Get to Know Your Traffic! Understand Your Analytics!

Who is visiting my website?

Everyone who has a website for business MUST be using Google Analytics. Not doing so is like investing in a shop and having no idea if anyone ever goes in!

Google Analytics is full of extremely useful information relating to the traffic to your website -how much, when, where from etc.

Again, if you’re not currently reviewing this important data, sign-up for Google Analytics NOW, it’s free!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to explain what a few of the basic metrics mean:

Sessions

The total amount of ‘hits’ your website has had in the given period.

If I visit your website today and again tomorrow, that’s 2 sessions. How many pages I go to during each visit is irrelevant to this metric e.g. If on the first visit I view 3 pages and on the second visit I view 2 pages, the total sessions would still be 2.

Hint: The higher the number, the better.

Users

The total amount of unique ‘hits’ your website has had in the given period.

Using the same example as above, if I visit your website today and again tomorrow, that’s 2 sessions but by 1 user. If, however, I visit your website from my work computer today and again, when I get home this evening, that would count as 2 users. This is because Google Analytics uses IP addresses to register different users.

Hint: The higher the number, the better.

Page Views

The total amount of pages viewed on your website in the given period.

Every time any page on your website is viewed by someone, this counts as a page view. Users viewing the same page repeatedly will affect this metric e.g. if I view your website today and go from the home page to the about page then back to the home page again, this would be 3 page views. If I did the same thing again tomorrow, that would be 6 page views.

Hint: The higher the number, the better.

Pages/Session

The average amount of page views per session in the given period.

This is pretty straightforward; Page Views divided by Sessions. This metric shows you on average how many pages are viewed on every website visit.

Hint: The higher the number, the better.

Avg. Session Duration

The average length of time each session lasts in the given period.

On average how long a user spends viewing your website. If I spend 2 minutes on your website today, 4 minutes tonight and a further 3 minutes tomorrow, then the avg. session duration will be 3 minutes (2 + 4 + 3 = 9 total minutes spent on your site divided by 3 sessions).

Hint: The higher the number, the better.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of single-page visits to your website in the given period.

The percentage of visits in which a user arrives at your website and then leaves from the same page without interacting with the page at all.

Hint: The lower the number, the better.

% New Sessions

The percentage of first-time visitors to your website in the given period.

The percentage of visitors to your website who have never visited your website before.

Hint: Analysing this metric will depend on your website goals.


This post has only covered the basics but hopefully I’ve given you enough of an understanding to at least feel comfortable looking at your analytics and understand the info provided.

I also suggest you check out these articles:

The importance of analysing your website’s analytics

How To: Remove Spam Referrals From Analytics