What Your Analytics Are Trying to Tell You

Sometimes it can feel like you need a magic decoder ring to determine what the heck your analytic data means. It’s as if Analytics is like a whole other language that even Rosetta Stone can’t help you learn. We get it. That’s why we’re giving you this glossary of the most common analytics terms, so you can stop wasting time trying to figure it all out and start using your data for the greater good (a.k.a. Improving ROI)!

SESSIONS: The period of time a user is actively engaged with your website.

USERS: Visitors to your site who have had at least one session.

NEW USERS: The number of first-time visitors to your site.

PAGE VIEWS: Total number of pages a user viewed during one visit. (Repeated views of a single page are counted.)

PAGES / SESSION: The average number of pages viewed during a single session.  

NEW SESSIONS: An estimated percentage of first-time visits.

AVERAGE SESSION DURATION: The average length of time of a visitor session

ORGANIC TRAFFIC: Visitors who come to your website from search engines like Google. This is sometimes called search or natural traffic.

DIRECT TRAFFIC: Visitors who searched for your website by name or came directly to your site, rather than from an external link.

REFERRAL TRAFFIC: Users coming from external sources linking to your website.

LANDING PAGE: The page through which visitors enter your website.

EXIT PAGE: The page from which visitors leave your website.

BOUNCE RATE: The percentage of people who only visited a single landing page instead of going on to browse more pages. You want this number to be low!

IMPRESSIONS: The number of times your ad is shown on a search results page

CPC: Cost-per click or the cost each time someone clicks on your ad

CPM: Cost for every 1000 impressions of your ad

CTR: click through rate or the amount of times people click on your ad when it is shown

CONVERSION RATE: The number of people who took action on your site (like filled out a form or downloaded something), divided by the number of visitors to your website.

ENGAGEMENT RATE: No this is not how many times you’ve been engaged. It’s actually a measurement of how long a person stayed on your website, taking into consideration time and number of pages visited.

There you have it. Hope this helps you crack the Analytics code. Of course, if you have any questions or don’t see a term here that you’d like defined, feel free to contact us at 231-727-9778. We love explaining all sorts of marketing mumbo-jumbo!

You know what else we love? Giving away free stuff — like this downloadable ebook on lead generation for example. Have at it!


Kelly honed her writing, editing, and management skills during her years as a writer and Associate Creative Director at Detroit area agencies. After freelancing from home so she could raise her two kids, she added internet marketing to her skill set. She also has held or currently holds such prestigious titles as Addy, Caddy, and RAC awards-winner, University of Michigan Mom, hockey mom, soccer mom, and other variations of Mom, and Alma College Athletic Hall of Famer in track and cross-country.

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