Website Analytics Cheat Sheet: 20 Terms Beginners Need to Know

| August 10, 2018

We’ve put together a quick cheat sheet full of all the terms beginners need to know when going through your analytics for a website.

The best thing about digital marketing is being able to measure and analyze everything. They say the truth is in the numbers, but you need to know what the numbers represent to reach any conclusion on what’s working, and what’s not, in your digital marketing campaign.

That’s why we’ve put together a quick cheat sheet full of all the terms beginners need to know when going through your analytics for a website.

Average Position – This refers to what position your website or landing page is placed within Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

Average Session Duration – The average length of a session that a user spends on a site.

Bounce Rate – When site visitors leave after viewing one page (regardless of duration).

Click-Through Rate (CTR) – The ratio of people served ads versus people who were served ads, then clicked on them.

Direct Traffic – When a visitor finds a website by typing the URL directly into the browser, clicked on a bookmark, or used an untagged link from within an email.

Entry and Exit Pages – The first page a visitor views when arriving at a website, and the last page a visitor reviews before leaving the website, respectively.

Goal – An action you want a website visitor to complete. This could be something other than making a purchase, such as filling out a form or signing up for the company newsletter. You also may see Goal Completion, and Goal Conversion Ratein your analytics, which applies to the rates of which goals and conversions are completed.

Impressions – The number of times an ad appears or is displayed on a SERP or other place online, such as Facebook or Twitter. An impression does not mean the person clicked on the ad.

Medium – Refers to the category of web traffic, such as referral, organic search, CPC, and email. The specific origin of that traffic (, Google, etc) would be considered the source.

Organic Visits – Visitors that come to a website or landing page thanks to search engines like Google or Bing, and does not include PPC/SEM traffic.

Pages Per Session – How many web pages a site visitor viewed in a session and includes a single page, as well as multiple pages.

Path Analysis – How visitors navigate your website. This data shows if visitors are following the path you intended for them.

Pageviews – When a website visitor views a specific page. Pages per visit indicate how many pages of a specific website were viewed in a session.

Post Impression (PI) Actions – When someone takes an action after seeing an ad or piece of content.

Referral Traffic – Because referral traffic comes from outside sources and not SERPS, it can be used to understand how customers are getting to the website. For example, a website visitor could arrive at a website from clicking on a hyperlink in a blog post, or through a tag on social media.

Returning Visitor – A site visitor who returns back to a website after their initial visit on the same device, identified by cookies and authentication. If the visitor doesn’t come back after two years, they are considered a new visitor again.

Session – An amount of time spent on a website and can include multiple page views, interactions, transactions and other events. Sessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Source – Provides more info on mediums. For example, if the medium is “referral,” then the source will be the URL of the website that referred the user to the site. If the medium is “organic,” then the source will be the name of the search engine such as “Google.”

Visibility Score – Reflects how visible your brand is based on a group of keywords. Expressed as a percentage from 0 to 100, Visibility Score also reflects how many times your brand was seen organically within a SERP.

Unique Visitor – A person who visits a website at least once within a certain reporting period. Each visitor is counted once, so if multiple visits from the same IP address come in, it counts as one visitor.


TEGNA delivers proven results through simplified multi-platform advertising solutions that connect your business to the audiences that matter most. We are one partner combining the power of our local trusted brands, insights, creative and multimedia platforms to ensure you have every option available to find marketing success. Learn more about TEGNA and how we can help your small business.

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