Google Analytics Training – Tutorial 2 Read Reports and Glossary

Google Analytics Training/Courses – Tutorial 2 Read Reports and understand Glossary 

In this section we will straight come down to business i.e. reading Google analytic basic reports (which is visible when you click REPORTING on top row or AUDIENCE >OVERVIEW on the side column) and it is also important to understand correctly terminologies or glossary of GA while reading GA (Google Analytics) report.

Report in GA is shown for a date range.

Google Analytics Training -Tutorial 2 Date Range on top right of page

Google Analytics Training -Tutorial 2 Date Range on top right of page


Say for example following GA report shows the website users data from 1st Sept 2015 till 27th Sept 2015.

Google Analytics Training -Tutorial 2 Read Reports and Glosssary

Google Analytics Training -Tutorial 2 Read Reports and Glosssary

A session is the time period a user/visitor/customer is actively engaged with your website etc. (In technical terms -period of interaction between a web browser and a website).

In the above GA audience overview – Total number of Sessions within the date range 1st Sept 2015 till 27th Sept 2015 are 1366.

Note: All usage activity of a visitor such as Page Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc. are associated and could be within a session.

However closing the browser or staying inactive for more than 30 minutes ends the session.

For example, you came to Home page of site and then left your workstation for more than 30 minutes and then you start again, from GA report perspective it will be counted as a second visit or a new session.

Above GA report shows total Users within the selected date range that have had at least one session. For example in above date range 1st Sept 2015 till 27th Sept 2015 there were total 1207 users.  Please note 1207 user in GA report includes both new and returning users.

A user/visitor is uniquely identified by a Google Analytics user/visitor cookie which assigns a random user/visitor ID to the user, and combines it with the timestamp of the user/visitor’s first visit.

The combination of the random user/visitor ID and the timestamp establish a Unique ID for each user/visitor.


In GA report above Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed for a selected date range. So for example total Pageviews are shown as 1963 which means for the period 1st Sept 2015 to 27th Sept 2015 total pageviews for the site were 1963.

Note: Repeated views of a single page are also counted in this total number.

A pageview is counted every time a page on website is loaded. So, for example, if someone comes to our site and views Home page, then Marketing Page, then Home Page again, and then leaves our site — that means the total Pageviews for this one visit is counted as three.


Pageviews Vs. Unique Pageviews

A Pageview is counted every time a page is loaded on a website.

So for example if a user hits reload after reaching the page, this will be counted as an additional pageview or if a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the previous page, an additional pageview will also be counted.

A unique pageview: If a user views Home page of three times during one visit, Google Analytics will count this as three pageviews and one unique pageview.

Relationship between Pageviews, Sessions & Users:

1 User could visit a website 3 times that means can have 3 sessions and can generate 10 pageviews.

It is the average number of pages viewed during each session.

So for example in the GA report above Pages/session are shown as 1.44 so that means for every 100 sessions there were 144 pages were viewed which is 144/100 = 1.44

Note: Repeated views of a single page are counted.


Average session duration:

In above GA report on average each session was of 1 min 12 seconds duration.
How GA count –User Time spent on a Webpage
To calculate Time on a Webpage, Google Analytics compares the timestamps of the visited pages.

For example, let’s say user first visited Home page and after 50 seconds visited Marketing page and then left the website. So the Time spent by user on Home page is calculated by subtracting the Homepage timestamp from the Marketing page timestamp. So, the Time spent on Homepage is 50 seconds.

Note: In order for this calculation to take place, the Google Analytics Tracking Code must be executed on both pages.

The Time spent on Page for page B is 0 seconds, because there is no subsequent timestamp that Google Analytics can use to calculate the actual Time on Page.

Bounce rate:

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the user left your site from the entrance page without visiting other pages of your site).

If bounce rate is high this may suggests that the site content may not be relevant to what the user/visitor is looking for or may be all the content is provided on a singe page.

Flash Based Sites
If sites use Flash or other interactive technologies, these kinds of sites don’t load new pages frequently and generally all user interaction takes place on a single page. I.e. for such sites it is common to have high bounce rates.

Also if Bounce rate is very high remember to check your referral traffic just in case if there is spam referral traffic which is inflating your Bounce rate.

Related Post:

What is good bounce rate in Google Analytics

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