We have some great sites this week from plugins that improve the WordPress admin area to a nostalgic look at very early versions of Internet Explorer, well I say nostalgic I can remember being very frustrated during most of the late 90’s and early Norties with IE!
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool its free and very feature rich however Google Analytics also uses many terms some of which are not as straight forward as you may think. So here is a list of some of the more popular terms and they’re meaning you will come across when using Google Analytics.
Visits and Pageviews
The first stat you will see from the Analytics dashboard is Visits but I am not going to explain Visits first I am going to start with PageViews.
A pageview is recorded every time a page on your site is viewed. So if a visitor clicks the back button, refreshes the page and every time a page is opened in a browser then a pageview is created. If we wish to be more technical about it every time the _trackPageview method is executed then a pageview is created.
As I mentioned earlier Google Analytics presents visits as the first stat on the dashboard. One visit is made up from a number of pageviewes (see above) that a single visitor makes. A visit ends when the user closes the browser or is idle for a period of time (the default is 30 minutes).
With this in mind don’t be tempted to report that your site has x visitors whilst reporting the Pageview figure, always use Visits!
Not to be confused with Visits. Whenever a the Analytics tracking code is executed it looks for a cookie with a unique ID on the computer, if a cookie cannot be found then a new ID is set and another visitor added. Users can delete cookies or use a different browser to access your site on the same computer so don’t overly rely on these figures.
One to look out for – a bounce is a visit with just one pageview so essentially users who come to the site and then leave. For example someone may come in to this page via a search engine and then go to another site without visiting any of my other pages. Disaster!
You shouldn’t confuse Exit Rate and the Bounce Rate. The Exit Rate is the percentage of people who have left the page but would have previously visited other pages. For a full explanation please visit our Difference between bounce rate & exit rate blog post.
Time on Page
Google Analytics works this out by subtracting the time that a visitor hits a page to the time they hit the next page. For example if a visitor hits a page at 10:45 and then hits the next page at 10:50 then they spent five minutes on the page. However there is a flaw! The time on the last page will always be 0 as the tracking code cannot work when a user closes a page
Time on Site
Analytics works this out by calculating the difference between the time they viewed the first and last pages in a visit.
If a visitor does not have any analytics cookies on there machine when hitting your site then they will be counted as a new visitor. Unfortunately we cannot rely on this as users can delete Cookies and use different browsers on a machine (see Visitors).
A visitor that has a cookie on their machine from the domain however as above this cannot be relied upon as users can delete cookies.
Pageviews divided by visitors as simple as that!
This is the traffic that comes direct from your site from people typing the address directly into their browsers or traffic that has come to the site via a bookmark.
Now again direct traffic figures may include traffic that the analytics code couldn’t determine the source.
Shows the visitors that have reached your site from another, most likely via a link from another site or email. Two points to consider here though…
- A referrer must have been identified by the analytics code
- Referrers do not include search engines (Analytics has a separate area for this.)
Search Engine Traffic
Traffic that has reached your site from search queries. It is worth noting that both organic searches and searches from paid campaigns (Google Ad-Words for example) will appear here.
Where are the weeks going time is certainly flying and as such we are late with our posts of the week so without further needless talk here are the sites that have caught our eye this week!
No posts of the week last week we decided to take a week off so here is a quick selection of what has caught the eye of Forte Web Solutions this week. First up we have some great applications for web developers whilst we also take a look at top tips for budding photographers. Last but not least is a post asking your views on moving your apps into the cloud plus there is a Mac Book Air up for grabs!