Our Google Analytics Glossary For Beginners


17th February 2016

One of our latest expert feature articles explained the basics of Google Analytics for hoteliers and explained where and how to begin. However, when reading through it, we realised that Google Analytics uses a lot of technical key terms, a lot of which aren’t always easy to understand. As part of our Wired University blog posts, we have picked a handful of key terms for those looking to understand the basics of Google Analytics. Over the next few months, we will build on our below glossary and add more terms, just let’s take one step at a time!

If you have any questions regarding any terms not mentioned in this list, drop us an email and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Conversion – This is when an activity has been completed either online or offline, which is significant to the success of your business. Some examples of this can include completing an email newsletter sign up, (otherwise known as a ‘Goal conversion’) or a booking or purchase (often called an ‘e-commerce conversion’). There are two types of conversion; a macro conversion or a micro conversion; macro being a completed e-commerce conversion;micro conversion being a completed activity, which indicates that the user is moving towards a macro conversion.

Event – An event is something which is used to follow users’ interactions with the content on your website. For example, some common ‘Events’ include brochure downloads or video plays.

Goal – A goal allows you to follow the important actions, or conversions, that happen on your site or mobile app. Setting up Goals, allows you to measure how well your site or app fulfils your target objectives.

Metric – A metric is simply quantitative measurement of your data which can be identified as a sum or ratio in Google Analytics. For example, metrics in Google Analytics can be screenviews, pages per session, average session duration, etc.

Page view – This occurs when a page is loaded (or reloaded) and shows how many times pages on your website have been viewed. These pageviews are classified as a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.

Property – This is category of a Google Analytics account which determines what data is organised and joint together. Any resources which are labelled with the same Property ID is brought together. An individual/single property can be used to track one website or mobileapp, or be a collection of the data from multiple sites or mobile apps.

Session – These used to be called visits. This is a period of time a user is active on your site or app. If a user happens to be inactive for 30 minutes or longer, any future activity is seen as a new session. Those users who leave your site and return within 30 minutes count as part of the previous session.

Segment – A segment is a subset of sessions or users that share common attributes, for example you can view only those people who have visited a certain page, or only those who came to your site by a set marketing channel. Segments allow you to isolate and analyse groups of sessions or users for better analysis. Segmentation allows you to break down your data by marketing channel to analyse which channel is responsible for an increase in purchases.

Source/Medium – The Source is the place users are before visiting your website, like a search engine or another website. The Medium describes how users arrived at your content, for example, via an Organic search (Organic), a Cost-Per-Click paid search (CPC/PPC) or a web Referral (Referral).

Tracking code – This is a section of JavaScript which collates and redirects particular sets of data to Google Analytics from a website. It must be added to your site before you can view any data in Google Analytics.

Unique Users – These are individual visitors who have gone to your website. A visitor is a person who can have multiple visits. For example, if one person returns to your website five times in one day, this will be classed as one ‘unique user’ but five sessions