Google Analytics is a tool to analyze website traffic. It allows website owners to analyze the traffic on their website in terms of the geographic location of visitors, number of visitors, number of active users, number of new users, number of sessions per visitor, average time spent on the website, and pages visited and several other parameters. Google Analytics is used to understand the source and the behavior of visitors. This information can be used to optimize the content on the website as well as to promote the business in a better way.
How does Google Analytics work?
Website owners can monitor the traffic on their website by adding their Google Analytics code to each webpage. Once the Google Analytics code is added to the website it starts collecting data about visitors and sends it to Google Analytics. There are various options available on Google Analytics to study website traffic such as Real-Time data, Report Snapshot, Dashboard, and Insights. Real-Time shows data about visitors who are browsing the site at the current time. Report Snapshot shows an analysis of visitor information according to a predetermined format. The Dashboard is the section wherein website owners can customize the data they see in the section. The Insights option is available only if your website has a large amount of traffic otherwise it remains inactive. If active, the Insights option shows automated insights about unusual trends in visitor behavior. You can also create custom insights that are shown when certain predefined conditions are triggered on your website.
What is a ‘hit’ according to Google Analytics?
Google defines a ‘hit’ as an interaction of the website visitor with the website or App which results in data being sent to Analytics. Hit types include Page Tracking hits, Event Tracking hits, Ecommerce Tracking hits, Social Interaction hits, etc. Each time the Google Tracking code on the web page is triggered by the user’s behavior, Analytics records that activity. Every interaction is packaged into a ‘hit’ and sent to Google’s Servers.
Types of ‘Hits’ in Google Analytics
1. Page Tracking
Page Tracking refers to monitoring data about visitor behavior on your webpage. It includes Page impressions.
2. Event Tracking
Event Tracking refers to tracking what visitors do while they are on your webpage. It includes scrolls and clicks on your webpage.
3. Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking
Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking enables product impressions, promotion, and sales data to be sent along with your Google Analytics pageviews and events.
4. Measuring Impressions
Measuring Impressions refers to how many times a product was displayed to a website visitor.
5. Measuring Actions
This refers to measuring user actions such as clicks to the product on the webpage.
6. Combining Impressions and Actions
This is combining data about product impressions and actions related to the product in a single hit.
7. Measuring Purchases
This includes data about purchases made on your website.
8. Measuring Refunds
If you have enabled Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking on your website, you can import refund data directly into Analytics. Importing refund data helps you reconcile the data in your Analytics Ecommerce reports with the processed refunds.
9. Measuring Checkout process
This hit type measures the hits to the checkout button on the webpage while visitors check out of the website along with hits from the pages where users enter the shipping address, shipping mode, and payment method.
10. Measuring Internal Promotions
This feature measures the impressions as well as clicks to internal site promotions.
11. Exception Tracking
This feature helps you to measure the number and type of crashes or errors that occur on your web page.
12. User Timing Tracking
This feature allows you to track how much time the user spent on your website or App. It measures the time from the moment the visitor lands on your webpage to the time when he exits your website or App.
App/ Screen Tracking
Google Analytics enables you to track metrics such as user engagement or user behavior per screen on your App.
There are a few more types of hits that Google Analytics tracks. Each interaction with the website is packaged into a ‘hit’ and sent to Google Servers from where the data is shared on the Google Analytics website or the Google Analytics App. This data is used to study visitor interaction and behavior on the website.
Read to know when will google analytics session end by default.