Basic Web Analytics Terminology

Posted on Thu, March 25, 2010 in Web Analytics, by Paul Weinert

Understanding your website's analytics information is a key component of web site optimization, discovery & development lifecycle. Analytics is where you get measurable data to guide your future business decisions. You can see how your customers are behaving.

We're going to look at some common terms so you can understand what is what and start making some meaningful decisions.


A single session on your site. One visit often contains multiple pageviews. If one visitor (user) comes to your site three times during the day, you'll have three visits.

Absolute Unique Visitors

One unique, separate visitor to your site. Doesn't matter how many Visits that visitor has, it's counted as one unique visitor.

New Visits

A single session on the site by a unique user who has NEVER been to your site before.


Loading of each independent webpage. If a visitor went from your homepage to "About Us" to "Contact Information" that would be three pageviews.

Landing Page

The first page of a visit (session).

Exit Page

The last page of a visit (session).

Bounce Rates

The percentage of single-pageview visits in which the visitor leaves your site after seeing only one page.

Time on Site (or Avg. Time on Site)

The time on site for a specific visit (session).

Direct Traffic

Visitors who arrive on your site by typing in the URL directly "" in their web browser.

Search Traffic

Visitors who arrive on your site via a search engine. This is both organic (non-paid) and paid search listings (PPC/SEM).

Referring Sites

These visitors arrive on your site by a link from another, non-search engine site. This could be a blog post, news article, directory listing, etc etc.

Conversion Rate

Your percentage of visits who complete a certain, configurable goal. These are often newsletter signups, purchases or comments.

These are the high-level definitions, their is a lot more depth in analytics but these are basics so you can understand what is happening on your site and how your users are getting there.

Get in touch with us to go over your website's marketing plan. We have many experienced professionals to help your drive your conversion rates and help you achieve your business goals.

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