Understanding your Google Analytics Report: Jargon Buster

Eleanor Firth

Eleanor Firth

Here at Browndog, we have years of experience in the digital world. But we also understand that sometimes all the jargon that we use day-to-day isn’t common knowledge.

We want you to feel part of your digital journey, so if you are struggling to understand your monthly analytics report or trying to obtain some insight from Google Analytics yourself, you may benefit from a better understanding of the terms below. This Google Analytics jargon buster will help you to understand terms used on the platform and what the results may mean for your business.

Once you start to understand these terms, you can start to use Google Analytics more efficiently and interpret the data in a way that can guide and drive your online activity (and be on your way to being a Google genius!) Let’s get started…

Bounce Rate

This occurs when a visitor to your website lands on a page but leaves the site without interacting or making a favourable action, i.e. clicking on links, watching a video, submitting a form or navigating to another page. This differs to exit rate, as a bounce rate is only counted on the page the user entered the site on. Someone may bounce off your website for many reasons, including slow loading speeds, irrelevant content or poor user experience (UX). For these reasons, a page with a high bounce rate indicates that some form of optimisation must be made to improve performance and experience for users.

Users vs New Users

‘Users’ means the number of visitors that have generated at least one session on your website during the selected date range. The ‘Users’ data summarises the total number of new and returning visitors. ‘New users’ is the number of first-time visitors to your site within the selected date range, i.e. people who have not visited the website before. Due to strict data protection online, these metrics are not always accurate. They rely on cookies to accurately record visits. This means if the same user accesses a website on various devices, browsers or IP addresses, they can be counted multiple times. Similarly, if they do not accept cookies, their sessions will not be counted at all.


Entrances mean the number of people who entered the website on a specific page, directly from a channel source such as social media, i.e. not from another page on your website. For instance, we may have 180 visits to the Browndog website in a single day, with 20 of those visits entering the site onto this very Jargon Buster blog post. The data in analytics would reflect 20 entrances recorded against this page.

This Google Analytics jargon buster will help you to understand terms used on the platform

Exit Rate

This is a percentage that indicates how many people dropped off the website on a certain page. For example, once you’ve finished reading this Jargon Buster post on the Browndog website, you may decide to leave and continue browsing other websites online. This would be reflected in analytics, by displaying the percentage of people who dropped off the site via this page. If 180 people visit our site today and you are the only person who leaves after this page, the exit rate of this page would be 0.55%. Some pages may have a high exit rate which can be the norm on pages such as a ‘Thank you for purchasing’ page on an ecommerce site, or similarly after the submission of contact forms on lead generation (lead-gen) sites. However, on some pages a high exit rate can also indicate that some content or UX optimisations are required.

Goal Completions / Event Completions

If your analytics account has ‘goals’ or ‘events’ set up, this means as well as tracking the basic metrics, we can track specific actions on your website. For example, we may want to track how many people have filled in a contact form, or clicked on your phone number to call. It is possible to track these interactions on Google Analytics at a very granular level, including where the visitor originated from, what page acquired the goal/event interaction and the percentage of people who visited the site and made one of those specific interactions (conversion rate).

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the number of goal completions, divided by the number of sessions on the website, expressed as a percentage. This can indicate which channels, tactics or devices led to the most favourable session outcomes.

Conversion rate examples:

150 Paid Search sessions : 5 goal completions : 3.33% conversion rate through the paid search channel

400 Organic sessions : 10 goal completions : 2.5% conversion rate through organic channels

Landing Page

This is the first page a user enters a website on, from an external channel. A Google Search for ‘graphic design huddersfield’ may take a user straight to our Branding page on this site, rather than the homepage – in this instance the landing page is our ‘Branding’ page.

Channels (organic, paid search, display, referral, direct, email, social etc)

Channels are the original source/medium of how people find and enter your website.

Organic – using a search engine result (not an ad), to click through to a website.

Paid Search – using ads displayed on a search engine result page, to click through to a website.

Display – image, GIF or video ads which appear on all types of websites as you browse the Internet, e.g. you may see an image add for BooHoo.com on the Sky Sports website.

Referral – a link to your site from another source such as a website, or an email or text (non-marketing) message someone has sent you a link in.

Direct – someone who types in your website address to enter directly

Email – link clicks from email campaigns

Social – link clicks from social media posts, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram feeds.

Source & Medium

These metrics are simply a different presentation of channel data. The key difference is that source & medium separates out the channel by the source provider and the type of link they clicked. For example, if we have ‘paid search’ channel, the source provider could be Google or Bing and the medium could be organic or paid. If the user clicked on a paid ad result on Google, the source would be Google and the medium would be CPC (paid search).

Source : Media

Google : CPC (Paid Search)

Google : Organic

Bing : Organic

Indeed.com : Referral

Instagram : Social

Note: a social platform will often appear as a referral

Search Console

Search console is a helpful Google tool that allows us to see which search queries led to a website visit, as well as other useful search tools. In order to view this, your website must have an active search console account which is linked to Google Analytics. The search console data which is available within analytics includes search query, number of clicks, number of impressions, click through rate (CTR) and your average Google ranking position (average position within Google results).

Once you start to understand these terms, you can start to use Google Analytics more efficiently and interpret the data in a way that can guide and drive your online activity


A session is a period of time a single user was actively engaged on a website. This differs from users, as it counts each individual time a single user came onto the site e.g one user might visit 5 times in a month, this would record as one user but 5 sessions.

Pages / Session

This is the number of pages a user visited within one website session.

Average Session Duration

This is the average length of a session, so essentially the average time a visitor spent on your website in one session (without being inactive for more than 30 minutes). The average session duration in the UK is between 1 minute 50 seconds and 3 minutes 43 seconds, depending on the industry and source. As you can imagine, sites such as Youtube or online clothing retailers have substantially higher session durations.

So, there you have it! Hopefully you feel more prepared to take on the world of Google, but if you’re still struggling, then get in touch! We can work with you to help get you up and running with Google Analytics and keep track of your digital presence for you.

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How much does a good website cost to build?

  • A brochure site (a place to share information about your products or services) will cost between £6,000-£12,000 depending on the volume of pages, functional elements and any bespoke design requests you may have.
  • An ecommerce website (a place where you can sell your products or services and visitors can complete their transaction online) will cost from £10,000.
  • If you’re looking for completely bespoke design or just a website refresh, we’ll be happy to chat with you and provide a quote for your requirements.

We’ve developed over 200 websites. You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project.

When you work with us, you’ll get that perfect combination of great design and technical development from our whole team, not just one person.

How long does it take to build a website?

Before we start any work, we’ll share a project plan which will include deadlines for providing content, and we’ll keep you updated if the expected times change.

Writing keyword-rich copy will keep visitors on your website and encourage them to work with you. If writing isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, we can produce a content plan on your behalf.

Why you need a website

Most customers will expect you to have a website and may question your legitimacy as a business if they can’t find you online. When a potential customer does find you, what should their first impression be? You want them to be confident when buying from you and to have a good feeling about your brand.

If growing your business is a goal, then having a website is a great place to gain leads. Using the right mix of keywords and a thorough digital marketing plan, you can become good friends with Google! Google will play a significant role in helping your customers find you online and giving you a positive return on investment for the cost of your website and online strategy.

Even the most basic of websites should serve as an informative tool to answer frequently asked customer questions and offer your first port of call for customer service. Your opening times, address and latest news or offers should be easy to find. Ultimately, the better your website is, the easier it will be to find, and a great website will help you to reach more customers.

Being online helps you to reach a much bigger pool of customers than a bricks and mortar store. Your website can be the key to extended success, with no limits on the scope of your customer geography other than your product/service capabilities.

Working with an agency like Browndog will give you a technically sound, fresh and functional website which is responsively designed, and provides consistent brand messaging for your customers. We’ll also take the guess work out of your online strategy and make sure your website is targeting the right customer segments to increase sales opportunities and raise brand awareness.

How much does it cost?

  • A marketing campaign animation or company/product introduction between 90-120 seconds in length will cost between £2,500 and £3,000. This will depend on the length of the video, the content, and any additional options such as a voice over or music. Don’t worry, we can guide you through best practice and find a plan that fits for you.
  • If you’d like us to produce a logo ident or gif animations for you to use on social media and in smaller campaigns, you can expect to pay between £250-£300. This will be a much smaller brief and will take less time than a campaign animation.
  • We’re more than happy to put together a bespoke package for you to include multiple campaign videos, logo idents, voice overs and photography or videography as needed. We do it all!

You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project. 

How long does it take to produce an animation?

But here’s the kind of time you can expect your animation to take:

  • Marketing campaign animations – this will usually take us about three weeks to prepare. We like to allow a week for content and styling, followed by storyboarding and revisions. Finally, we’ll take another week to animate your work. These things are a work of art, you can’t rush them (and we won’t).
  • Logo idents, gifs and short animations – we estimate that this will take up to two weeks.

Are you ready to get started? Send us your brief today or give us a call to talk through your ideas. We’re a friendly bunch!*

*If you visit us, our office dogs may take part in your meeting.

What kind of animations can we help with?

Ideally, your marketing strategy will include a range of media content to achieve the greatest engagement and response from your audience.

We can help with animations and videos that include company and product introductions, as well as content for specific marketing campaigns. These types of animations can showcase who you are, and what you have to offer. Plus, they are an exciting way to launch a new product or service and get your customers on board.

When you work with us on your branding, why not include a logo ident to add that extra bit of personality to your business and content, setting you apart from your competitors.

Another growing area for animated content is social media and your website. We produce gifs, short video clips and motion graphics for use on web pages and in social posts. This is a great way to captivate the viewers’ attention, share your brand values and advertise your latest campaign or event.

Finally, when you work with us on your website, we highly recommend adding a range of graphics, animations and videos to keep visitors on your site and share your messaging in captivating ways. We’ve provided many website banners and short looping animations for our clients.

We will guide you through each of your animation journey, from assessing the content that will work best for you, to how long your animated content should be and where it should be placed.

Why is animation an important element of your content strategy?

Not only is it effective but using animation can be a cost-saving way to grab the attention of your audience and keep them looking at your content for longer. It’s considerably cheaper than producing recorded video footage because it can be easily edited and updated when needed.

Animation is the fastest growing type of content created by marketers for use on websites and social media, so if you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to start…

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to explain complex ideas, products or services in text form or with images. That’s why many of our clients work with us to produce animations that take the information off the page and jump out at the audience.

Most importantly, animation has been proven to boost conversion rates on your website. Users are significantly more engaged and more likely to spend longer on your site or complete an action, such as filling in a contact form.

How will animation help my marketing strategy?

Animation is a powerful marketing tool and a great way to show some personality in your brand, making you more memorable (think: the Aldi carrot or the Netflix Tudum).

One of the great benefits of animation is that it can help you to share a lot of information in just a few seconds, because sometimes that’s all the time you have to attract a user’s attention.