Please note that this glossary is intended for the “old” Analytics report. Google has updated Analytics reporting as of June, and as such, we will shortly update this glossary to reflect the new Analytics reports. Please check back soon for the updated glossary.
Standard Analytics Report
Google Analytics is a Google service which generates detailed information about the activity on your website. It tells you how people found your site, what they did on it, and how long they spent there, among many other factors. The information in this report is the default information that the Google Analytics dashboard provides. Additional data can be added to it if required.
With this information, it’s possible to get both a general overview, and an in-depth perspective on the activities of users, and as a result, gain insight into ways to improve both your site, and the visitors experience.
On the next pages, you’ll find information on how to read your Analytics Report, and what information is contained in the various sections.
Continue reading or Download a PDF version version for your convenience.
This is, as the title suggests, the standard Analytics Report. As we mention above, additional data can be added to it if required. We also offer Advanced Analytics Reports as an additional service. Simply contact analytics @ netage.co.za with your requirements.
The Benefits Of Custom Analytics
In general, we recommend at least 1-2 hours of custom analytics analysis per month. This involves an analytics expert analysing your site data, and making recommendations on strategies for search engine and conversion optimisation, as well as suggestions for paid advertising campaigns, design, and email marketing.
With custom analytics reports, we can identify areas of the site that need improvement, from keyword performance to referrers.
A Word About Averages
Much of the data contained in this report deals with averages. These averages are useful indicators, but they cannot provide perfect data. If, for example, 500 visitors have a bounce rate of 50%, and 500 have a bounce rate of 10%, your average bounce rate will be 30%. In each case, we will point out where data is based on averages.
Understanding The Analytics Report
The information on these pages will help you to interpret the data contained in your analytics report. If you have any further questions, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The Analytics report contains the following data:
The Dashboard gives you a quick overview of all of the most important information contained in the report. The information on this page is divided into the following sections:
The date range shown at the top right of the page shows the period of time over which this data has been drawn.
Immediately below the date range, you’ll see a graph providing a visual representation of the number of daily visits your site has experienced for the period of time specified in the date range. This lets you see visitor trends at a glance, and includes repeat visits.
A basic overview of your usage statistics, this panel offers the following information at a glance:
The number of visits your site has received in the period for which the data applies. This is the numerical representation of the data on the graph above, and includes repeat visitors as well.
This number represents the total number of times that pages on your site were viewed by a visitor. This includes repeated views of a single page. Effectively, it shows how many times the various pages of your site were loaded by visitors.
The pages per visit figure shows the average number of pages that each visitor to your site viewed. As it represents an average, it may mean that some people viewed multiple pages, while others viewed only one. The pages per visit figure is achieved by dividing the number of total pageviews, by the number of total visits.
This important figure shows what percentage of your visitors viewed only one page of the site, such as the home page, before navigating away from your site. As Google updates it’s algorithm, bounce rate may become an important factor in determining search engine ranking.
A high bounce rate means that the pages on which visitors are arriving are not relevant to their reasons for visiting in the first place. This may be due to poor site structure, lack of information, or bad content. There are many possible reasons that could cause visitors to abandon your site. You can minimise your bounce rate by tailoring landing pages to the keywords which lead people to them, and addressing the content or design issues to make sure that people are finding what they want or need.
In general, a bounce rate of 25% or lower is perfectly acceptable. News sites, and other pages which have frequent content updates, will have higher bounce rates, as visitors will be arriving only for that specific page, and often leaving immediately afterward.
A bounce rate of 25-50% means that some work needs to be done to improve the visitor experience, or meet their expectation, while in most cases, (other than those exceptions mentioned above), bounce rates of over 50% indicate a problem on your website.
Average Time On Site
This figure shows the average amount of time that your visitors spent on your site. This is another metric which may become important to search engine rankings, as it represents how useful your site is to visitors on average. A higher time on site suggests that your site is relevant to visitors. Keep in mind that this is an average value, as explained on the first page.
% New Visits
This figure shows the percentage of total visitors who are new visitors. Subtracting this figure from 100% will give you the percentage of repeat visitors as well.
This graph, and the number below it, represent your total number of absolute unique visitors to your site. This represents users who have never been to your site before, as far as the analytics software can determine. This number may be slightly inaccurate however, as it depends on people keeping cookies on their computers, and may be affected by dynamic (changing) IP addresses.
This small version of the map overlay shows you where in the world your visitors are accessing your site from. The darkest colour represents the country from which your greatest number of visits came.
Traffic Sources Overview
The traffic sources overview gives you a summary of where visitors to your site have come from. The number of visitors from a particular source, as well as the percentage of your total visits comprised by that source, are included below the source. The sources are as follows:
The number of visitors who arrived at your site via a search engine results page, such as Google.
Referring sites are sites which contain a link to your site. Visitors who arrive from referring sites have clicked the link to your site which appears on the referring site, which may be a blog, a forum, a directory site or something similar.
Direct traffic represents the visitors who have arrived at your site by either typing your site URL directly into the address bar of their browser, or who have bookmarked your site and are arriving via their own bookmark. These are sometimes repeat visitors, or people who have had contact with your business in the past. They may also have been driven to your site by offline marketing, such as print advertisements etc.
The content overview gives you a brief look at the top 5 pages on your site which have been viewed the most frequently. The information is presented as follows:
This column lists the top 5 most popularly visited pages on your site according to their URL.
This shows how many times that particular page has been loaded (or viewed) by visitors in the reporting period.
Shows the number of page views for each page as a percentage of your total page views.
The visitor overview provides a little more detailed information on your site visitors. Data is provided for the reporting period, as displayed by the date range on the top right of the page.
The graph below, like the graph on the Dashboard page, shows your total number of visitors, albeit on a slightly adjusted scale.
Below this graph, you’ll see a prominent banner showing the number of absolute unique visitors. This is followed by the site usage statistics which mirror those explained under the site usage overview. Please refer back to previous pages to refresh your memory of what the various usage statistics mean.
The Technical Profile provides you with information on the type of browser and connection that your visitors are using to view your site.
This column displays the top 5 browsers in which your site was viewed.
This column shows how many of your visitors used each of the top 5 listed browsers.
This column shows the number of visitors using each listed browser, expressed as a percentage of your total visitors.
This column shows the top 5 connection speeds of your visitors, if the software has been able to determine it. As with the browser information, each speed is shown alongside the total number of visits which employed that speed, and the percentage of total visits which did.
Due to the inconsistency of connection speed in South Africa, you may see a value of “unknown” in one of the lines. This simply means that the software was unable to determine the connection speed of those users, due to fluctuations.
Traffic Sources Overview
The traffic sources overview provides additional detail for the reporting period on where your visitors have been arriving at your site from.
Below the now familiar total visitors graph, you’ll notice a prominent banner containing the total number of visits, (not unique visitors) to your site.
Following the banner, you’ll see a reprise of the overview data from the first page, explaining the sources of your traffic, both in real numbers, as well as in terms of percentages of the total number of visits. Please refer to previous pages for explanations of the various traffic sources.
Top Traffic Sources
This section of the report shows where the majority of your traffic has arrived from.
This column lists the top 5 highest performing specific sources of your traffic. It may include search engines, paid advertising, or referring sites.
The site name is displayed first, followed by specific information in brackets. The bracketed information may include:
(Organic): Traffic from natural (unpaid) search engine results.
(CPC): Traffic from paid advertising on search engines, such as Google Adwords
(Referral): Traffic from other sites which contain a link to your site.
This information is followed by the number of visitors who arrived via the specified source, both as an absolute number of visitors, and as a percentage of the total visits.
This column displays the keywords used in the top 5 searches that brought your traffic from search engine sources, whether through organic results, or by means of paid search engine advertising such as Google Adwords.
As in the previous data regarding sources, the number of visitors who used that specific search term is displayed, as well as the number as a percentage of your total visits for the reporting period.
A more detailed look at the geographical distribution of your visitors, the map overlay provides a map displaying the location of your visitors based on the total number of visits.
The overall user behaviour statistics are repeated in the site usage section, displayed both for the reporting period, and as a site-wide average. Please refer to the “Dashboard” section to refresh your memory regarding the explanation for the types of data displayed here.
Country / Territory
The final set of data for this report shows a detailed breakdown of the information suggested by the Map Overlay. This data shows the top 10 countries or territories from which the greatest number of your site visitors have accessed your site.
This data is divided into the following columns:
The number of visits from the specified country.
The number of pages that were viewed per visit for the specified country.
Average Time On Site
How long visitors from each country spent on your site on average.
% New Visits
What percentage of visitors from each country were first time visitors to your site.
The percentage of visitors from each company that abandoned the site after viewing only a single page.
The final section of the analytics report consists of an overview of your content, based on various factors. As with other sections, it is headed by the date range for which the report applies, and is followed by a graph which acts as a visual representation of total page views, over each of the days of the reporting period.
The rest of the data is shown as follows:
This represents the total number of times that pages on your site were viewed. This includes pages which were viewed (refreshed) more than once.
This number shows how many of those pageviews were unique, first time views.
This figure, as in previous pages, refers to the percentage of users who viewed only one page on the site before leaving.
As shown on the dashboard page, this set of data provides you with information about the top 5 pages on your site. The 5 pages, in other words, which have been viewed the most by your visitors.
It is divided into the URL of the top 5 pages themselves, as well as the number of times each of those pages were viewed, and finally, the percentage of total pageviews which the views of each of those pages comprise.