We often meet with businesses that are unsure how to use their Google analytics data to their benefit, some aren’t sure what the data means and when we ask some don’t even know if they have analytics set up.
So we thought it might be of benefit to some to start with the basics so we’ve explained what each of the metrics on the Google Analytics overview tab means to your website.
The Audience Overview Tab
In your overview tab you have access to the overall figures for your site as well as a graphical representation of visitors that you can set to view hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Your choice here depends on the period of time you are reviewing and what you are looking for. Analysing the graph allows you to note any patterns or anomalies that may have occurred.
Sessions – The total number of visits to your site over the time period in question.
Users – Displays the total number of users to your site.
The difference between the two being that ‘users’ means how many individual computers (or phones or tablets) visited your site and ‘sessions’ means how many times your site was visited. For example this could include three visits that are from one visitor and so count as 3 sessions but only as 1 user.
Pageviews – How many pages on your site were viewed overall. 1 pageview equals 1 view of any page on your site. A visitor may visit 12 pages while on your website and these are all counted towards the total number of pageviews. So this metric is the total number of pages visited in a time period.
Pages / Session – The average amount of pages viewed per visitor. You many have 1 visitor viewing 30 pages, 7 visitors viewing 3 pages in addition to all other visitors and achieve an average page/session number of 5.38. This gives an indication as to helpful or important visitors to your site view the pages on the site.
Avg. Visit Duration – The average amount of time spent on the site per visitor. From when they first land on your website to when they leave. All visitor durations are totalled and divided by the amount of sessions to give you average visit duration. For this it is usually a case of the longer the better.
Bounce Rate – Your bounce rate is a percentage based on the number of times a visitor lands your website and then leaves again without going to any other pages on the site. There can be a number of reasons for this, but it’s often an indicator that the visitor wasn’t engaged with the site.
New Sessions – The percentage of first time visits to your website in the time period stated. This may tell you that 70% of your users are first time visits. This metric provides an estimation of new vs returning visitors and can help you determine if you are keeping customers or mainly attracting one-time customers.
If you are new to analytics we hope this very brief introduction of of some help. If you’d like to understand a lot more about the data your website can provide you then please feel free to make contact with us.