Tips and Tricks to Understanding Web Analytics 

So, you’ve created your perfect website and you’ve also set up a Google Analytics account, but what the hell do all those numbers mean and how do I translate that into knowing how well my site is doing? Well to help you out a little, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks for the basics of understanding web analytics, that should help you along a little. 

What Are Users? 

While you might have heard a lot of chatter about “hits”, they’re actually a really unreliable way of determining the success of your site as a page with more content on it, always creates more hits. The real evidence of success is in your user numbers. Users are the individual visitors to your site, that are recorded through the use of cookies. What you want to see are a high percentage of active users that are also returning users to your site, this will indicate that not only is your content interesting on its own, it is also drawing people back to your site. 

What Are Reports and Conversions? 

Most analytics sites, like Google Analytics, will have the option to run reports and measure conversions, but what exactly are they? Well, very simply, reports are generated to measure different elements of your site’s traffic, whether that is the number of returning users or the number of pages users are visiting on average. You can then set goals associated with these reports, and conversions are the positive changes that are in line with the goals that you have set. 

What is a SERP ranking? 

A SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) ranking is essentially the point at which your site is coming up in search engines when a specified term is used. For example, if you’re site is for advertising croquet supplies in Brighton, then an important SERP ranking for you would be under the term “croquet supplies in Brighton”. SERP rankings can differ in the details, depending on the tool you are using, but they will generally tell you the position of your site in the search results of that term. 

What is a Bounce Rate? 

A bounce rate is the percentage of visits to your site that are ended either immediately or without visiting other pages of your site. This can be very common if most of your site traffic is coming in through social media, but it can indicate that your site is not being seen as a reliable or attractive place to visit. 


This is a very, very bare bones introduction to Web Analytics, and a lot of this info is not quite accurate in the same way that your science teachers in Highschool would often tell you to ignore what you had been taught in previous years. Hopefully, this blog will have illuminated a few areas and given you a foundation to go out and learn more. 

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