Google Analytics provides a lot of data you can use to understand the performance of your website. A quick overview of the dashboard shows how many people visited your website, how much time they spent on the site, and so much more.
If you want a more comprehensive understanding of your Google analytics report, you may want to understand how data is organized. For example, what is a metric in data, and what’s its relationship with dimension? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Metric in Google Analytics?
A metric is a quantitative measurement. It’s a number paired with dimensions in your Google Analytics report.
For example, if you want to see how many visitors visited your website using a mobile device, the number of users is the metric. The device – the mobile phone is the dimension.
If you want to see how many visitors you had last week from the USA, the number of users is the metric. The country is the dimension.
Examples of Metrics in Google Analytics
There are many metrics that Google Analytics gives us access to. These include:
- Page views: This refers to the total number of pages viewed.
- Sessions: This refers to the number of “visits” to a website.
- Sessions by country: This shows the total number of users that visited a website from specific countries.
- Sessions by device: This shows the total number of users that visited a website using various devices (desktop, mobile, and tablet).
- Users: This refers to the total number of users on a website in a defined period.
- Bounce rate: This refers to the percentage of all sessions on a website in which visitors viewed only a single page.
- Clicks: This refers to the number of clicks that users performed on your site.
- Goal completions: This refers to the number of goals completed by users on your site. This can be the number of registrations, the number of downloads, the total click-through rate, and so much more.
- Ad impressions: This refers to the number of times users saw your ads.
However, there’s something to note. Not all numbers on your Google Analytics report are metrics. Some are numerical values, but they represent an attribute about the users rather than a measurement of them. Examples of such numbers include:
- Age: A user’s age is a number, but it represents an attribute about them. You cannot measure your users using age.
- Latitude and longitude: This is a number, but it describes the user’s location. It cannot be used for measurement.
- Days since the last session: This, again, is an attribute. It refers to a period since a user last visited a website.
How to Identify a Metric in Google Analytics?
You’ll find many numbers in your Google Analytics report, and it may be tough to discern if it’s a metric or an attribute. To help identify a metric, use these three-pointers.
One, a metric is always a number. It can be a ratio or a percentage. It’s never in the form of a text.
Two, a metric represents an event count. An event count shows the total number of times an event was triggered.
Three, ask yourself if you can apply a mathematical operation to that number. If you can, then the number is most likely a metric.
For example, you can add your website’s total clicks for the last six months to see how many visitors you had for that part of the year. This means clicks are metrics.
However, you cannot add your user’s age to get their total age. Or add their total latitudes to see their total location. This tells you that age and location are not metrics.
Identifying which numbers in your Google Analytics are metrics and which are just attributes is important. Metrics will help you create a custom report which can help you understand how your site is performing and what steps you can take to improve your traffic and conversion rate. Following the three pointers above will help you to easily know which numbers are metrics.