All of you are viewing and checking your Google Analytics, right?  But for those who are not sure what Google Analytics is about or what you are looking at if you are viewing analytics reports, here’s a quick primer on what you need to know.

Visits represents the number of sessions on your website, the number of times someone interacted with your site. Bounce is the number of those who left instantly!

Visitor Flow – Shows how people actually navigate your site from page to page. What is your most viewed content and how do people move between it? Are they taking the journey that you want them to? Visitor flow is represented graphically in Google Analytics and you can use it to drill down to the specific paths that visitors took through your site.

New and Repeat Visitors – How many people are coming to your site vs. visiting it for the first time. This provides a useful insight into the loyalty of your readers and how effective your methods of getting new readers are.

The Page Views number is how many pages were requested in those visits. Oh and how many in each visit, Pages / Visit.

Avg Time on Site, how long did people stay on your site.

% New Visits shows how many sessions, interactions, were from people (yes, people!) who visited your site for the first time.

Direct Traffic is all those people showing up to your website by typing in the URL of your website or from a bookmark. Some people also call this “default traffic” or “ambient traffic”.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.

There are a number of factors that contribute to your bounce rate. For example, visitors might leave your site from the entrance page if there are site design or usability issues. Alternatively, visitors might also leave the site after viewing a single page if they’ve found the information they need on that one page, and had no need or interest in visiting other pages.

Impressions –  the number of times your site appeared in Google’s search results

Click & ctr – the number of times someone clicked on your website in the search results

Search queries data includes the following:

  • Queries: The total number of search queries that returned pages from your site over the given period of time.
  • Query list: Specific user queries for which your site appeared in search results. Webmaster Tools shows data for the top 2,000 queries that returned your site at least once or twice in search results in the selected period. This list reflects any filters you’ve set (for example, a search query for on is counted separately from a query for on
  • Impressions: The number of times pages from your site appeared in search results, and the percentage increase/decrease in the daily average impressions compared to the previous period. The number of days per period defaults to 30, but you can change it at any time. (These numbers can be rounded, and may not be exact.)
  • Clicks: The number of times a user clicked your site’s listing in search results for a particular query, and the percentage increase/decrease in the average daily clicks compared to the previous period. (These numbers can be rounded, and may not be exact.)
  • CTR (clickthrough rate): The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click to your site, and the number of percentage points increase or decrease in the daily average CTR compared to the previous period. For example, if your CTR went from 40% to 30%, this column would show a change of -10.
  • Average position: The average top position of your site on the search results page for that query, and the change compared to the previous period. Green indicates that your site’s average top position is improving.

You can view up to 90 days of historical data. However, you can only see change data for time periods of 30 days or less.

Referring URLs are other websites sending traffic to you. These could be as a result of your banner ads or campaigns. These could be all those blogs or affiliates who link to you (after you send the blog authors uninvited and usually irritating presumptuous spam!!).

Search engines, well that’s you know who. Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, others. This bucket will include both your Organic as well as your Paid (PPC / SEM) traffic, so be aware of that.

Other – These include campaigns you have run (and then have configured your tool correctly). Email, direct marketing, etc.

Search – Organic – This measure tells you the search terms that people are using to find and come to your site. Another very important measure that can tell you if you are appearing for the right keywords. It becomes even more powerful when combined with Google Webmaster Tools.

Social – This metric tells you about the social sources that are driving traffic to your site and how people are engaging through their social networks.


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