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Web Analytics Glossary

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Web Analytics Glossary

In this section of our glossary, you can find definitions of some of the most commonly used terms about web analytics to make website performance reports easier to understand:

Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s text (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).

Dwell Time

The average amount of time spent by a user on a web page – in most cases, the higher this number, the better.

Hit

Contrary to popular belief, a hit does not represent a single visitor to a website. A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. This means one page can actually generate multiple hits, as each page usually has more than one file (an html or other base file, a css file, multiple pictures, etc.) and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some marketing people like to quote hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it is getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.

Impression (Page View)

The event where a user views a webpage one time.

Metric

A standard of measurement used by analytics programs.

Page View

A pageview is a request for an entire web page document from a server by a visitor’s browser. That is to say, for each page view your site had, someone (or a search engine spider) looked at that page.

PPA (Pay Per Action )

Very similar to Pay Per Click except publishers only get paid when click throughs result in conversions.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

a contextual advertisement scheme where advertisers pay add agencies (such as Google) whenever a user clicks on their add. Adwords is an example of PPC advertising.

ROI (Return On Investment)

One use of analytics software is to analyze and quantify return on investment, and thus cost / benefit of different schemes.

Session

The term used in Google Analytics to refer to a single visit to a website.

Stickiness

Mitigation of bounce rate. Website changes that entice users to stay on the site longer, and view more pages improve the sites “stickiness”.

Time on Site

The amount of time that a user spends on the website before leaving.  This is usually considered to be an indication of quality and relevance – see also “dwell time” above.

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