Google Analytics Glossary of Terms

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visits in which the visitor only views one page of your website before leaving is known as the Bounce Rate. With Bounce Rate information, you can analyze the quality of user visits. A high Bounce Rate often indicates that your pages are not relevant to what your visitors are looking for. You can lower your bounce rate by generating better targeted ads and Landing Pages, as well as creating quality content that will engage visitors and draw them into your website.


This is what occurs when a goal is completed. Conversions happen when a visitor comes to your site and completes a desired goal or action. Completing a purchase and submitting a contact form are both examples of goals. Google Analytics allows you to create customized goals so you can measure user actions that are important to your website.


A small amount of text data used to remember information from page to page and visit to visit. Cookies can contain information such as user preferences or shopping cart contents.

Cost Data

The information imported from a Google AdWords account into an Analytics account.

Custom Reporting

Google Analytics offers the option to create custom reports based on the metrics and dimensions you choose. Custom reports present the information you selected, organized in a way that works for you. Once you create a custom report, it will be available to you each time you login.

Direct Traffic

Visits to your site where the user types your URL into their browser’s address bar or when a visitor uses a bookmark to get to your website. It is important to know where your website traffic is coming from so you can understand which marketing endeavors are working for you. Direct traffic illustrates how many of your visitors know your brand and website URL. ese visitors did not nd your website on search engines or on another site. ey came directly to your website.


A measure of something you want to track in Google Analytics that you de ne as a success. Goals must relate to a quanti able action that your website’s visitors take, such as product purchases, newsletter sign ups, or downloads. Goals are set up in Google Analytics to track conversions.

Goal Conversion Rate

The percentage of visits on a site where the visitor completes a goal or completes a conversion.


These are the words that visitors use to nd your website when using a search engine. Google Analytics provides a list of keywords that have been searched by users who nd your website. is information shows you what searchers are actually looking for when they find your website. is also allows you to discover potential new keywords to target.

Landing Page/Entrance Page

The first page a visitor views during a session; also known as the entrance page.


A measure of visitor behavior. A visitor’s loyalty is illustrated by the amount of times they return to your website in a speci ed time period. Loyal visitors are typically highly engaged with your website and your brand. Low customer loyalty often illustrates the need for new content and regular updates to a website.

New Visitors

Internet users who have not previously or recently visited your site are considered new visitors. If cookies on a previous visitor’s computer have expired or if they have deleted their cookies, these visitors will also register as new visitors. Google Analytics lets you see how many new visitors you have so you can ne-tune your website to increase repeat visits as well as increase the number of new visitors.

Organic Traffic

Visitors who come to your website from unpaid organic or natural search engine results.

Paid Traffic

This consists of visitors who come to your website from Google AdWords ads, paid search engine keywords and other online paid ad campaigns. When investing in an online PPC or other advertising campaign, this data will show you how effective your paid online marketing program is.

Page View

The amount of times visitors arrive on individual pages of your website. If a user reloads a page, that action will be counted as an additional page view. If a visitor navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second Page View will be recorded as well. Page views allow you to see which pages on your site are the most popular.

Referring Sites

Other websites that refer or send visitors to your website are called referring sites. Knowing where your traffic is coming from is an easy way to increase your ROI. You can focus more resources on sites that are referring more traffic, or re- evaluate your campaigns on sites that are not driving much traffic.

Returning Visitor

A returning visitor is a user who has been to your website and has come back. When visitors return to a website, it demonstrates that the website is of interest to them.

Time on Site

The average length of time a visitor spends accessing your site within a speci ed time period. You can use this data to measure the effectiveness and quality of your website. The longer visitors spend on your site, the more informative and interactive your site is.

Exit Pages

The pages on your website that visitors leave from. In Google Analytics, these pages are listed in order from those the most visitors exited your site to those pages that visitors least exited your site. Take into consideration the content of the exit page when deciding on a course of action. If people are leaving your site from a ank You page, there is no need for worry. If one of your Top Exit Pages is another page on your site, you want to investigate why your visitors are leaving from this page.

Top Landing Pages

The first pages that users land on, or come to when entering your website. Within Google Analytics, these pages are listed in order of most visited to least visited. is data is important because it allows you to see which pages are attracting visitors.

Tracking Code

A small snippet of code that is inserted into the body of an HTML page. The tracking code captures information about visits to a page.


The total number of visits to your website. Within Google Analytics, traffic can be divided into multiple categories including, direct, organic and paid.

Traffic Sources

Where your traffic is coming from. Google Analytics includes information on which sites your visitors are coming to your website from as well as what keywords they are using to get to your website.

Unique Visitor

The number of individual (non-duplicate) visitors to a site over the course of a speci c time period. is data is determined by cookies that are stored in visitor browsers.

URL—Uniform Resource Locator

The address of your website.


The person who goes to a website. The “Visitor” section of Google Analytics offers data and reports concerning the behavior of the visitors that frequent your website.

Visitor Session

The time a visitor spends on a website. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more relevant it appears to search engines. To increase the amount of time visitors stay on your site, it is important to present informative content, easy to use navigation, and up-to-date information on your brand, products and services.


The amount of times your website is accessed. is data allows you to see how effectively your website is being promoted. Watching the trends in your visits allows you to analyze which aspects of your online marketing are working.

About the Author: James Trent

As Lead Designer at Bright Salt Media Labs, James is passionate about creating meaningful digital experiences. He likes making things, from shooting photographs and videos to designing and coding websites. James was honored to be the 2006 TIME Person of the Year.

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