Web Analytics Terms: A Comprehensive Glossary

Using clear definitions and helpful examples, we've put together a helpful list of key terminology related to website analytics. Learn what these terms mean, why they're important, and how to improve some of these key metrics on your website.

A

Active User

An active user is a visitor who engages with a website or application within a specific time frame, usually measured as daily, weekly, or monthly.

Analytics

Analytics in the context of web analytics refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from web platforms to understand user behavior, website performance, and other key metrics.

Assisted Conversion

An assisted conversion is a metric that identifies the number of times a particular channel or touchpoint contributed to a conversion, without being the final interaction.

Attribution

Attribution in web analytics is the process of assigning credit or value to different marketing channels that lead to a conversion.

Attribution Model

An attribution model is a framework or set of rules used to determine how credit for conversions is assigned to different touchpoints in a conversion path.

Average Session Duration

Average session duration is a metric that measures the average amount of time users spend on a website during a single session.

Average Time on Page

Average time on page refers to the average amount of time that visitors spend viewing a specific page on a website.

B

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that represents the percentage of visitors who enter a website and then leave ("bounce") rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.

Browser

A browser refers to the software application used by visitors to access and navigate websites on the internet.

C

Conversion

A conversion refers to the completion of a desired action by a user on a website, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is a key performance indicator in web analytics that measures the percentage of visitors to a website who complete a desired action (conversion) out of the total number of visitors.

CTR (Click-through Rate)

Click-through rate is a metric that measures the percentage of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.

Click Tracking

Click tracking is the process of monitoring and recording the clicks made by visitors on various elements of a website.

Cookies

Cookies are small data files stored on a user's computer by a web browser while browsing a website.

Cookieless Attribution

Cookieless attribution refers to the methods of tracking and attributing user actions and conversions without relying on cookies.

Campaign Tracking

Campaign tracking is the process of monitoring and analyzing the performance of marketing campaigns across different channels.

CPC (Cost-per-click)

Cost-per-click is a pricing model used in online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

D

DAU (Daily Active Users)

A metric that counts the number of unique users who engage with a website, app, or platform within a 24-hour period.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic refers to visitors who arrive at a website by typing the website's URL directly into their browser, using a bookmark, or clicking on a link in an email or a document, without any referral by another website.

Drop-Off Rate

Drop-off rate measures the percentage of users who leave a specific process or flow (such as a multi-step form or checkout process) before completing it.

E

Entry Page

An entry page is the first page that a visitor lands on when they visit a website.

Event Tracking

Event tracking is the process of capturing specific user actions on a website, such as clicks, form submissions, or purchases, to gain insights into user behavior and interaction patterns.

Event Value

Event value is a monetary or point value assigned to specific user interactions or events on a website to quantify their importance or worth.

Exit Page

An exit page is the last page a user visits before leaving a website.

Exit Rate

Exit rate is the percentage of all pageviews to a specific page that were the last in the session, indicating how often users exit from a particular page relative to the number of views the page received.

F

Funnel Analysis

Funnel analysis is a method of tracking the steps users take towards completing a goal, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service, allowing marketers to identify where users drop off and optimize the conversion path.

First Click Attribution

First click attribution is a model of assigning credit for a conversion to the first touchpoint or marketing channel that initially directed a user to the website.

First-Party Data

First-party data is information collected directly from your audience or customers through your own digital properties, such as websites, apps, and CRM systems.

G

Goal

In web analytics, a goal represents a specific action or outcome that a website or business aims for users to complete, such as a form submission, product purchase, or a certain amount of time spent on a page.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

H

Heatmap

A heatmap is a visual tool used in web analytics to display data about user behavior on a website through color-coded maps, showing where users click, scroll, or move their mouse.

Hit

In web analytics, a hit refers to any interaction with a website that results in data being sent to the server. This can include page views, button clicks, or form submissions.

I

Impression

An impression refers to the count of how many times a digital advertisement or any form of digital content is displayed, regardless of whether it was clicked or not.

Initial Referral

Initial referral is the first source through which a user arrives at a website.

Internal Search

Internal search refers to the search functionality within a website, allowing users to search for content or products directly on the site.

IP Address

An IP address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

IP Anonymization

IP anonymization is a privacy feature that modifies a visitor's IP address as soon as data is received by the analytics service, ensuring that the user's full IP address is not stored or processed.

IP Filtering

IP filtering is a technique used in web analytics to exclude or include traffic data from specific IP addresses in reports.

J

JavaScript Tag

A JavaScript tag, often referred to as a tracking code or script, is a snippet of JavaScript code that is added to the HTML of a webpage to collect and send information to a web analytics service.

Journey Mapping

Journey mapping is a visualization technique used to outline the steps or stages a customer goes through in interacting with a website, product, or service.

K

Keyword

A keyword is a word or phrase that users enter into search engines to find information.

L

Landing Page

In the context of web analytics, a landing page is the first page a visitor views during a session on a website.

Last Click Attribution

Last click attribution is a model where all the credit for a conversion is given to the last touchpoint or channel that the customer interacted with before completing a desired action.

Latency

In web performance, latency refers to the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer.

M

Metrics

Metrics are quantitative measurements used to track and assess the performance of a website, campaign, or user behavior.

MAU (Monthly Active User)

A metric that counts the number of unique users who engage with a website, app, or platform within a 30-day period.

Multi-Touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution is a model that assigns credit for conversions across all touchpoints a consumer interacts with during their journey to conversion.

N

New Visitor

In web analytics, a new visitor is a first-time user of a website.

O

Operating System (OS)

An operating system refers to the software platform on which a user's computer, smartphone, or device operates, such as Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic consists of visitors who come to a website from a search engine result that is not paid for.

Outbound Click

An outbound click is when a user clicks a link on a website that leads them away to a different domain.

P

Paid Search Traffic

Paid search traffic refers to visitors who arrive at a website after clicking on a paid advertisement in search engine results.

Pageview

A pageview is recorded each time a user visits a page on a website, regardless of how many times the page is reloaded or revisited.

Page Depth

Page depth measures the average number of pages viewed during a session on a website.

Page Speed

Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes for a web page to load completely in a user's browser.

Page Title

The page title, also known as the title tag, is the text displayed on the browser tab and used by search engines as the clickable headline for a given webpage in search results.

PII (Personally Identifying Information)

PII refers to any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

PPC (Pay-per-click)

PPC is an advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content websites, where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad.

Q

Query Parameters

Query parameters are part of a URL that follow the question mark (?) and are used to define specific content or actions based on the data being passed.

R

Referral Path

The referral path is the specific URL path that comes after the domain name, indicating the exact page on the referring site from which a user clicked a link to visit another site.

Referral Source

The referral source refers to the origin, such as a website or a social media platform, from which traffic is directed to a site through a link.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is the segment of traffic that arrives at your website from external links on other sites rather than directly or from search engines.

Referrer

The referrer is the webpage that directs visitors to your site by linking to it.

Referring Domain

The referring domain is the domain from which referral traffic originates, providing a higher-level view of the sources sending traffic to a website as opposed to the specific pages (referral path).

Referring URL

The referring URL is the full URL of the page on an external site that links directly to your website.

Returning Visitor

A returning visitor is someone who has visited a website at least once before and is back for one or more visits.

Root Domain

The root domain is the core of a website's domain name, consisting of the unique domain name and top-level domain (TLD), but not including any subdomains or paths.

S

Search Volume

Search volume refers to the number of times a specific keyword or phrase is searched for in a search engine over a given time period.

Secondary Dimensions

In web analytics, secondary dimensions allow users to refine and analyze their data by adding an additional layer of detail to reports.

Session

A session represents a single visit to a website, encompassing all the actions a user takes within a given time frame before leaving or becoming inactive.

Session Duration

Session duration is the total time spent by a user in a single session.

Segmentation

Segmentation involves dividing website visitors into groups based on shared characteristics, such as demographics, behavior, or source of traffic.

Subdomain

A subdomain is a prefix added to the root domain that can be used to organize different sections of a website, such as a blog (blog.example.com) or a specific product page (product.example.com).

T

Time on Page

Time on Page measures the duration a visitor spends on a single web page before navigating to another page on the same website.

Time on Site

Time on Site, also known as session duration, aggregates the total time a user spends on a website during a single session.

Tracking Script

A tracking script is a piece of code implemented on a website to collect data on user behavior and interactions.

Traffic

In web analytics, traffic refers to the flow of users to a website.

Traffic Channels

Traffic channels categorize the sources of web traffic into groups based on their origin, such as direct, referral, organic search, paid search, and social.

Traffic Source

In web analytics, the traffic source identifies the origin from which web traffic originates, such as a search engine, a referring website, or a marketing campaign.

U

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A URL is the web address of a specific webpage or resource on the internet.

Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is an individual user who visits a website within a specific time period, distinguished from others by a unique identifier.

User Agent

A user agent is a string that a web browser or other client software sends to a web server, identifying the type of device, operating system, and browser being used.

User Flow

User flow is a visual representation of the paths users take through a website, from their entry point through various pages and interactions until they exit.

UTM Parameters

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are snippets of text added to the end of a URL to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media.

V

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are data points that look impressive on the surface but do not necessarily correlate with the success or health of a business.

View-through Conversions

View-through conversions are actions taken by users who complete a desired activity on a website after being exposed to an ad without directly clicking on it.

Visitors

In web analytics, a visitor refers to an individual who accesses and interacts with a website.

W

WAU (Weekly Active Users)

A metric that counts the number of unique users who engage with a website, app, or platform within a 7-day period.