Introduction to Web Analytics
Web analytics are used to check the performance of your website. The different reports found on your dashboard provide you with valuable information. The value comes from knowing what each parameter actually measures and means to you. Therefore, this lesson will familiarize you with basic terms and what they mean.
In the world of blogging, a session is a group of actions that one user takes while on your website for a set length of time. For example, they can look at multiple pages, calendars, comments, and or purchase products in one session.
How Does a Session End?
- A session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity on your website.
- At midnight, a session will end.
- If your visitor arrives on your blog using one method of advertisement, leaves and then returns via another method of advertisement, a session ends, and another session starts.
Typically, a user is defined as a person who uses a computer or network service. Therefore, users are the number of people that “use” your blog or website
When you see the term organic or organic search in your web analytics report, it means that you had a visitor arrive on your website from a search they performed online. For example, you may use Google to search for something online. The search results that appear are organic search results. The search results that state “Ad” at the very top of the page, are paid advertisements. However, the ones below the “ad” results are truly “organic” search results. When you click on the link, you are considered “organic” and will be recorded under “organic search” traffic.
A page view is counted each time the page is viewed by a blog visitor. If they refresh their computer screen, hit the back button, or go back to the same page after viewing another page each will be counted as an additional page view. It provides the total number of page views.
Pages are the number of different pages a visitor views on your blog. Unlike “page views,” pages are counted once. If your blog visitor clicks on another page and then return to the same page, under this parameter, it is counted only once.
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. The bounce rate is a bit tricky to keep straight at first. You can read more about bounce rate here.
The location is as it sounds. It is a report of your visitor’s location. A website can target users in a specific location or around the world. If you have a local business, the location of your visitors will be an important parameter to check.
Referrers are sources of traffic from sources outside of the Google search engine. Therefore, it is a collection of visitors from sources other than organic search results and direct links to your blog.
The “searches” report shows how often your site appears in Google search results. You can filter the searches based on things like the date or the device used. In this way, you can see where your traffic is coming from and determine which search queries are most likely to show your website.
Traffic is the analytical term for all of your blog or website visitors. Therefore, the term “traffic” includes your direct traffic, referral traffic, and organic search engine traffic. You can learn more about traffic here.
Technology is a web analytics service that is offered by Google. It tracks and reports website traffic based on multiple unique things like screen resolution, mobile brand, browsers, and operating systems.
A 404 error is a page that cannot be found. For example, let’s say that you post a link from your website on Facebook. Later, you delete or rename the page link. When someone clicks on the link on Facebook, they will get “page not found” error. Google tracks and will penalize your blog for 404 errors. This error will help determine your search engine worth.
Once you start a blog, you will make some changes and may even delete pages or pictures. And if you are marketing properly, it will be extremely difficult to find every link to the page you have deleted. Therefore, you will need to monitor your google analytics for 404 errors.
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