How Google Analytics Works?

by Neha.Grail | 13th January 2011

Understanding the analytics of your site is very important. To begin with, let’s review the terminology that Google Analytics uses:

Visits: the number of sessions on the website or the number of times a person interacted with your website
Bounce: the number of people who instantly left your site
Page Views: how many pages users requested in the total amount of visits
Pages Per Visit: the amount of pages in each specific visit
Average Time on Site: how long people lingered on your website
Percentage of New Visits: how many sessions or interactions were from first time visitors

Recognizing Sources of Traffic

Traffic comes from many sources. Direct traffic refers to people who came to your site by typing in your website’s URL or had your site bookmarked. This can also be called default traffic or ambient traffic. You may sometimes see non-direct traffic in the direct Traffic category. This may be due to redirects that are badly coded, vanity URLs, or campaigns that are incorrectly coded.

Referring URLs are outside websites that are directing traffic to your website. This referral traffic could be from your banner advertisements or other marketing campaigns. Another possibility is that the referral traffic was originated from blogs or affiliates that link to your site.

Search Engines are the online tools that allow users to search for any topic simply by typing in a word or phrase. Google and Yahoo! are examples of such search engines. Note that the “search engine” category includes both organic and paid traffic.

Lastly is the “other” category. This category includes campaigns such as e-mail and direct marketing campaigns, among others.

In order to be able to take any specific action you must understand:

  • What are the trends that you notice in the data?
  • Where is any recent growth coming from?

Knowing your site can show you a direction on how to work on the site and keep your traffic by reducing bounce rate.

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