14. Analytics Glossary

The following are some of the most used jargons in web analytics. Understanding these is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, because website analysis revolves around them, secondly, these terms have to be used in reporting and metrics tracking to give a professional feel and lastly; because they differentiate web analytics from other, very similar assessment procedures.

  1. A/B testing – A testing method in web analytics that compares visitor responses to two different versions of a website. Effects on conversion rates are also determined by this test.
  2. Abandonment rates – The rate at which visitors leave your website while making a transaction.
  3. Average lifetime value – The lifetime value of an individual user is calculated by taking into account all past orders and purchases made by him. The lifetime worth of a buyer is given a monetary value.
  4. Affiliate marketing – A type of online marketing in which engine marketers and email marketers advertise a website for commission fees.
  5. Attribution – Attribution is the process of dividing monetary credit between the various sources used by a visitor to land, explore and finally take an action on a website. It allows marketers and sales representatives to quantify the contribution of different channels to the conversion process.
  6. Bounce rate – The rate at which visitors leave your website immediately, i.e. without going through more pages, other than the one they entered from.
  7. Banner – A banner is a rectangular advertisement that is posted on a website as a part of online marketing.
  8. Benchmarking – Benchmarking is the process of establishing a reference point against which metric results are gauged. A benchmark is very clearly defined and known to all those involved.
  9. Conversion rate – Conversion rate represents the effectiveness of a website in turning visitors into customers. In other words, it is the percentage of clicks that converted into an action on the website.
  10. Cost per action – This cost represents the expense to a business for marketing itself for every click on advertisements, banners and referred URLs.
  11. Conversion funnel – The path a business wants the visitors to take towards a predefined action. The conversion funnel, as the name suggests, is broad at the top, i.e. there are a lot of options for a visitor to choose from, and then it narrows at the bottom, when action is the only way forward.
  12. Click through rate – This unique metric distinguishes the number of times a banner or search engine ad is clicked, compared to the number of times it is viewed.
  13. Cookie – A cookie is a kind of ‘text data’ that is used to record and remember information about a visitor’s exploration of a website. A cookie has the ability to record the behavior and shopping preferences of online traffic, so much so that it can also remember the contents of e-commerce shopping baskets.
  14. Cost data – Cost data is all the information generated and recorded when AdWords is integrated with Google Analytics.
  15. Channel grouping – Chanel grouping makes it easier for users to analyze data because all information and metrics relevant to one channel are collectively displayed and are made available for comparisons with other channels reports.
  16. Custom Reporting – An option available in Google Analytics that allows web analysts to create their own reports by choosing dimensions and metrics at will.
  17. Dimension – This term describes an attribute or characteristic of a variable/object that can be given various values. Exit pages, sessions and landing pages are all examples of dimensions.
  18. Decisive pages – These pages are those that lead visitors to explore a website deeper. Landing pages are the most common type of decisive pages.
  19. Download clicks – Such clicks direct users towards an item that is classified as non-HTML.
  20. Data query – Data query is an interface that empowers its users to customize the settings of the analysis by defining parameters such as columns, segments and filters.
  21. DAA – DAA stands for the Digital Analytics Association. It is a common, reference group for web analysts all across the world.
  22. Dashboard – This is an area in the analytical software showing a summary and it is presented in a single screen shot. It displays multiple metrics, reports, charts and trend graphs regarding the effectiveness of a website.
  23. Delayed conversions – These conversions are those that start online, but close offline.
  24. Event – An event is classified as a hit. Examples of events include image downloads or video plays.
  25. E-commerce – E-commerce refers to a virtual process of buying and selling goods that takes place between two parties on the internet. A website usually acts as an e-commerce platform.
  26. Entry rate – It represents a web analytic variable that is the ratio of the total number of visits and the number of visits to more than one page of a website. A high entry rate means your website has an in-depth browsing activity.
  27. Entry page – Entry pages are entry points at which visitors enter the website.
  28. Exit page – Visitors leave a website on exit pages. Such a page can be any of the website pages, including but not limited to, the last page. In other words, an exit page is one where the navigation path ends.
  29. Export – Export is the transferring of audited and analyzed data to a report on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.
  30. Entrances – This is a metric in Google Analytics that records the number of visits that a single page received. In other words, the instances on which a page served as a landing page for a group of visitors.
  31. Filter – A filter is a guideline or a parameter, according to which information is included or excluded from a report or trend chart. There are many types of filters available in Google Analytics.
  32. Goal conversion – The percentage of visits on a website that result in the completion of a goal.
  33. Heat map – A heat map gives a visual representation of the number of clicks from various internet users. This visualization is shown as a series of blue and red heat zones.
  34. Head match – Head match is a type of match defined by Google Analytics to identify a URL for assigning a goal to a conversion funnel.
  35. Hits – Hits are requests for files, images or even the download of a page. It is usually misused as a metric to show improved performance.
  36. Impressions – The number of times an online advertisement is displayed.
  37. Interaction – This metric is an indicator of the usage of rich media. It is the sum total of all video, audio and email files sent and received.
  38. Incident – An Incident is the observance of errors by linking them to the geographic locations in which they take place. It is defined by the duration and importance of errors.
  39. iFrame – iFrame is an HTML function that lets a user display a number of frames in a particular window of a website.
  40. JavaScript – JavaScript is a computer programming language that is used to track activity on a website. It uses codes that are integrated into web pages so that activity can be tracked and recorded.
  41. KPI –Key Performance Indicators are the metrics that show how well, or how bad, a website is doing.
  42. Keywords – Specific terms used by internet users to search for a product, service or website.
  43. Landing page – The landing page is a page of a website on which a visitor lands directly after running a search for that particular website.
  44. Loyalty – An indicator of how a visitor behaves. If the user visits a website often and completes an action, he is perceived as loyal.
  45. Log – A text file that carries the details of the server like its IP address and date.
  46. Multivariate testing – A web analytic testing procedure that aims to gather data on customer reactions by varying many elements of a website. Placement, layout and change in the navigation path are some variables tested in this method.
  47. Measurement protocol – This is a set of standard rules and regulations, that governs the process of collecting data and transferring it from an internet connected device to the Google Analytics software. This protocol is used whenever data is sent from a mobile kiosk or a point of sales system to the Google Analytics software for analysis.
  48. Mobile analytics – It represents an assessment of data and statistics generated by mobile platforms and devices. These are often integrated with web analytics.
  49. Multi-dashboard – Multi-dashboard is a feature of most web analytics tools that lets users add more than one dashboard to store information and make it easily available for decision-making.
  50. Organic traffic – Organic traffic is traffic that lands on your webpage after running an organic search. Organic search is an unpaid or natural search run by an internet user.
  51. On-site ads – On-site ads are part of the internal marketing of a website. They are used to promote and monitor advertisement campaigns.
  52. Online intelligence – Online Intelligence is a field that offers online analytical tools and assesses various services so that decisions can be made about them.
  53. Overlay – Overlay is a term used in heat-mapping technology. It shows various areas/zones of a website that are visited by users at different rates while browsing web pages.
  54. Paid traffic – This is the opposite of organic traffic. It includes users and visitors who come to a website from paid searches, paid advertisements and Google AdWords. It shows how effective an online paid marketing campaign was.
  55. Page views – The number of times users view individual pages of your website. Every time a page is loaded, it counts as a new page view. This metric allows webmasters to decide which pages are the most popular on a website.
  56. Permission – In regards to Google Analytics, permission is the right to perform actions related to managing users, editing data, collaborating, and reading and analyzing. Different permission levels are assigned to different users of a Google Analytics account.
  57. Percentage search refinements – This metric assesses the percentage of internal searches on a website that were followed by at least one more search query.
  58. Reporting API – API stands for Application Programming Interface. It represents a set of protocols that are used to extract data from the Google Analytics account and put into reports for automated analysis.
  59. Return visit – Return visit represents the number of people who visited again in a specified period of time.
  60. Return on ad spent – It determines the effectiveness of the money spent on advertising.
  61. Referral site – A site which has a URL to your website. When users visit this website, they are referred to your pages through it, thus making it a referring website.
  62. Session – Session is classified as a series of page requests to the same website sent by a unique user within a time frame of 30 minutes. The user’s visit in this time bracket is called one session.
  63. Site overlay – This is a display methodology that places graphical statistics along with links on a given webpage so that the percentage of clicks each URL gets is easy to account for.
  64. Spider – Spider is an automated program that is initiated on the web by a server. A spider visits web pages, recording sessions, just like humans do.
  65. Search Engine Optimization – SEO is the process of improving the ranking of a website that uses particular search words and phrases.
  66. Shopping cart abandonment rate – The number of times visitors or users exit a website during the shopping cart process without completing it.
  67. Sampling – This is a statistical analysis tool, that is widely used for web analytics. Sampling is the process of choosing a small subset of a market or a collection of data for tests and trend analysis.
  68. Solutions gallery – The solutions gallery lets users import tools to the Google Analytic accounts.
  69. Source – Source is the origin of traffic that visits a website.
  70. Time on site – Time on site is the average duration of time a visitor spends on your website. This metric is a reliable indicator of how interactive and attractive your website is.
  71. Tag – A tag is used to track activity. Literally speaking, a tag is a snippet that sends data to a third party software.
  72. Tracking code – Tracking code is a virtual snippet that is embedded in the body of a website because it helps record information like number of visits and session durations. It is used to track and send information to your Google Analytics account so that the software can integrate the data into the statistics.
  73. Universal analytics – Universal analytics is the most recent data collection system for Google Analytics.
  74. Unique visitor – This metric represents the number of unique web browsers that access a website in a given period of time.
  75. Unique pageviews – It shows the number of visits during which a page was viewed or loaded at least once.
  76. Visitors flow – Visitors flow report gives details about the path visitors took while exploring a website. It shows how they moved from the landing page all the way to the exit page. A detailed flow report also shows the number of visitors who left the website during each stage.
  77. Visit durations – Represents the time between the start time of the first page and the end time of the last page for a user.