Build a Brand that Speaks Volumes

The Ultimate Google Analytics Glossary for Consultants and Nonprofits

Understanding your Google Analytics data is crucial for making informed decisions about your website or online business. You can identify what is working and what needs improvement by checking and analyzing your data. Our glossary is here to help you make sense of the technical terminology and concepts.

With customer data, you can learn essential insights such as;

How your audience engage with your content

How many times a user visits your website

The demographic (gender, race, age, location) of your users

How users mainly find your website

These insights are essential for choosing the right marketing strategy and scaling your business.

GA4 offers several reports and data that could be more manageable and clearer. In addition, the platform has specific terminologies that you must understand to use correctly. In this article, you’ll find a list of GA4 languages and their meanings. Consider this list a reference you can always look at while using the GA4 platform.


Here are all of the crucial GA4 terminologies you must understand;


Like every platform, your account holds all your information on Google Analytics. Your account will keep details like your password, username, and activity. Usually, you’ll have a single account for a specific website. However, you can share an account with different users.


An Acquisition report informs you about the origin of traffic- different means users find your website. With this report, you can understand the source, like organic search or referral from other websites and medium of reach. For instance, paid campaigns on social networks and Google Ads.

Active Users

These users engage your website or app frequently within a specific period. For a user to be active, they need to have their website or app opened for at least a second. Active users are primarily measured with other parameters such as Daily Active User (DAU).

Advertising Features

The advertising features in Google Analytics use third-party identifiers and cookies to gather valuable data. This set of features helps us learn about demographic data, user behavior, and others. The advertising feature is automatically enabled when you implement Google Signals.


Attribution assigns credit to different marketing channels, clicks, and factors that led to a conversion. Various attribution models with specific rules in Google Analytics determine how credit is assigned to the touch points in a conversion. You can set it to the default attribution setting by navigating to Admin and Attribution settings.


Audience refers to a group of users collected based on a specific factor. It’s essential to have an audience to target for Google Ads. Your website can have different audiences; it could be users who have viewed a specific product for a particular period. Also, it could be users who have never inquired about your service.

Average Engagement Time

The Average Engagement Time is a metric that showcases the average duration users spend on your website or app. This figure is calculated by division of the total time by the total number of users. Unfortunately, the Average Engagement Time can only be calculated when the browser is visible, so it’s impossible to know if users are browsing incognito.

Average Engagement Time per Session

This is a similar metric to the average engagement time. However, the average engagement time per session considers how long a user engages with your website. So, it is calculated by dividing the total time by the number of sessions. For instance, if a user interacts with your website three times with a duration of 60, 30, and 15 seconds, the average engagement time per session would be 95 seconds.


A bounce reports a single request in a session. For instance, when a user views a single page of your website and leaves without clicking anything else. This metric has been replaced by bounce rate and engaging sessions in Google Analytics 4.

Bounce Rate

Like Bounce, this metric measures the percentage of sessions that involve a single page view, last less than 10 seconds or have zero conversion. In addition, it means the percentage of sessions with minimal engagement.

Campaign Name

Your campaign name is the name filled in the content field, which tells GA the name of your Google Ads campaign. It’s a crucial dimension in the analysis and reporting of marketing campaigns.

Campaign Tags

Campaign tags are added to the end of URLs. They are essential for inbound marketing because they help track how the links are viewed and shared. Each campaign tag contains a name, source, ID, term, medium, and content. You can compare the performance of different campaigns with their tags.

Change History

This feature lets you view any changes to your Google Analytics account. When you click the Change Explorer view, open a change set, right-click a file or folder in the change set, and select “Show History.” In addition, you can view the email address of any user who has made a change. If you find any termed “deleted user,” it’s from a user who was previously removed but had access to your account.


Channels are groupings of your traffic sources—for instance, organic or paid search. Every GA report will present your inbound marketing channels for your perusal.

Client ID

This randomly assigned unique identifier for an internet-connected device allows Google Analytics to link a user’s behavior on a site automatically. The Client ID is stored in a browser cookie on the individual’s device.

Connected Site Tags

Connected Site Tags easily link new properties with existing ones in your GA account. To use connected site tags, your site needs to be consistently tagged with gtag. js. Thus, making it easy to transfer data across all the present properties on your site.

Content Group

Content grouping allows you to assemble content into a specific category. It keeps your content organized and makes for top-notch analysis and reporting on distinct pages. When you click on Admin, proceed to the VIEW column, click on Content Grouping, and select a new group and a new name.


A conversion is an action by a user on your website. For example, it could be a purchase of an item or viewing different website pages.


Google Analytics allows you to evaluate different elements of your data in a standard report. In addition, this feature helps you break down other metrics based on distinct factors. For instance, you can compare all the users who found your website via organic search and users who did with a referral.


Cookies are files of data stored in the user’s web browsers. The information in cookies is essential to identify different statistics, such as site usage and sessions. Google Analytics reports a new user when they accept cookies on your website.


CPC stands for Cost-per-click, a metric in advertising reports showcases the number of clicks you get from paid ads (Google Ads and Campaign tags). A low CPC means you can accommodate more clicks in your budget while earning.

Custom Definitions

Customer definitions are specific characteristics or attributes that you wish to track. This feature can only be registered in Google Analytics 4 and is either event-scoped or user-scoped. For example, it could be a transaction ID, user pricing plan, or user ID. When you click on Configure and Custom Definitions, you can register a custom definition.

Custom Dimension and Custom Metric

Similar to Custom Dimension, you can collect additional data as metrics in Google Analytics. For instance, the race of your users may be more critical than default metrics like page views.

Custom metrics will allow you to track data with your prioritized metric for a more comprehensive report.

Data imports

This is when external data or information is added to already existing data. You can import different data types, such as summary, extended, and hit-data import.

Data Retention

In Google Analytics, Data retention allows the user to specify the time data can remain before it is completely wiped out from Analytics servers.

Data Stream

This term refers to the source of information that is collected and passed into your Google Analytics property. There can be different data streams created for GA4 properties. The two types of the data stream are bounded and unbounded streams.

Debug view

This enables the user to see to troubleshoot issues on time quickly. Debug view shows the user data taken from user properties or events in near real-time. This Debug view lets you monitor incoming data without waiting for hours. It could be events gathered in less than an hour.

Default Channel Grouping

This is when the most common sources of traffic are grouped. The channels could be Email, Organic Search, Display, or even paid search. See also the medium and source.

Default Reporting Identity

A default reporting identity is how Google Analytics identifies users in your reports. This information also helps with categorizing users for different custom metrics. You can prioritize user ID before data from Google Signals by enabling ‘By User ID and device’ or ‘By device only.’


Google Analytics can collect users’ demographics for a more comprehensive report. Gender, race, and age are common data that you can use to influence your marketing strategy. You can enable this setting through ‘Data Collection’ in settings.

Device ID

Google Analytics also uses Device ID to monitor user behavior on a site or app. Similar to a User ID, a device ID is a specific identifier for a device; it could be browser-based or mobile app-based.


Dimensions are nearly like a metric; they are a user’s characteristics and how they interact with your app or site—for instance, city names, URLs of the page most people view, and other vital data. Dimensions are usually present in every GA report.


GA assigns the term ‘direct’ to a traffic source that involves clicking your website from a search engine’s result, clicking a link from an email application, or when it’s unclear where it originated from. Direct traffic doesn’t come from paid campaigns or inbound links from other websites.

E-commerce Purchase

Google Analytics can track e-commerce purchases when you add e-commerce schema as a plug-in or code snippet. GA will let you know every detail about the purchase, such as the specific items, purchase value, shipping cost, and others.

Engaged Sessions

The engaging session on your site or app lasts for more than ten seconds. In addition, they need to lead to at least one conversion or two page views. On GA, you can select your criteria for engagement by adjusting the session timeout in the configuration settings.

Enhanced Measurement

This feature allows you to track and measure different actions on your site without altering the existing tracking code. Once you enable this feature, GA will send you events such as scrolls, file downloads, page views, and others.

Engagement Rate

This metric evaluates how often or not your audience interacts with your content. It’s represented by a percentage from the division of your engaged sessions by the total amount of sessions. So, if you’ve had 100 sessions and only 20 engaged sessions, your engagement rate will be 20%.


Every activity on your site is considered an event on Google Analytics. Page views and scrolls are collected as events by default. You can also create custom events that GA4 will collect.

Event Count

Event Count displays the number of times Google Analytics has collected different events in a specific period.

Event Count per User

This metric displays the average events GA collects for a specific user. The number is calculated by dividing the number of events by the number of users.

Event Parameter

These are other pieces of information that GA collects alongside events. For instance, page location and title, session ID, and others. You can also create custom parameters as a custom definition.

Events per Session

This metric displays the average amount of events GA collects per session.

First User Medium

This term refers to the way a user finds your channel or website. It reports the marketing channel a new user used to find your channel, including how the message was conveyed. The first user campaign and first user source also deliver similar insights.

First User Source

This term refers to the first medium where the message about your website was found. It’s similar to the first-user medium and first-user campaign. 

Google Ads

A paid advertising platform created by Google with which you can showcase brief ads about your services, product listings, and videos to online users. These users may be searching Google, Google Search Partners (third-party sites), or mobile apps. Your ads can also be displayed in videos.

Google Data Studio

Also called Looker Studio, it’s a data visualization tool by Google that simplifies creating and understanding reports. This dashboard tool can inspect data from Google Sheets, Google Analytics, and other sources.

Google Optimize

A/B testing, website testing, and personalization platform by Google. Google Optimize helps you understand the performance of distinct web pages and content against different objectives. This process gives you the best alternatives to boost your conversion rate.

Google Signals

A feature that helps you understand how users signed in to their Google accounts via multiple devices engage with your website. They are session data from different apps and sites frequented by users, which helps to create an audience list for Google Ads. The data is automatically moved into reports.

Global Site Tag (or gtag.js)

This is a tool that connects your Google Analytics to all your services. The global site tag (or gtag.js) is similar to the Google Tag Manager but is coded directly through JavaScript. This tool works alongside mainly Google products, while Google Tag Manager is more universally accepted with several agencies.

Google Tag Manager

A tag management tool that quickly and easily controls what Google Analytics deploys and what tool it is sent to. Installing Google Tag Manager on your landing page allows tags to be automatically tested before it is deployed live.


Google’s artificial intelligence can predict a user’s needs via machine learning (sense, think, and act like a human). Thus, identifying trends through data from consumer behavior and experience. In addition, it helps to simplify the process of identifying and engaging with your target audience.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

The lifetime value metrics predict the average spend of a user on a product over a specific period. It also showcases figures for lifetime average revenue and total lifetime revenue.

Lookback Window

This feature determines how much previous data from a specific time can be used for attribution credits. For instance, a lookback window for 35 days will only include touchpoints before conversion. Every other data will not be included in the report.

Measurement ID

This ID is a specific identifier characterized by a “G” hyphenated with a series of letters and numbers- G-BDCA12EF43. In addition, each data stream has a measurement ID, which ensures the data is taken to the appropriate Google Analytics property.

Measurement Protocol

A set of rules that allow you to send hits to Google Analytics from any device connected to the internet.

It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require the Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics Tracking Code. For instance, the measurement protocol can send hits from a phone or an ATM.


The category of your source- how users found your site. Similar to other dimensions, such as campaign and channel, the medium informs you about how your site was found. For instance, m traffic from a free search will be organic and inbound links from other websites will be a referral.


A type of data that is used in Google Analytics reports. A metric is an individual dimension element and can be a ratio, percentage, or count. For instance, your website’s average session duration or page view is a metric.

New User

A user who clicks on your website or uses your app for the first time within a specific period. Browser cookies and Google Analytics tracking code help with identifying new visitors. However, users who have cleared their cookies will appear as new users after a while.

Not Set

Analytics uses a placeholder name to signify the absence of information for a specific dimension in a report. For instance, if not set appears in your Google ads account, it means the analytics account is receiving traffic from another Google account. Ultimately, something needs to be reviewed whenever not set to show up in any report.


Organic means users clicked on a free website link from an unpaid listing through a search engine result page. For instance, when someone searches for your business via Google Chrome.

Page View

You get a report of a page view when a user loads a page on your website. Google Analytics considers page views a critical metric because it gives you insight into what attracts your audience. See pages per session.


Parameters allow you to learn about different ways users interact with your website. See event parameter

PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

When compiling your reports, PII (personally identifiable information) is left out due to the terms of service provided by Google Analytics.


This is a mobile application or a blog that has its tracking ID. The Google Analytics account can have multiple properties.


In Google Analytics, referral brings to your knowledge sites that suggested or referred visitors to your site from an outside source or an entirely different website.

Regular Expression (or Regex)

This is a filtering tool that you can use to monitor or control the kind of data you see. For example, with the help of this tool, you can create a search pattern.

Reporting Identity

In Google Analytics 4, this is a method that helps in identifying your users. The methods used to identify your reporting Identity are Device ID, User-ID, Modelling, and Google signal.

Reporting View

In a universal analytics account, a reporting view gives access to both analysis tools and reports. The analytics can create at least a single unfiltered view for every property in your account. In addition, the views can contain a complete or a subset of data from a tracking code.


This is applied in default reports, ad-hoc reports, and other reports. Sampling helps to uncover helpful information in an extensive data set after analyzing the subset of data. To reduce the date range, you must ensure that sampling is, first of all, reduced.

Search Query

This is a keyword that users enter to be directed toward things that may interest them user. The three types of search Queries are: Informational, Navigational, and Transactional.


In your analytics data, a segment lets you focus on other subsets. For example, in the same segment, you can have filters included in users, hits, or sessions.


In Google Analytics, a session occurs when a user remains active on your website. Even though the user is no longer active or returns after a short while, it is still counted as the initial session.

Session ID

A user has a unique number that is assigned by the website’s server. This number is what is known as a Session ID. With the help of this session ID, a user can easily be identified when active on a website.


In Google Analytics, the source explains where your traffic originated from. If it is from a social media page or an email, it simply points it out to know the exact channel your visitor gained access to your website. See also medium

Total Users

When a date range is set, you can ascertain the total number of users on the website. For example, let’s say you have November as the date range, and the number of users is 500. At the end of this date range, 500, which happens to be the number of unique users, is what would be reported.

URL Builder

This is a Google Analytics tool that helps marketers to improve their success rate, especially for those just starting campaign tags. With the help of a tracking code, you can monitor how your ad campaigns perform. See also UTM tag and campaign tags.

User Engagement

This metric shows how long users have been active with your content on your app or website. The analytics will only collect the metric if a screen is displayed, especially when running. User Engagement would help to know whether your product or services are of value to users. If users are interested, User Engagement will be high, and vice-versa.


This is an individual who remains active with your app or website. For instance, a user can log in to your app with a computer during the day and at night time use their smartphone to access the same website. Even though that user has gained access to that website with multiple devices, it would still be reported as various users. See also User ID and device ID.

User ID

This is a means of identifying a particular user across multiple devices. It is a unique ID meant for a specific user.

User Retention

This shows you the number of users who have shown interest by returning to a website or page. For instance, say 50 users visited your website yesterday, and 20 returned to use the product or services offered by your website. The user Retention percentage, in this case, is 70%.


This helps to give more insight about a link to Google analytics. Urchin tracking module (UTM) codes or tags tracks traffic from a platform to your website.


This is the number of times an event is clicked. For instance, when you post a video on a YouTube page or Instagram, there are different numbers of individuals who would watch that post or video. Views are the total number of viewers who have played that video.

Views Per User

While views ascertain the number of times an event is clicked, views per user, on the other hand, divide the number of users by the number of views. The final value gives the views per user.