A Guide to Google Analytics Terms
When it comes to Google Analytics, there are many terms that we use when describing how well your website is doing. When using the Smart Domain Group to carry out SEO on your site, we will always send you a report detailing a range of factors that are affected by traffic to your site.
Many of the key areas we look at are: the Bounce Rate, the number of Clicks, the number of Impressions, the number of Page Views, the number of Sessions, the length of Time on the Site and the Landing Pages.
In this article, we'll explain what these areas are and how they affect your website's organic traffic; we'll help you get to grips with Google Analytics.
The Bounce Rate is when a user comes to your site and then leaves. This could mean that someone lands on a page of your site and isn't interested in that page, isn't interested in your site, or would rather look around before coming back. The Bounce Rate is a good way to see which pages aren't working and which to alter the text on. It provides a good insight into the way users see your site and how best to carry out monthly SEO; what, specifically, to target and whether what you've changed is working.
Like the Bounce Rate, the Exit Rate will show you the percentage of people that were on a page decided to leave it. This isn't the page they land on, but a page that they've gone to on the site; perhaps it's the second page they've clicked on, perhaps it's the fifth, perhaps it's the twentieth, but it's the last page they looked at before they went somewhere else. This will not be the same as the Bounce Rate, but usually if a page has a low Exit Rate, it'll have a low Bounce Rate, too.
Impressions occur every time your website comes up as a search on Google. If you are a plumber and someone searches 'plumber Kent' and you come up once, that will be one Impression. If you come up twice, that's two Impressions. This is a good way to determine how many people are seeing your website in searches; if the Impressions are low, then the SEO isn't working well. You will be able to see the specific pages that have the most Impressions, therefore see which pages are working the best.
Sessions, put simply, is recorded as users spending time on your website. Google Analytics will record all of those users and give you a number: how many people have spent some significant time on your site. There is also a Session Duration which records the average amount of time that users are spending on your site before leaving it. The higher it is, the better your site, as it means more people are spending a lot of time on it before clicking away.
A good way to track how many people are visiting your website is with Page Views. These show you how many visitors are visiting your website; that's not just the Home page, that's any page. In the Page Views there are Unique Page Views, which only counts one view from each person. Someone may visit your Home page multiple times in a visit, but will only be counted once. There are also Pages Per Session that counts the amount of pages a user has visited in one session.
Where the Impressions are the number of times your website comes up in searches, the Clicks are the number of times someone has clicked the link that comes up in searches. To work out the Clickthrough-Rate (CTR), you divide the number of Clicks by the number of Impressions. This shows you how many people who saw your site when searching actually clicked on it. If the CTR is high then your meta description and title is doing is job; if it's low, then it's something to think about editing.
How does this affect your website?
Well, looking at your Analytics is an important exercise to really judge how your website is doing. If the numbers are low, you can look at individual points and see what to tweak. If it's a CTR or Impressions issue, then re-write your meta descriptions, if you have high Bounce Rates then look at the individual pages that have the highest and add or take out text.
When the SEO experts at the Smart Domain Group send our reports to our clients, we show the progress of many of these areas of Google Analytics. We know how important it is to keep track of these and adjust our SEO accordingly.