of the viewed pages, but it is not an individual visitor. If a viewer refreshes a webpage or leaves the page and returns, these are also counted as additional page views. The pageviews number shows you your most popular pages.

Visit / Sessions – Visits are an individual period of time, that visitors spend on your website.

This visit is counted as ended:

  • After 30 minutes if a visitor is inactive;
  • If the user leaves the website for more than 30 minutes. Although, if the user leaves the site and returns within 30 minutes, this is counted as a part of the original visit.

Hits – Hits are any interactions during a user’s visit, including events, pageviews, and transactions.

Unique pageviews – The unique pageview is counted if the page was viewed in an individual session. If a user viewed the page once or three times in their visit, the unique pageviews number will be counted as one.

Unique visitors – When a new user visits your website for the first time, a unique visit and unique visitor are recorded. Although, if the same user comes back to the website after their first visit, only a new visit is added and not a unique visitor. This is recorded by Google Analytics through the use of cookies if a user visits your website for the first time or not. However, if a visitor deletes their cookies from the browser or accesses your website through a different browser or device, then they are mistakenly added as a new unique visitor.

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New Vs Returning VisitorsNew visitors are only those users who have not visited your website before specified time period, the returning visitors already have made at least one visit to one webpage on your website before. Cookies are used to detect previous visits. If Google can’t detect a cookie it will be set for the future recording.

Segments – Google analytics allows you to create subsets of your data according to your specific needs. Segments help you to analyze information in more detail, you can filter the results to show the information for specific kinds of traffic. Segments can be used to analyze results between groups of visitors, targeted audience ( search traffic vs paid traffic). Segment customization can be set up to analyze your data more precisely.

Entrances – it shows the number of visits that started on a specific webpage.

Bounce rate – what is bounce rate in google analytics is one of the most searchable terms, it represents a user’s visit with an only one-page view and it is measured in percentages. Bounce rate represents the number of visits when a visitor leaves your website after only one-page view and it doesn’t matter how long they stayed on that page. The smaller percentage of bounce rate is better because it means that you are providing the information on the webpage which people are expecting when they click your website’s link in Google. A high percentage of bounce rate can mean two things, first is that you didn’t provide the information which visitors are looking for, second, you provided the exact information which visitors are looking for and they have no need to search for more. Your goal is to keep a person as long on your website as possible so you have to make sure if you use internal links on your website so that the person could explore more about you.  

Time on Page – this data represents the average amount of time, a visitor spends on a particular page. It represents the time between the start time of a specific pageview and the start time of the subsequent Pageview.

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Content – It allows you to see from which specific link or a piece of content a user visited your website. It is mostly used in connection with a custom campaign.

Direct Traffic and Referral Traffic – Google Traffic sources show how and from where users entered your website. Traffic sources split into direct and referral traffic. Direct traffic is made when a visitor writes an exact URL, link of your website in the browser or click on the bookmark to get to your website. Referral traffic is when a user has entered your website by clicking on a link from some other website, social media or a search engine.

Organic Search Traffic and Paid Search Traffic – Google Analytics shows you what percentage of traffic came from search engines. In organic search traffic, a visitor comes to your website by clicking on organic links on the search engine results page. The results usually appear below the search engine results page (SERP) and are defined by how good the page is optimized for search engines. The paid search results show visitors who clicked on one of your paid search engine ads. These usually appear at the top and side of the SERPs and are managed by an advertising account – Google Adwords.


Events – it represents custom acts that are distinct to a particular Google Analytics account. It can include acts like clicking images, hyperlinks or stop and play buttons in video players. These can be set up and used to help to track specific activity which is independent of page loads.

Goals – it can be fixed up in Google Analytics account to observe the conversion rate of the various acts by the users on your website. These activities can include a user making a purchase, downloading a menu or signing up for the newsletter.

You can also assign a monetary value to every goal which is completed, to help to determine the return on investment from the website.

Google Analytics terminology above is not a complete list of all Google Analytics terms, although these are the most important terms in Google Analytics which provides start information for new users or refresh memory for those with more experience.

Read my articles about Google Analytics:

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