Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding how people use and utilize your site. We’ve built this guide to provide a simple overview of the key terms Google Analytics uses to describe the behavior of users on your site.
How many people viewed or interacted with your site. A single person (user) can visit your site many times. Each time they return, Google recognizes that is the same user, but a new session. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional sessions, but not as additional users.
Sessions (or Visits)
Sessions represent the number of sessions initiated by all the users to your site. Each time a user returns, Google considers that as a new session. If a person comes from another site (Google) to your site, that counts as the beginning of a session. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.
A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by Google Analytics. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.
A unique pageview, as seen in the Content Overview report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times. If a user lands on the homepage, clicks to the contact page, then clicks back to the homepage, Google will record 3 pageviews and 2 unique pageviews (because the 2nd visit to the home page was not unique to that session).
Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). There are a number of factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. For example, a user might leave your site from the entrance page if there are site design or usability issues, such as a slow loading page. Alternatively, users might also leave the site after viewing a single page if they’ve found the information they need on that one page, and had no need or interest in going to other pages.
Traffic Type (or Acquisition)
Organic: Visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing, e.g. a Google.com search.
Referral: Visitors referred by links on other websites.
Direct: Visitors who visited the site by typing the URL directly into their browser.
Social: Visitors referred by links on social media channels.
Keyword: Words or phrases describing your product or service used to find your site in organic results.
The webpage where people land when they first come to your site.