Monday, 08 February 2016 13:30

Analytics: Audience Overview

The overview page is more than likely where you'll end up when you visit Google Analytics for the first time.

Some of the terminology use may be a little technical and that's OK because we'll explain ecah in detail before moving on. It's important however that you gain an understanding of these terms as they'll be used throughout the articles we write up relating to Analytics and search in general. It will also help you be less "dazzled" by web designers trying to blind you with technical terminology.

Feel free to skip over this section if you're already familiar with the elements being discussed or read on if you'd like to learn more about each before we get into some details.


Sessions is quite simply the number of times users have visited your website. Please note: throughout these articles we will sue the words "user" and "visitor" interchangeably.


A little lik ethe above but just user based. One user visiting twice within the time period set would count as 2 sessions for example. Two users, one visiting twice while the other only visits once would count as three sessions and so on.

Page Views

Total number of pages viewed during the given period. This includes multiple views of the same page and also hard & soft refreshes of a page.

If a user bookmarks a page and revisits this page frequently this would also count towards the page views.


This is a mean average of the number of pages viewed per session.

Avg. Session Duration

The average session duration is very simply a mean average of the amount of time a user spends looking through your website.

Bounce Rate

Probably one of the most easily overlooked and significant statistics available through Analytics is the "bounce Rate". As defined by Google the bounce rate is the percentage of users that did not go beyond looking at one page.

High bounce rates do not necessarily mean you have a badly designed website or that users get bored. For example, our bounce rate in the image used at the top of this article is over 60% but the average time on site is almost 4 minutes so that would indicate to me that users are landing on a blog post shared through social or reading through content before leaving. Ergo: the content has value.

However, that said I would always look for ways to reduce the bounce rate on a website wherever possible and encourage users to engage and interact with the website a little more.

% New Sessions

This is the percentage of new users visiting the site. Not rocket sciene I'm sure you'll agree and it will be a rough average as it's more than likely based on the IP address of the visitor which is usually dynamic (refreshed when they reset their router) so this figure is more of a guide than anything else.


A couple of the figures that we focus on here when working with new clients include the bounce rate (although I do take time on site and pages per sassion into account also), pages per session and time on site. This doesn't mean I exclude everything else. However, it does give a very quick and dirty look at how engaging users find your website.

Digging Deeper...

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We hope you gained some insight from the above into what may seem like a complex report which can, when used correctly, provide some real insight into your website visitors and how they use your website differently on different devices.

As always, if there's anything we can do to help just reach out and get in touch.

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Last modified on Monday, 08 February 2016 20:53
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