Whether you are a seasoned marketeer or a total newbie, it’s always best to ensure we’re speaking the same language before embarking on a project together. Here’s our handy glossary of terms to help you know your cookies from your conversions.
The golden nuggets of information we can glean from analysing your data. These are the insights we can act upon – helping drive your business forward. Actionable Insights are the best things to find when sifting through a data river – here’s hoping for a gold rush!
This may sound like something straight out of Sky Sports, but it’s actually where a marketing channel has played a role in sealing a deal, but it wasn’t the last star player. Other marketing channels have finished secure the conversion, this is why it is only deemed ‘assisted’.
This is essentially understanding and identifying which user interactions, or combination of interactions, lead to a specific outcome (usually a conversion). Once you have identified these interactions you can assign a value to each one, making it easier for you to see what’s working and what isn’t.
This is where you add a Google Click Identifier (GCLID) to the URL of a Google Ads campaign to automatically track your ad performance using Google Analytics. Google Analytics can then use that information to tell you which AdWords’ keywords and campaigns brought a visitor to your sites and more information too. Once setup it’s all automatic, so you don’t have to lift a finger!
Average Session Duration
An average of how long people are spending on your site. Google Analytics doesn’t count the time for the last page viewed meaning it will usually be lower than the actual time spent and people only seeing one page won’t be counted at all.
Bounce rate this the percentage of visits to a website where only one page is viewed before the user leaves the site. Bounce rate should always be looked at in conjunction with other metrics, such as the type of page it is, time on page and scroll tracking to get a more accurate picture of whether that page is doing its job. For example someone landing on a blog article and spending 5 minutes reading it to the bottom of the page before leaving has still engaged with that piece of content.
Campaign name is one of the four main acquisition dimensions (along with source, medium and channel) for analysing marketing campaigns. The campaign name is provided when you use a campaign tagged URL for your inbound marketing or from your Google AdWords campaigns (when Google AdWords is linked to Google Analytics).
Channels group together your different marketing activities. Each channel combines source and medium so you can understand their overall performance. For example, the default channel grouping includes ‘Organic Search’, ‘Paid Search’, ‘Social’ and ‘Email’ which automatically combines pre-defined sources and mediums. You can amend how the channels are set up in Google Analytics Admin and add your own custom ones.
If actionable insights are the golden nuggets, conversion optimisation is the big pay cheque – what we’re all aiming for. Optimising your conversion rate essentially means increasing the ratio of visits or visitors to your website or app that results in a tangible action i.e. – a sale, booking or enquiry.
Custom Dimensions & Metrics
As well as the default dimensions and metrics Google Analytics provides you can create your own to give you an extra level of information specific to your business. For example, the size and colours of shirts, price range of a product or whether a customer is first time or repeat.
This functionality allows you to import additional data into Google Analytics. You can import a range of data including Cost Data from advertising campaigns (especially useful for non-Google activity such as Bing and Facebook), Refund Data for ecommerce transactions, User Data, Campaign Data, Geography Data, Content Data and Product Data.
Dimensions are groups of characteristics and activities of your users and their behaviours on your website, such as city, device, marketing channel and pages.
Direct traffic includes people who typed your website’s URL into their browser or clicked a link in an email that didn’t include campaign tracking. Direct sessions will also include other cases where Google Analytics is unable to identify the source of the click. Google Analytics will only assign ‘direct’ as a last resort, when a known source is used that source will be attributed to the session.
Event tracking can be set up so if people interact with your page, such as watch a video, and then leave without going to another page it doesn’t count towards the bounce rate. They came to your party, had a little boogie, but had to get the last train home – no offence taken!
Discrepancies are usually associated with the expenses of naughty MPs – but data can play up too! Different tools collect and record information differently, so sometimes there is a difference between two or more data sources, even though it’s expected they should be identical. We can help you identify and explore these discrepancies further.
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. We love data over at Per4mance Insight, but on some occasions there is too much data being collected and it is difficult to analyse and gain actionable insights from. In these cases you may need to cleanse your data and create a measurement strategy to determine what data is relevant to your decision making before taking any further action.
Filters can be applied within Google Analytics Admin to Views to only include or exclude specific data (such as from your staging site) or transform the data so it’s consistent within the reports (turning all campaign names to lowercase).
This is simply how people move through specific steps towards a desired behaviour. You are keeping your beady eye out for distractions, reactions and other behaviours as a user makes their way through your site before making a purchase.
Goals are used to track desired actions on your website. For example, subscribing to your email newsletter, adding to basket, downloading a brochure or getting in touch. Goals can be configured inside Google Analytics and can be based on people traveling to a particular page (or pages), triggering an event, sessions of a certain duration or viewing a certain number of pages. Goals only record the number of sessions a behaviour took place so if you had a goal for brochure downloads and someone downloaded two in a session, only one goal would be registered.
Google offers so much more than just a search engine! Google Analytics is a great tool that helps you understand how visitors to your site are behaving as they make their way through the funnel and which parts of your marketing campaign got them there. Google Analytics is very much part of your team, how you’ve set it up is its job description. It does all the donkey work, collecting the information, sorting and presenting it so you can then act.
Google Analytics Account
This is your company level entity. You may have multiple brands or business units within the company but this is the umbrella under which they all sit.
Google Analytics Property
A part of your business that needs it’s own tracking ID. This can be a website or an app. This is where you would separate out the different brands or business units that come under your Account. You can also have a Roll Up Property where the activity from some or all of your other Properties go to get an Account level understanding of your data.
Google Analytics View
Within each Property there are one or more reporting Views containing data from your website. You should always have one raw data View that has nothing excluded and you can then create more tailored to your business needs. It is often useful to have one View that only includes activity on your testing site(s) and another that your own activity is excluded from. See Filters
Google Tag Manager
Another great free offering from the Google family. Google Tag Manager enables you to easily deploy and manage multiple types of tracking tags across your website or app. You can take tagging into your own hands, steering tracking however you desire, quickly and easily, without having to pin down your developers.
This is the page people enter your site on. Looking at these can help you identify which pages are better at getting people deeper into your site.
Medium is one of the four main acquisition dimensions (along with source, campaign and channel) for reporting and analysing how people found your website. Medium tells you how your message was communicated. For example, ‘organic’ for free search traffic, ‘cpc’ for cost-per-click and ‘referral’ for inbound links from other websites.
A metric is usually a number, like a count or a percentage of the number of times a behaviour happened. For example page views, which tells you the total number of pages that were viewed and users which tell you how many people viewed your website.
Not set can be seen in a number of different reports and indicates that a particular piece of information is not available within the report. For example, in the Location report, not set indicates that Google Analytics was unable to determine someone’s exact geographic location when they accessed your website. While not set in the Source/Medium report occurs when a campaign tagged URL hasn’t been fully constructed (for example, if ‘source’ isn’t defined it will be displayed as not set within the report).
Placing a value on your website pages is all about getting an idea of which pages contribute more to conversions. The average value of a page is worked out by looking at how many times that page is visited on route to a financial exchange. If the page isn’t involved in anyway in the transaction its value is a big fat zero.
PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
According to the Google Analytics Terms of Service, you are prevented from collecting PII (personally identifiable information) into your reports. This includes email addresses, full names and other personal details. However, you are able to collect IDs that can then be linked to individuals outside of Google Analytics.
This is the king of your domain – the top of the internet hierarchy! This overarching domain contains all the subdomains and folders associated with your website eg. mysite.com. When you are analysing data for your whole site, sticking with the root domain is probably the easiest way to access the most data although in some cases having Views by subdomains can prove useful.
In order to speed up the processing of reports, a portion of data is used to extrapolate (or estimate) the complete set of data for the report. Sampling occurs when you request specific data in your reports when there are more than 500,000 sessions in the property for the selected date range. The easiest way to reduce sampling is to reduce the selected date range or use Query Explorer to create the report instead.
Source is one of the four main acquisition dimensions (along with medium, campaign and channel) for reporting and analysing how people found your website. Source tells you where your message was seen. For example, a source of ‘facebook’ would indicate that someone found your website after searching for you on Facebook or after you promoted a post on there. Source can be used in combination with medium for more granular insights, for example, a source of ‘facebook’ and a medium of ‘social’ would be reported for visits from your Facebook campaigns.
Also quite sweetly known as ‘child domains’ – these are the domains that belong to the root domain. Subdomains can be used as an easy way to create web addresses for specific content within a website that are easier to remember and navigate to. As an example, you could get to a picture gallery of a site through gallery.mysite.com rather than mysite.com/media/gallery.
This is basically the total number of times an interaction has happened on your site. For example, if 200 different people clicked “Play” on your video file a total of 250 times, the total events for this would be 250. This is useful information for when you are analysing how users interact with your site.
At Per4mance Insight we usually prefer chocolate chip – but these guys are pretty great too! Tracking cookies are tiny bits of information that are stored on your computer, at a browser level, every time you visit a website. This information is site specific, so browsers like Chrome and Edge essentially have their own cookie jar – and they aren’t up for sharing!
Tracking Implementations, or a tracking plan, looks at how code has been set up on a website or app to record specific behaviours. It’s easy to get carried away with this, as you can record basically anything! Make sure that you’re going to track only things that are consistent with your goals and KPIs.
We’re not talking about a Solar Eclipse or England winning the World Cup! Unique Events is the metric used to measure the number of events with distinct Event attributes (Event Category, Action, Label) that occurs in a session. Looking at the difference between Total and Unique Events for specific behaviours can provide useful insights into potential problem areas. For example if there is a big difference between the two for clicks on a Pay Now button that would indicate people are having to click it multiple times in a session to continue to the next step, whereas you would expect the numbers to be very similar.
UTM tags are the individual query parameters used to make up a campaign tagged URL. The UTM tags include utm_name, utm_source, utm_medium, utm_term and utm_content. An easy to use tool for creating your campaign URLs is the Campaign URL Builder