So, you now have a website for your business and also know how to connect it to Google Analytics
. Awesome but what next? Is having a website enough to drive business online. Of course not. You have to put in work to make your website work for you. And one of the first tasks is to understand your website analytics. How many people are coming to your site, where are they coming from, which pages are being viewed the most and much more data is available to you through analytics. But to understand the data and get the most out of it, you should know what different terms of website analytics mean. And so without further ado, let’s get into it.
Here’s part 1 of understanding the terms of website analytics:
Terms explained – Visitors, new visitors, returning visitors, unique visitors, page, pageviews, hits, visits, sessions, session duration.
A visitor is an individual visiting your website during a period of time.
Ex: Let’s consider Ram, Rahim and Pavan visited your website today. That means your website has 3 visitors today.
The number of distinct individuals who access a website during a specific period. It is similar as visitors
Ex: Ram, Rahim, Pavan visited your site today. These are 3 different individuals. So, there are 3 unique visitors on you website today.
Visits is the number of times a site is visited, no matter the number of unique visitors that make up those sessions
Ex: Ram visited your site 1 time today, Rahim visited 4 times and Pavan visited 3 times. So your total visits for the day is 8.
These are the visitors who have reached your website for the first time.
Ex: Pavan has visited your website for the first time today. So, there is 1 new visitor on your website today
A visitor who has visited your website before and can be identified with multiple visits through cookies or authentication.
Ex: Ram and Rahim have visited your website last week and have visited your website today. So there are 2 returning visitors on the website today
A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example a single session can contain multiple page views, events, transactions etc. Also a session usually expires after 30 minutes of inactivity
Ex: Ram visited your site at 2:30 pm today and viewed multiple pages, watched a video on a page and bought a product and left the website at 2:43pm. This is counted as one session
The amount of time spent in a session is called session duration. In the above example, Ram’s session duration is 13 minutes.
Think of a website as a book, then web pages are like pages of the book. A web page is a smaller part of a larger website usually containing more specific information.
The instance of a visitor visiting a particular page on a site. A pageview is recorded whenever a full page of your website is viewed or refreshed.
Ex: If Ram visits your website homepage once and then your contact page twice today, that means you have 3 pageviews
Each file (image, page) sent to a browser by a web server is called a hit. One page view can contain hundreds of hits. That’s why it’s preferred to consider pageviews and not hits.
Ex: If your “about” page has 5 pictures, then when a user views the about page, it generates 6 hits (5 for the pictures, and one for the page).