First time user of Google Analytics? Enjoy yourself – Part 1


While I had started using Google Analytics,  Many a times I used to face issues as far as navigation is concerned. Making most of the data available in Google Analytics is the next important aspect. In this blog series I will try to address both aspects mentioned above. But first let’s familiarize ourselves with a few terminologies used in the Google Analytics data dashboard.

Google Analytics terms used in this article:

  • Dimensions describe characteristics of your users, their sessions and actions. The dimension City describes a characteristic of sessions and indicates the city, for example, “Paris” or “New York”, from which each session originated.
  • Session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example a single session can contain multiple screen or page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions. By default, a session lasts 30 minutes, but you can adjust this length so a session lasts a few seconds or several hours.
  • Metrics are quantitative measurements for dimensions. For example, this table shows one dimension (City) and two metrics (Sessions and Pages/Session).

Metrics table image

  • Users are those who had at least one session during the selected date range. This includes both returning and new.
  • Pageviews means the total number of pages viewed. If a page is viewed twice then the pageview value is 2, which means multiple page counts are considered.
  • Pages/Session denotes the average number of pages viewed in a session. For example, if in a session the same page is viewed 10 times the value of Pages/Session will be 10.
  • Bounce rate denotes percentage of single-page visits. Single page visit could be defined as “A visit in which the visitor left the site from entrance page without interacting with the page”.
  • New sessions are % of first time visits.
  • Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A Goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, which contributes to the success of your business.
  • Conversions are number of times goals have been completed on your website.

Home screen of Google Analytics:

Logging into Google Analytics, you can see all the apps and websites where the GA code has been implemented.   There is basic data on sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate.

Google Analytics home page image

Consider a scenario. If you have many websites, apps, then using the search box under date range is a good option. If there are certain apps and websites that are absolutely crucial for your business, then just mark them with star and click on “Show *” near the search box. This will ensure only the important properties are displayed on the home page. You can access others by clicking on “Show All”.

By using the date range you can see data pertaining to a particular period. Comparison with a previous period is also possible via this function. You can see the change in sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate. This helps in identifying which sites, apps are doing well based on default parameters.

Date range image

If you want to see data of a specific site, just click on it and the reporting page for that site opens.

That’s all for today. Next week we will see how the reporting page looks like and what elements can be used by you for analyzing various aspects of the site.

Till next time Be Awesome 🙂


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