If you’ve activated your Google analytics to track your website traffic and have had a chance to review a few of the reporting tools, there can be some unfamiliar words in your data report but that's why we are here to help. Most terms are very simple to understand, or are easily understood once explained. Here are a few commonly seen words and definitions that may appear on your report to help you get a better understanding of what all of those fancy numbers, acronyms and charts mean to you and your business to drive real results from your marketing efforts.
A unique visitor refers to the number of people from different IP addresses or computers that have viewed pages of a website. If we backtrack a little, an IP address is an invisible, individual code given to identify each computer using the internet. Much like online fingerprints, this helps your site track and record each separate visitor, regardless of how many times they returned.
An impression is a marketing term referring to the number of times an element, such as text, a picture, a page of your website or video, have been viewed. Generally, in the advertising world, impressions are calculated in a bulk of 1000s and priced as such, however in your analytics reports you should see the full numbers such as 1,014 impressions. If you were to purchase an online ad you might buy 1000 impressions or views of your ad at a CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) of $10. This means that every time your online ad is viewed 1000 times you will be charged $10.
A session is a very commonly used word in the tech world, as it refers to a measure of online traffic. Specifically, a session is a record of activity where a unique user, or specific IP address, has visited a website during a specified time period. For example if a user opens the web browser on their computer and views your website, in your analytics that would be counted as one session. Whatever happens during that session is also tracked but through another area of your analytics tools.
Understanding the terminology in your analytic data reports is not only important in order to stay up to date on what is going on within your website, but also can help you to better understand how your customers use your website and how you might be able to improve their experience and give them more of what they are searching for online.
If you have any questions about your Google analytics or wonder what a specific term might mean, please feel free to give us a call at 705-252-4180. We're here to help you in any way we can to improve your marketing and online reputation whenever possible.