Misunderstood Metrics Series

Analytics reports are full of numbers with simple names like ‘sessions’ and ‘users’, but behind the scenes, things are not so simple. Many metrics are far more complex than the simple names suggest. The Misunderstood Metrics series digs into some of the common reporting combinations that are easily misinterpreted.

Google Analytics 4 Sessions for Pages

Even though Google Analytics 4 is very different, it also has dimensions and metrics that are user-scoped, session-scoped, event(hit)-scoped, and item-scoped. It also has problems when you mix them.

Google Analytics 4 Sessions

People moving from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 will be baffled when they try to compare session metrics between the two systems, because they will be very different by design.

Google Search Average Position

Google Search Console makes it easy to track the position of your website pages in Google’s search results, but the numbers are averages, and averages don’t tell the whole story. When it comes to search engine ranking, they can be really misleading. More 

Google Analytics Bounce Rate

What is bounce rate in Google Analytics? Is higher or lower better? What is typical? Does it affect my search engine rankings? More 

Google Analytics Custom Dimensions

If you’ve made the leap into custom dimensions with Google Analytics, you’ve probably also tried to make a custom report to segment your traffic with the new dimension. More 

Google Analytics Events

Google Analytics allows you to track user interaction “events” independent of a page view, such as file downloads or video plays. More 

Facebook Page Insights

It can be confusing to download your data from Facebook Insights and try to recreate some of the online reports, only to discover the metric names don’t match. More 

Google Analytics Frequency/Count of Sessions

The Google Analytics report for Frequency displays a Count of Sessions dimension that is misleading in several ways. More 

Google Analytics Users

Why do the Users numbers in my report not add up to the total in Google Analytics? This Misunderstood Metrics article explores the Users metric in Google Analytics, why the numbers are different, and why both of them are probably wrong. More 

Google Analytics New vs Returning Visitors

Why do New + Returning Visitors add up to more than the total Users? How can I have more New Users than ‘New Visitor’-type Users? This Misunderstood Metrics article explores the User Type dimension and New Users metric in Google Analytics, and why the numbers can be confusing. More 

Google Analytics Next Page Path

In Google Analytics, the Previous Page Path shows what page was visited just before the current Page, but Next Page Path seems to be broken or not working. The problem is that it doesn’t hold what the name implies. More 

Google Analytics Sessions for Pages

Build a custom report to see how many Sessions included your top pages, and the result is confusing! Chances are you will see the number of Sessions drops sharply once you get below your primary landing pages. More 

Google Analytics Time on Page / Average Session Duration

How can the Average Session Duration be less than the Average Time on Page?  In Google Analytics, seeing the time spent on your website or on individual pages is not as obvious as it first appears. This Misunderstood Metrics article explores the concept of time in Google Analytics…or lost time as the case may be. More