Glossary of Terms and Definitions for Web Analytics

Get definitions of the various analytics terms you'll encounter using the analytics platform. 

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The glossary is separated into three sections:

General Terms

These terms appear throughout the dashboard in various dashboard tiles.

Page Views Per Session

The average number of pages that a user has viewed per session. 

Browser

A software application used to view websites. Some examples of browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox.

Current Period

The days of data specified in the date range in the filter section.

Geo Location

A pair of numbers that indicate the longitude and latitude of a user's device.

Google.com Search Impressions

An impression is recorded when a link URL appears in a Google Search results page for a user.

Google.com Search Clicks

A Google Search click is recorded when a link URL is clicked on from a Google Search results page.

ISP

Is short for Internet Service Provider, which is defined as is an organization that provides services for accessing the internet.

Landing Page

The web page on the website that a user first visits during a session.

Last Period

The previous date range with respect to the current period. If a specific week/month is selected as the current period, Last Period refers to the week/month prior to that.

Null Referrer (No Results for Referrer)

It is possible to have a null value for referrer. There are a number of reasons this can happen, which include but are not limited to:

  • visited the site by a browser-maintained bookmark

  • entered the site URL directly into the browser address bar

  • clicked a link in an external application.

  • the referring site's Referrer-Policy is set to hide the referrer value.

  • a third party link is constructed using “http” but links to a site which is using “https”.

Offsite Link

The web page with a different domain that users land on after browsing the website.

Page Views

The number of times a web page has been viewed. A user can have multiple page views during a session.

A high number of page views within a session may indicate users have navigated back to the page. It may be intentional, if page A is a hub for the rest of your content.

Platform

The operating system a browser was using.

Referral URLs (Referrals)

Users landing on the website/web page from other websites, search engines, etc.

Referrer

Websites, search engines, etc. from which users land on the website/web page of interest in the report.

Session

The record of a user’s presence and actions performed on a website. This may include multiple page views, events, etc. Previously in WebTrends, this was referred to as a Visit.

Session Duration

The length of time between the first page view in a session and the last page view in a session. Sessions reset after 30 minutes without any activity. 

Traffic

The sent and received data by users, typically measured by user counts, session counts, and page view counts.

Traffic Channel

An indicator of where traffic to the website/web page comes from. Traffic channels are separated into a number of groups:

  • Direct - The traffic landing on the website/web page by typing in the URL or using bookmarks.
  • Email - The traffic landing on the website/web page through a link in an email.
  • Internal - The traffic landing on the website/web page from another page with the same domain.
  • Paid – The traffic landing on the website/web page that is coming from paid search ads which appear in the results of Google, Bing, or other search engines.
  • Other - The traffic landing on the website/web page that is not from any other channel.
  • Search - The traffic landing on the website/web page through search engine results.
  • Social - The traffic landing on the website/web page through social media websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

User

An individual visiting a website, identified using cookies. A return user should not add to the user count; however, this may be obscured by individuals using different browsers or devices, clearing their cache or having specific privacy settings.

Tile terms

Average Session Duration
The “average session duration” calculates the average amount of time people stay on gov.bc.ca when they visit your pages. The percentage shows by how much the length of user sessions has increased or decreased over the selected date range.

Tiles are blocks of information in the dashboard presented in tables, graphs, maps, etc.

Page Views Comparison

A chart comparing page views during the current period and the last period, according to the date range selected.

Session percentage from last period
A chart that shows the percent increase or decrease of session count, from the last period to the current period. The time period is the same as what is selected in the date range filter.

Top Referral URLs
"Top referral URLs" shows the most common URLs that are directing users to your site. It is ordered by page views count and shows the percentage of page views from this referral URL.

Top Google.com Searches
This tells you the search terms that people are using in Google Search, that are directing users to your site.

Time of Day and Day of Week Heatmap

A table showing the day of week as columns and hour of day rows, counting sessions for each over the time frame specified by the date range in the filter section.

Top Browsers

A table of browsers, users, sessions, and percent of sessions ordered by users count.

Top Downloaded Clicks
A Download click shows the count that users have clicked to download an asset linked to on your page.

Top Gov.bc.ca Link Clicks

A Gov.bc.ca link click on your page is a click on a URL link that contains the domain "www2.gov.bc.ca".

Top Gov Search Terms

Displays the phrases and the number of its searches within the BC government search box which led the user to a page within a theme.

Top ISPs

A table of Internet Service Providers(ISP), users, sessions, and percent of sessions ordered by users count.

Top Offsite Links (Clicks)

An Offsite link click on your page is a click on a URL link that does not contain the domain "www2.gov.bc.ca".

Top Pages

Displays the top performing pages based on page view count.

Top Platforms

A table of operating systems, users, sessions, and percent of sessions ordered by users count.

Top Sub Themes By Google.com Searches

A chart displaying the Sub Themes of a theme based on the number of Google.com Impressions and Google.com Clicks.

Top Sub Themes By Sessions

A chart displaying the Sub Themes of a theme ranked by the number of sessions.

Traffic Map

A map, centred on B.C., showing sessions by their geo locations (longitude and latitude). Dot size is based on session counts.

Traffic Summary

A bar graph of users counts, session counts, and page view counts according to the detail defined with the traffic summary filter.

Filter terms

Filters determine what data is used to populate dashboard tiles.

City

Filters the dashboard session data to a specific city. Use the format: [city name] - [province/state]. For example: Armstrong - British Columbia

Complete Days / Weeks / Months / Quarters / Years

Various options for selecting the date range. The term "complete" refers to something that has already happened. The last Complete Day is yesterday, for instance. Note that weeks run from Sunday through Saturday.

Date Range

A date or range of dates that define the current period of data. Date ranges are up to (do not include) the final date.

Internal Government Traffic

Selections for Yes, No, or Is Any Value. Filters the dashboard to traffic data from devices that have IP addresses within the known range of BC Government devices.

ISP

Filters the dashboard to the information about those sessions which are determined to originate from a selected Internet Service Provider.

Is Mobile

Selections for Yes, No, or Is Any Value. Filters the dashboard to data about users with mobile devices only.

Region

Filters the dashboard session data to a specific region.

Sub Theme

Refers to CMS Lite Level 2 Sub-Themes.

Theme

Refers to CMS Lite Level 1 Themes.

Time Period for Traffic Summary

The options of Day, Week, Month, and Year will determine how detailed the traffic summary tile will be.

Title

Filters the dashboard to data that matches pages with the specified Title.

URL

Filters the dashboard to data that matches pages with the specified URL.