There’s more measurement to everything these days, including marketing. Never have there been more measurable marketing metrics, which is great because measurements lead to insights, and insights lead to better decisions, and better decisions lead to better marketing results.
But, it’s easy to get lost in the digital marketing terms, jargon and acronyms, losing the meaning behind how the numbers and statistics affect your marketing strategy and budget. Let’s change that and start with the way digital media and advertising results are reported. It’s important, especially now, to review this information, since Google Analytics, the most heavily referenced service in digital audience measurement, is transitioning from a reporting system called Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Here are some key terms you are likely to hear in the discussion of the performance of a website and its related digital marketing campaigns.
User — A person who interacts with your website. Whether the interaction is one time or more than one time, it is counted as only one user as long as the person uses the same device. Each interaction by the same person on a separate device (e.g., laptop, phone, tablet) is counted as a unique user.
Total Users or Total Unique Users — The number of users during a selected date range.
New Users — Users that visit your website for the first time in a selected date range. “New Users” is an inexact measurement because if a person clears his or her cookies or accesses your website using a different device, that same person will be reported as a new user.
Impression — When a user sees an ad one time. If the same user sees the same ad twice, that’s two impressions.
Reach — The measurement of the size of the audience that has seen your ads or campaign content.
Frequency — The number of times a user is exposed to an ad or campaign.
Frequency capping — A limit to the number of times a user will be exposed to an ad to avoid showing the same ad to the same user too many times.
Click — Auser clicking on an ad. A click typically takes a user to the advertiser’s website or dedicated landing page.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) — A digital advertising pricing model that charges the advertiser only when a user clicks on an ad. This is a standard practice in paid search advertising.
CPC (Cost Per Click) — The price an advertiser pays for one click in a PPC arrangement.
CTR (Click-Through Rate) — The number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. Clicks divided by impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 3 clicks from 100 impressions, your CTR would be 3%
Conversion — Any user action you designate as valuable or important. Conversions are those actions taken by prospects to engage with your company. For example, any time a user clicks on your ad, views your video, completes an online form or calls your business from a mobile phone could be considered a conversion.
Conversion Rate — The number of users who converted divided by total number of users. For example, if 5 in 100 users converted, you have a conversion rate of 5%.
Source — The origin of where a user found your website. Source tells you where your brand or message was first seen. A source could be a search engine such as Google or Bing, an email platform, a social network such as Facebook, or another website that links to your site.
Referral — A user who clicks through to your website from another website.
Session — A single visit to your website, consisting of one or more page views and other actions. If a user is inactive on your website for longer than 30 minutes, a new session will be reported if they perform another action.
Session Duration — The amount of time a user spends interacting with your website in a single session.
Engaged Session — Typically a session that lasts longer than ten seconds, or includes at least one conversion, or includes two or more page views.
Engagement Rate — The number of engaged sessions divided by the total number of sessions. For example, if there were 65 engaged sessions and a total of 100 sessions, then the engagement rate would be 65%.
Bounce Rate — The percentage of sessions that last less than ten seconds, do not include a conversion, and only include a one page view. In GA4, bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that are not engaged.
Page View — When a user on your website has viewed a page.
Views Per User — The total number of views divided by the total number of users.
Organic Traffic — Organic refers to people clicking on a link to your website from unpaid search results on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can see organic traffic from Search, Video and Social in the advertising reports.
Direct Traffic — A count of users who typed your website’s URL into their browser or who have previously bookmarked your website to directly access.
Transparent Reporting Should Be Part of Any Digital Marketing
While a digital marketing agency can wow with terminology and numbers, your digital marketing strategy should always be explained in a way you can understand followed up with seamless and transparent digital campaign reporting, as well as a thorough analysis of the data. This reveals results that can guide any adjustments to the campaign or messaging to produce better results.
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