Below is a list of the mosty common terms you see in Google Analytics when running basic reports.

Average time on the page

An overall mean average of the time spent by all users of your website in hours:minutes:seconds. This is one measure of how engaged people are with your website. Please note this figure can be skewed by bots.


Whether the visitor of your site accessed your website with a desktop computer (including laptops), a tablet or a phone.


The number of searches where people could see your website in their Google search results, so is sometimes referred to as the ‘total pairs of eyes’. Clicks is the number of people that actually clicked on a link to your website in their search results. This is obviously more pertinent on commerce websites.

New sessions

A session is a single visit to your website, consisting of one or more pageviews. The default session timeout is 30 minutes so if someone visits your site again after 30 minutes that will count as a new session.

Traffic sources

The different channels that people came through to get to your site e.g. Google search, Email newsletter, directly from a link on another Imperial web page etc.


The search term or phrase that people typed into Google

Unique pageviews

This is a count of pageviews from distinct sessions (see definition in New sessions), so if someone visits the same page several times during a session, it only counts it the first time. It is a truer measure of overall interaction than total pageviews

URL Clicks

When a user types in a search term in Google they will see many results, so URL clicks is a measure of how many people clicked on a search result that goes to your website. The number of clicks on a search result in Google which goes to your website.


This is the number of distinct people visiting your website, but the same person using a different browser or device will count multiple times, so technically it is the number of distinct browser cookies.