Web Analytics Glossary

Terms often used when discussing web analytics.

Abandonment — The number of customers who drop off during the process of conversion, like a half filled form or incomplete purchase.

Acquisition — Process of attracting visitors to a website or the number of visitors arrived.

Affiliate Marketing — A method of marketing where other websites can sign up to sell your products for a commission.

Bounce Rate — Used to determine the least effective pages on your web site and is the percentage of visitors entering the page who left the site without going to any other pages within the site.(# of bounced visits / # of visits to that page)

Click Through Rate (CTR) — Usually used as banner ad success. It is number of clicks/ number of impressions.

Click Through — This is an instance of a click on a link leading to another section of the site or page, or another website.

Conversion — An activity which fulfills the intended purpose of a website like buying a product, filling up a form or subscribing to a newsletter. Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who successfully convert.

Conversion Funnel — The series of pages that move a visitor towards a pre-defined action.

Cookie — A text file placed on the visitor’s computer while browsing a website. Cookies contain information to track returning visitors.

CPA (Cost per action) — A measure of how much it cost in ad spend to acquire a new lead or sale. Also known as cost per acquisition; cost per lead; cost per order. (Click charges / # of actions)

CPC (Cost per click) — A measure of how much you paid on average for each click. (Click charges / # of clicks)

Crawler — An automated program used primarily by search engines and other services to gather information from the World Wide Web.

Dashboard — A single screen that provides multiple metrics, reports or charts on the effectiveness of your business.

Entry Page — The first page viewed by a visitor while browsing through a website.

Exit Page — The last page viewed, rather the page from which the visitor exited.

Filters — A set of rules to extricate information from a large amount of data.

First Party Cookie — These cookies are placed by the websites unlike third-party cookies placed by vendors. First party cookies are understood to be secure and reliable.

Hit — An often confused term, hits are any request by the browser to the web server. A web page is a collection of different components like HTML, Images and CSS, each registering as a separate hit with every single request for the page.

Impressions — Each view of an online advertisement is counted as an impression.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) — The crucial parameters showing the health of the website and success of marketing strategies.

Keywords — Words and phrases entered in a search engine to reach a result page. Keywords help position websites well to attract potential customers.

Log Files — A text file created in the server capturing all activity on the website. This file is the primary source of data for analysis.

Organic Search — Users find results through unpaid search engines, unlike PPC.

Page Duration — Time spent by visitor on a web page.

Page Tags — Tags are JavaScript codes embedded in the web page to be executed by the browser. Tags are used to generate log files used by certain Web Analytics Tools.

Page Views — Used to convey relative popularity of pages within your site. Number of pages successfully loaded from your site for visitors. This excludes error pages and views by search engine robots/spiders.

Path Analysis — Analysis on how visitors traverse through the website. Gives valuable information to check if they follow the intended site navigation etc.

PPC — Pay per click, also called paid searches where the advertiser pays based on the number of clicks on the advertisement. Google and Overture are two popular paid search engines.

Referrer — Websites, Search Engines or Directories or any others identifiable as the origin of the visitor.

ROAS (Return on ad spend) — A determination of the effectiveness of your ad spending. (Sales / ad costs)

Return Visitor — A visitor who can be identified with multiple visits, either through cookies or authentication.

Search Analytics — Analyzing search terms and behavior of visitors using the website search engine.

Session — The record of a single visitor browsing through the website. It includes an entry page, navigation and exit pages.

Stickiness — A website’s capability to retain visitors, measured as number of pages visited per session and time spent on website.

Visitor — Also called unique visitor, is understood as an individual visiting the website over a specified period of time. A visit is understood as two consecutive actions by a visitor within a span of 30 minutes.

Visitor Segmentation — The process of segregating and studying visitors based on various behavior patterns.

Visits — Measures the number of people who come to your site. Generally measured within a 30 minute time span from the first visit, so if a visitor visits your site, goes away and comes back 35 minutes later and clicks around, his activity would be considered 2 visits

Web Analytics — The process of collection, measurement and analysis of user activity on a website to understand and help achieve the intended objective of the website.

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