Google Analytics Metrics

Let’s go over what the different data means and how you can use it to make inferences and measure your campaigns’ success.

In your Analytics report, you will receive a list of all your pages with a number of metrics:

Users and New Users

Users

When someone enters your site, a cookie (not the edible kind) with a unique ID is sent from the website and stored on that person’s computer. When the person visits your site again on the same browser, analytics will identify the user as the same individual who previously entered your site and can show you their metrics like previous session and pages.

New Users

When an individual enters your site for the first time, analytics will send a cookie to their computer. Because the user was not recognized on the site previously, they are considered a new user. High new user numbers can indicate that your content is reaching new people.

Sessions

A session is a group of interactions a user makes on your website that starts when the user enters the website and ends when they leave. Sessions usually have a time frame that cuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity. Users can have numerous sessions if they visit your site numerous times.

Pages/Session

The number of pages a user visits during a session is considered their pages/session. Usually, this number is shown as an average for all sessions that match a metric you are tracking.

Pageviews

These are the number of times the page was viewed. If a user visits the page multiple times, each visit will count as a page view. You can see what pages people are consistently visited and which ones people aren’t visiting as often. This is a good indicator of what pages are getting the most traffic.

Unique Pageviews

Number of sessions during which the page was viewed. A unique pageview combines every visit a user might make while on a website, which is called a  session, into one unique view. This number will always be lower or the same as the general pageviews number.

This is a more accurate way to tell what pages the largest number of people are visiting and is a better indicator of a popular page because it filters out people visiting the site over and over again.

Review: Sessions, Users, Pageviews

Practice Question

Jasmine visited UFHealth.org two months ago. She returned Friday, February 20th, and stayed active on the site for an hour. During that time she visited 50 pages including a bariatric page that she visited 20 times. She leaves the site, then returns the next day to the one page she viewed 20 times.

What is her February data for sessions, pages/session, users, new users, pageviews for the bariatric page, and unique pageviews for the bariatric page?

Answer

Here is how her data would be counted for February:  2 sessions, 25 pages/session, 1 users, 0 new users. For the page she viewed 20 times Friday, her data would show up as: 21 pageviews, 2 unique pageviews.

Average Time on Page

This metric tells you how much time people are spending on your page on average. This can be useful to tell what pages people are quickly glancing over and which ones people spend more time on. You can use this to evaluate content effectiveness and opportunities. Using testing and evaluation, you can determine adjustments.

What can you do about this?

  • The information is more valuable with pages that have a greater number of views because the data is less likely to be skewed to outliers.
  • If a page has a high average visit time when it should just have simple instructions or content, you may want to send a service request so we can track what people are doing on the page. They could be confused or be experiencing trouble somewhere.
  • If a page has a shorter time when you believe they should be spending more time on it, we can track it and figure out how to restructure the information to make it more likely to be read.

Entrances

How often people enter your website through this page from an external website or search engine. This is a key indicator of what people are searching or looking for when they find your website and what pages have stronger SEO. If a page for a Research Project has the largest number of entrances, you can use that as an opportunity to offer people ways to navigate to other pages on the site and seize the opportunity to keep engaging visitors who enter through that page.

On your page, try to direct people to other pages they might find useful. For example, if they’re viewing information about a residency program, you can direct them to a program with instructions on how to apply.

Bounce Rate

This is the percent of time people leave your website after only viewing the page and not interacting with the content. This is another indicator that your page might need to have more ways to navigate to other important pages. If a page has a bounce rate greater than 50%, you should try to understand why people are only visiting that page and determine if there is another page you can recommend that will keep them on your site.

What can you do about this?

Think about why people are on the site. In the example above, they are seeking knowledge about a symptom and disease they might have. They are exiting the site to call their doctor. You could guide them to a page that shows a list of UF Health doctors or further research on the topic. You could also establish UF Health as a leader in treatment for the condition.

% Exit

The percent of users who visit your page who exit your website on it. This information conversely shows how many people are going to another page from that page. If a page has an exit rate of 20%, you could infer that people are generally continuing to another page to find more information.

You can use this information to make sure people are being guided to your call to action pages whether the objective is to get people to apply for a program or join a clinical trial. On pages with high exit rates, consider how you can guide them to another page involving an action.

Page Value

The amount of money the page makes the organization based on an established goal. The number will be 0 unless you provide a goal in Google Analytics. This can be beneficial when you have a clear call to action. This is based on a given monetary value assigned to an action and divided by the number of pages visited before an individual completes the action. Send us a service request if you would like assistance setting up goal value creation.

Now that you understand the data, learn how you can effectively use it or about the analytics services we offer.