If you want to know more about the terms used in our reports, especially if they’re new to you, this is designed for you. We’ve compiled a guide to help make things clearer, but if there’s anything you want to know that isn’t covered to your satisfaction here, get in touch and we’ll be happy to explain what they mean and how they factor into our strategy going forward.
Organic traffic is all traffic to your website by visitors who found you through clicking on a regular listing in a search engine, rather than a link in an email or on someone else’s site or through clicking on paid advertising.
The Organic Traffic section compares your site’s performance in the listed month to its performance in the same month one year earlier. We use this comparison to avoid misleading data due to seasonal variation. This section of your report focuses on the results of your SEO.
This measures the number of individual sessions. A session is a single visit to your site.
Any visit counts as one, so visitors who check multiple pages, sign up to a newsletter, and request a callback and visitors who leave shortly after arrival are both measured in this list.
A unique visitor is a single user. This number will always be lower than the number of sessions for the same period as at least some visitors will return for more than one session. However, this is a useful measure of how many different people are currently seeing your website.
This is the percentage of visitors who left your site on arrival without taking any other action. The rule of thumb is that lower bounce rates are better as visitors will take further actions (and not bounce) if they’re engaged; however, if the goal of an individual search was to find information that’s prominently displayed, the user won’t need to take other actions. This can be good! Your Account Manager will be able to clarify how this metric’s performance should be interpreted according to your business’s goals.
This is a measurement of how long visitors spend on your site in a single visit, on average.
This is a simple measure of the number of different pages a visitor goes to during an individual session. E-commerce sites in particular will be better off with a high Pages/Session as it represents users browsing and building engagement; clients offering few products, or who are providing a service, may be better off with only a few Pages/Session, as for them the increased page numbers may indicate users being unable to find what they’re looking for.
At the time of writing, studies indicate that pages which take longer than 2 seconds to load lose a significant percentage of visitors immediately – they exit out and try another page. By monitoring load time and taking steps to reduce it, it’s possible to greatly improve visitor engagement.
The amount of time visitors are willing to wait for a page to load has only reduced over time and may fall further as technology improves.
If you’re concerned with your site’s performance on desktop or mobile, please ask your Account Manager why its performance is currently poor and what measures will be taken to change this.
Paid Traffic is a measure of all traffic to your website from visitors who clicked on a paid advertising link. Your Account Manager will be monitoring your PPC campaigns closely and will be able to go into more detail on any aspects you’re curious about, but this section of your report should give you a clear overview.
Data presented here compares your site’s performance in the listed month to its performance in the same month one year earlier. We use this comparison to avoid misleading data due to seasonal variation.
The Paid Traffic section of the report covers the results of your PPC service.
This measures the number of individual visits to your site, or ‘sessions’. Everything from clicking through to your site from a paid ad and immediately closing the browser to clicking through and spending half an hour meticulously reading through your site and placing an order counts as a single session.
This is a measure of the number of different people who’ve visited your site over the measured period. There will always be fewer Unique Visitors than Total Sessions.
The Bounce Rate measures the percentage of visitors who clicked onto your site and left without clicking a link, watching a video, or interacting in any other way. The most they will have done is read a single page.
Depending upon how your website is used, a high or low bounce rate may be better expected; sites with plenty to browse across multiple pages will usually want a lower bounce rate while if you just want people to find that you offer a service, get your phone number, and call, a high bounce rate is expected.
If you’re not sure which is right for your site, your Account Manager will be happy to discuss this and explain the logic behind it.
Session Duration measure how long the average user spent on your site in the report period.
This measures the average number of pages a user visited during a single session. For e-commerce sites with many products, this should be high; for sites providing only a few products or services, a particularly high average may indicate that your site’s content and navigation are confusing. A UX audit may be appropriate.
This measures the number of visitors who converted from your paid traffic in this timeframe. Conversion can mean different things for different sites and will have been discussed with you by your account manager.
The Users section analyses information about all visitors to your site, whether from organic search traffic, paid advertising, or other sources (including just typing your web URL into their browser or clicking on a bookmarked link.)
This section gives you more information about how your site is viewed by those who visit it, which can greatly affect how the site performs overall. Your Account Manager will be happy to discuss what this section tells us and how we can use it to our advantage.
This section tells us what proportion of your visitors are using different Operating Systems (OSes). A visitor’s OS affects their choice of web browser, and that can change how your site appears on their screen.
If we notice that a high proportion of your visitors are using an OS which makes it less likely they’re seeing your site at its best, we’ll discuss potential solutions with you.
This section tells us what proportion of your visitors are using traditional desktop computers, mobile phones, or tablets when they visit your site.
A high proportion of mobile and tablet visitors may make it important to change how your site is viewed on these platforms to make their user experience better, removing an obstacle in the way of their becoming customers.