Summary Definitions

  • Visits: The number of visits your site receives is the most basic measure of how effectively you promote your site. Starting and stopping ads, changing your keyword buys, viral marketing events, and search rank are some examples of factors that influence the number of visits your site receives. 
  • Pageviews: Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed on your site and is a general measure of how much your site is used. It is more useful as a basic indicator of the traffic load on your site and server than as a marketing measure. 
  • Average Pageviews: Average pageviews is one way of measuring visit quality. A high Average Pageviews number suggests that visitors interact extensively with your site. A high Average Pageviews results from one or both of: 
    • Appropriately targeted traffic (i.e. visitors who are interested in what your site offers 
    • High quality content effectively presented on the site. 
    • Conversely, a low average pageviews indicates that the traffic coming to the site has not been appropriately targeted to what the site offers or that the site does not deliver what was promised to the visitor.
  • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce rate is a measure of visit quality and a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren't relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy. 
  • Time on Site: Time on site is one way of measuring visit quality. If visitors spend a long time visiting your site, they may be interacting extensively with it. However, Time on site can be misleading because visitors often leave browser windows open when they are not actually viewing or using your site.
  • New vs. Returning: A high number of new visitors suggests that you are successful at driving traffic to your site while a high number of return visitors suggests that the site content is engaging enough to keep visitors coming back. You can see how frequently visitors return and how many times they return in ‘Recency’ report and the ‘Loyalty report’, both under ‘New vs. Returning’ in the Visitors section. 
  • Visitors Overview: How many new and returning visitors came to your site and how extensively did they interact with your content? This traffic overview allows you to drill down into aspects of visit quality (i.e. average pageviews, time on site, bounce rate) and visit characteristics (i.e. first time visitors, returning visits). 
  • Map Overlay: Use this map to visualize volume (visits, pageviews) and quality (pageviews per visit, conversion rates, per visit value, etc.) metrics by geographic region. Click on any region to zoom into the city level.

The Traffic Sources section contains the following reports: 

  • Overview: This report provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your site. The graph shows traffic trends; the pie-chart and tables show what is driving the trends. "Direct Traffic" is visits from people who clicked a bookmark to come to your site or who typed your site URL directly into their browser. "Referring Sites" shows visits from people who clicked to your site from another site. "Search Engines" shows visits from people who clicked to your site from a search engine result page. 
  • All Traffic Sources: How do people referred from search engines, sites, and tagged links compare to the "average" visitor to your site? The graph shows the overall trends while the table shows the specific sources (i.e. search engines, sites, and tagged links) driving the trends. 
  • Direct Traffic: How do the people who clicked a bookmark to come to your site or typed your site URL into their browser compare to the "average" visitor to your site? Direct traffic can include visitors recruited via offline (i.e. print, television) campaigns. 
  • Referring Sites: How do the people referred from other sites compare to the "average" visitor to your site? The graph shows the overall trends in traffic volume from referrals while the table lists the sites driving the trends.

Visits vs. Visitors

Analytics measures both visits and visitors in your account. Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors.

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews 

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a visitor hits reload after reaching the page, this will be counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview will be recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageviewrepresents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.