If you are just starting out with Google Analytics, the new terminology can be overwhelming and often confusing. Understanding the terms used is essential before you can begin to analyze your site’s data. A good place to start, of course, is with the more popular and important terms.
Here is our Basic Google Analytics Glossary
Bounce rate: The percentage of site visitors that leave a landing page (i.e. home page) without navigating to any other pages on your site. In other words, these are single-page visits in which the web visitor left your site from the entrance page.
Dashboard: Interface with the overall summary of your analytics data. By default, this is your starting point when you access your Google Analytics information.
Direct Traffic: These are web visitors that typed your web address into their Internet browser. Launching a site via a bookmark is also included in this category. Direct traffic visitors can be the result of an offline promotion, word-of-mouth or simply from your business card.
New visits: The percentage of web visitors that were new (i.e. have never visited your site before). In other words, how many of your total visitors are new visitors versus how many of your total visitors are repeat visitors.
Referring Sites: These are web visitors that were directed to your site via a link that they clicked. The referring site could be a web directory, related website or blog. In most cases, it is new traffic and can be quite targeted.
Search Engines: These are web searches that were directed to your site from a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). In other words, they found you using keyword search. This again, is often new traffic but very targeted.
Traffic Sources: How visitors found your website either via direct traffic, referring sites or search engines.
Unique Visitors: Unique Visitors represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.
Visits: A visit is essentially a session. Visitor Sessions represents the number of times individual users visited your website over the course of a specified time period. This is a sum of first-time, returning, and unknown sessions.
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