Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Key definitions, part of Google Analytics Essential Training (2017).
- [Instructor] As we explore the world of Google Analytics, we're going to encounter some terminology that you may be unfamiliar with. I'll do my best to explain these terms as we encounter them but I want to give you one point of reference in this course so you can quickly review these from time to time. First up is attribution and this is the process of assigning credit for sales and conversions to touchpoints in those conversion paths. Essentially, you're quantifying a contribution a particular channel made on your sales or conversions.
Along with attribution, we have the attribution model. And this is a rule or set of rules that determines how credit for sales and conversions are assigned to each touchpoint in a user's journey. There are different types of models, say, last click attribution, or first click attribution. Last click attribution would assign 100% credit to the final touchpoint before a user purchase. Say a user went to Google, looked for your site, found a blog, clicked on the blog, read another article and then clicked on a link to your site.
There were many steps in that path and with last click attribution, 100% of the credit goes to that final click. First click attribution assigns 100% of the credit to the touchpoint that started that conversion path. So that search to Google would get all of the credit when they click onto your site. We're going to go deeper into that in a later chapter. From here, let's take a look at a conversion. This is a completed activity online or offline that is important to the success of your business. You might measure a conversion when someone signs up for your email newsletter, which would be a goal conversion, or makes a purchase on your site, say an eCommerce conversion.
As you start to interact with data on Google Analytics, you'll come across some definitions specific to how Google organizes your data. And the first is dimension. This is a descriptive attribute or characteristic of data. Browser, landing page, and campaign are all examples of default dimensions in Google Analytics. Now, another example would be a geographic location having dimensions such as city name or state. You also have browser, exit page, screens, and sessions which are all other examples of dimensions that are going to appear by default in Google Analytics.
Now, Google's also going to give you the opportunity to track an event. And this is a type of hit used to track user interactions with your content. You might track downloads, mobile ad clicks, when someone plays a video or, say, downloads a PDF. From there, you might set up a goal. And this is a configuration setting that allows you to track the valuable actions happening on your site. Goals allow you to measure how well you're fulfilling your business objectives.
You can set up individual goals to track discrete actions like getting people to visit at least five pages of your site, or someone who spends at least a certain amount of money on your products. Every time a user completes a goal, a conversion is logged into your Google Analytics account. So think of a goal as potentially a series of actions that must occur for you to consider it a conversion event. Now you might hear me from time to time to refer to what's known as a hit. And this is an interaction that results in data being sent to Google Analytics.
Common hit types include page tracking, event tracking, and eCommerce tracking. Each time the tracking code is triggered by a user, that data is packaged into a hit and sent to Google servers. As you look deeper at this data, you'll interact with what's known as a metric. This is a quantitative measurement of your data. Metrics and Google Analytics can either be sums or ratios. For example, the metric of the city dimension is going to be how many residents it has. Screen views, pages per session, and average session duration are other examples of metrics you'll find in Google Analytics.
You'll also be spending a lot of time reviewing your pageviews. A pageview is different from visitors. This is an instance of a page being loaded, or reloaded, in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed. One unique user can contribute multiple page views. Once we start playing with reports, you'll encounter what's known as a segment. This is basically a subset of sessions, or users, that share common attributes.
Segments allow you to isolate and analyze groups of sessions or users for better analysis. You might segment your data by marketing channel so you can see which channel is responsible for an increase in purchases. Or you might segment your data by geographic region to see what parts of the country or the world are improving your performance. Drilling down to look at segments of your data helps you understand what causes a change to all of that aggregate data. Now, if you're curious how Google understands how many pageviews a unique user provides, it's all about the session.
A session is a period of time a user is active on your site. By default, if a user is active for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session, meaning they'll be flagged as a repeat visitor. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session. Now, another one that you'll see all over the place, and we're going to spend a great bit of time interacting with, is source and medium. Source is the origin of your traffic, such as a search engine. For example, Google, or a particular domain name, such as mysite.com.
The medium is the general category of the source. For example, it could be an organic search, in the case of Google. It could be social, in the case of Facebook. It could be a cost per click search or even a referral from another website. The source/medium, which you'll see together quite frequently, is a dimension that combines the two. Now, we'll encounter more terms along the way but these are the core concepts you'll want to be familiar with to get the most out of this course.
In this course, Brad Batesole explains how to get set up in Google Analytics and glean insights from each of the reports. He covers the out-of-the-box functionality—from account creation to reporting fundamentals—and explains how to interpret your results, create and track goals, and use options like dimensions and segments for deeper insights. Each tutorial is practical and succinct, touching on the features you'll use most in your day-to-day analytics workflow.
- Setting up an account
- Installing tracking tags
- Understanding reports
- Using the data table
- Using annotations
- Utilizing segmentation for deeper analysis
- Viewing shared content and referrals with social reports
- Tracking engagement with behavior reports
- Using Site Content reports
- Reviewing site speed
- Adding custom campaign tracking