Got Google Analytics?

Having a hard time understanding Google Analytics?

Over the next 3 blog posts I’m going to discuss Google Analytics, starting with the definitions and main dashboard reports, how to interpret the data, and suggestions for how to correct issues on your website that may improve your site’s Google Analytics numbers. This is a very basic overview

What do the numbers mean?

You may already have Google Analytics set up on your site, but what do the numbers and data mean? Essentially, Google Analytics (GA) is a way to track those who come and go from your website. How long do they stay and what do they do while they are there? You’ll know your website is working when leads turn into sales (you know $$$$).

Let’s take a deeper look at the 7 main components of your “Reporting” dashboard in Google Analytics. If you do nothing else other than look at these stats, you’re doing good. This snapshot is a great way to see at-a-glance what your site is doing and where you may need to improve (which will discuss in part 3 of this series).

Understanding Google Analytics

Google Analytics Definitions

Sessions

Google Analytics defines Sessions as the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (Screen Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.

Basically, a session is when someone comes to your site. GA sets a date range of 1 month, but you can adjust that date on the Reporting page of your Google Analytics page to view the data. It’s a period of time someone is on your site. A session starts when someone clicks a link to your site, finds your home page, etc. It’s when the time starts ticking that someone is on your site.

Users

These are the PEOPLE who have been to your website. This includes both new and return users.

Pageviews

Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed by the users during the sessions. This is a total number of pages viewed by visitors to your site (not individual users). Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Pages Per Session

This stat is the number of pages viewed per individual user’s session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Avg. Session Duration

The average length of a Session.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate can be a bit tricky. Basically, when someone comes to your site (through any page) and never goes anywhere else on your site, and then they leave – that’s the bounce rate. They have “bounced” right onto and off of your site. Google Analytics defines it as: “the percentage of single-page visits.”

Percentage of New Sessions

An estimate of the percentage of first time visits.

 

This is all assuming that you have already set up Google Analytics. If you have not, then we’ll need to address how to do that in a separate post. In the meantime, log into your Google Analytics account and start reviewing your data and get familiar with the dashboard. That’s the key to understanding Google Analytics. Next time we’ll discuss how to interpret and read the data.

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