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The Ultimate Google Analytics 4 Glossary 2024

The Google Analytics glossary defines the metrics most commonly found in Google Analytics reports.

Last updated 10th January 2024
Google Analytics Glossary Guide for 2022

Google Analytics offers much and promotes a lot; however, there is much to learn, especially when analyzing.

We use Google Analytics to evaluate the performance and have the data and reports. 

While reading them, you will need to know effective terms related to Google Analytics, of which the recent version is Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you are looking for privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative, you may consider Tinyanalytics as a google analytics alternative web analytics tool.

Going much further to get to know the new terms, we hope they all help you. Enjoy your discovery!


An account is your storage where you keep all your data within Google Analytics, and you can use them whenever you wish. Significantly, you should use different accounts like individualized content and business-related resources for your occupations.


When we talk about Acquisition, we must remember that Acquisition reports begin with your data and your users. Moreover, some exclusive reports give information on paid traffic, organic traffic, and the traffic gathered through social media and specific campaign tags with the help of different Google tools.

Active Users

Also known as the engaged user, the active users are interested in your website on the website or app. It is pretty enough to consider your webpage as the guide or care app for being an active user.

*‘engagement_time_msec’ parameter is used to check the number of active users.

Advertising Features

The Advertising Features is an option you can prefer when gathering related data. The option benefits from Google’s 3rd-party, which advertizes cookies and indicators. It is possible to initiate the Advertising Features option when setting up Google signals.


As a helper to the marketing part of your business, it checks your conversion credit and assists the potential customer through channels. In a way, It is a medium to connect different channels and lead the customers to your products. GA presents various attribution models in this sense for you to apply. 


Be careful because the audience is not the same term as the user. The audience is the last part of the user or customer. The audience can come back to buy or not, so they affect the product's fate with their actions.

Average Engagement Time

When the total time is divided by the total number of users, it gives us the Average Engagement Time. The more people spend time on your webpage, the more effective you will become. However, it is necessary for a user stays on the page for at least one second for the calculation.

There is a reminder that the time will not be determined if the browser is invisible.

Average Engagement Time per Session

For this time, it doesn’t depend on the users but the sessions. The metric is adjusted by dividing the total time by the sessions’ total number.


With only one page view, the sessions’ number is documented. However, it was in the old version of GA, now replaced with the Engaged sessions.

Bounce Rate

Altered with the engagement rate in the new GA, Bounce Rate cites the bounces percentage, which is the entrance and the immediate leave of the visitor without doing anything on the webpage.

Campaign Name

Besides source, medium, and channel, the campaign name is the 4th dimension in campaign marketing. It is provided that the campaign-tagged URL is used.

Campaign Tags

The tags include the campaign name, ID, source, medium, term, and content. In addition, Google Analytics should track and report on inbound marketing.

Change History

When you pick ‘Admin,’ then choose ‘Account Change History’ or ‘Property Change History,’ you will be in charge and can view the change-maker in the GA account. 

If you exclude the one who has made the change, the one becomes a ‘Deleted User.’


Channels matter a lot because they make use of source and medium at the same time to present more.

Client ID

The Client ID is vital; also, it is randomly given and stored. The attitudes of a person on the website are analyzed through the ID.

Connected Site Tags

Connecting the tags without the need for Google Tag Manager or such modifies new properties and existing properties.

Content Group

This is categorizing the contents depending on their shared purposes. They also ease the reporting and analysis according to the classification of content.

The content groups are created when you send a value for the content parameter to GA. 


The term defines a user or the users’ triggering/ initiating action.


The standard reports give you the chance to apply up to 4 comparisons. Comparing users within their frames is possible. The comparison report has metrics and dimensions.


As a term, it means a code that takes basic information from the visitors to decide their interests and aims. GA also applies cookies because it develops the business.

Cookies are used for identification. To be more explicit, if a person visits for the first time, a new cookie will be created for them, yet if the person visits, they become a returning user (plus the update of cookie expiration) in the reports because this person has an existing cookie.


The full name refers to cost-per-click, which means that the more click you get, the more money you will have. If the media is defined as ‘CPC’ or ‘paid,’ it creates traffic from Google Ads or campaign-tagged URLs.

Custom Definitions

You need to activate ‘Custom Definitions’ for dimension and metric. Then, custom dimensions and metrics are associated with the users.

Custom Dimension and Custom Metric

They can be regarded as custom definitions. And collecting extra data may sound appealing especially.

Data Import

To enhance your data, you can import additional data related to different areas, like cost data from ads.

Data Retention

GA gives the details that data retention allows you to check the duration of data related to individuals is accessible. 

The mentioned data is stocked from 2 months to 14 months. After this period, the data identifying individuals will be removed.  

Data Stream

It is utilized for gathering data into your reports, and it is possible to create a data stream. Also, every data stream has different measurement ID.  


Debugging allows you to view testing events sent to Google Analytics. Viewing and collecting are within 30 minutes. 


Demographics are criteria such as age and gender, which GA includes in your reports. Changing Google signals to ‘Admin,’ then choosing ‘Data Collection’ in ‘Data Settings,’ makes it possible to compile demographic data.

Device ID

Reporting the behaviors of individuals on websites and apps. For an app, the device ID is linked with the mobile device.


GA’s first type of data reporting. Page location -the URLs of the page- and default channel grouping -people’s way of finding your page- are among dimension examples, so dimension is essential information in reports.

GA reports present the dimension in the first column.


If someone clicks your website’s link without campaign tags or searching your URL, direct traffic is also called direct access. If the origin of the click cannot be detected, then the direct session cannot include it.  

eCommerce Purchase

What Google Analytics collects is eCommerce purchases. Ecommerce dimensions and metrics are reported. Also, the value, the items, and shipping cost are regarded as e-commerce transactions.

Engaged Sessions

If a session is longer than ten seconds and includes conversion and page views, GA will take it as an engaging session. The determination of time depends on you.

Enhanced Measurement

You can measure the users’ actions on your website, but you don’t have to reshape the tracking code. What enhanced measurement does is that it tracks page views, site search, file downloads, scrolls, outbound links, and such.

Engagement Rate

It is about the rate of the number of engaged sessions to the total number of sessions. To exemplify, there are 50 engaged sessions and 100 sessions; then, the engagement rate is 50%.


The event can be data. Also, you can consider everything as an event, from viewing the page to automatic events.

Event Count

This is the number of events and how many times GA has gathered them.

Event Count per User

We can call this one the specialization of the event count only for a specific user.

Event Parameter

These are event parameters when we gather extra information from the event counts. Besides the original collected ones, there are some to discuss, like page title/ location, session ID, etc.

There are also some custom parameters which are benefited as custom definitons.

You need to be aware that parameters can be either a numerical value or a string.

Events per Session

Each session has its user events, so we calculate events per session according to what has been done.

First User Medium

It shows the first time a new user’s way of finding your website.

First User Source

It shows the first time a new user place of finding your website. 

Global Site Tag (or gtag.js)

A single tag you can apply to your website to use Google tools. Also, the tag works with Google’s different devices. It saves you from owning multiple tags for various products but using the gtag.js will be enough.

Google Ads

You can show your ads on different sites by paying for them. Google, third-party search sites, and apps are among those platforms. 

Google Data Studio

The data comes from Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and other sources. So, Google Data Studio is a report and dashboard tool for Google. It displays and visualizes the data.

Google Optimize

It is a platform used for testings, A/B testing, and customization. To be effective in increasing conversions, Google Optimize exhibits content alternatives.

Google Signals

If you want to use the demographic reports and form audience lists in Google Ads, you need Google Signals because it benefits from the anonymous data clustered from the people’s engagement with your website.

Google Tag Manager

It manages the categorization and the arrangement of the tags on your website. 

Also, it allows testing of tags before going live because it aims to decrease the devotion to IT for arranging tracking tags.


Intelligence is directly related to changes identified by Google machine learning.  

Lifetime Value (LTV)

This is about the users, not business. For instance, total lifetime revenue, lifetime average revenue, and the lifetime value metrics. 

Lookback Window

It is when you observe if there is a match to the ad after an ad is clicked or viewed. You can control historical data with the lookback window, like knowing what has happened before the conversion.

There are time scales like 30, 60, and 90 days when the conversion happens. And after the specific time, there will be no record of the actions. 

Measurement ID

It checks the correctness of GA property. Every data stream owns a measurement ID

Measurement IDs start with “G-” and add letters and numbers, like G-POP09SMAR7.

Additionally, in conveying data to Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager uses the measurement ID, or the measurement ID can be used within the tracking code.

Measurement Protocol

The Measurement Protocol is applied when you send hits to GA with no tracking code or Google Tag Manager.

There Measurement Protocol can send data between internet-enabled devices and GA.

-hit: file request from a server


It is part of the dimension related to how people reached your site. 

It may be in three ways, organic if they find through only searching, CPC as cost-per-click, or referral if they use other websites to find.


GA’s second type of data reporting. It is a number, like a rate, percentage, or a count, and displayed as columns for you.

Pageviews and total users can be determined with metrics.

New User

It is essential that someone visit the website for the first time on a specific date; then, the newcomers will be considered the new users. 

Not Set

It is the lack of information in reports. 

For instance, since GA cannot detect geo-location, it is given as Not Set in the reports. Or when the source is missing or not described, this is a Not Set, too.


The people reaching your website by clicking on a free link are organic. Organic comes from a free result after a Google search.

Page View

It is the user’s act of viewing the page. GA orders pages according to their popularity.  And this is highly helpful if someone wants to reach a most often viewed page.


This is a near event parameter.

PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

Personal Identifiable Information is personal details like emails, full names, etc. They cannot be collected within GA based on the GA Term of Service, yet outside of GA, you are free to do.


GA Account creates properties that combine data from data streams into one report.


If a user comes to your page by clicking the link on another website, this is a referral.

Regular Expression (or Regex)

It is a higher way to connect patterns with text strings. 

For example segments, audience, filters are segmentations and they can be used in GA. 

Reporting Identity

This is near Default Reporting Identity.

Reporting view

Universal Analytics, the old version of GA, contains Reporting Views. Every UA property has views which contain data taken from the data subset and tracking code.

Every reporting views owns a different format and purposes.  


Sampling is some data used to determine speeding up the report processing.

If you decrease sampling, you need to decrease the time range.

Search Query

This is a group of words we type into the search engine.


Segment deals with different sections. The exploration report has various segments. 

It categorizes and compares the analysis of customers according to segments.


It is an umbrella term for various interactions, including buying, viewing pages, etc., done during the visit. When a session first starts, it is also reported. 

Also, it is important to know that there is a 30-minute rule, which means inactivity for 30 minutes will not be recorded; however, when any activity is done, a new expiration time (30 mins) will start over and over again.

Session ID

Every session has its ID, or it can be called an event parameter. Moreover, the session ID is put in the GA cookies secretly.


The Source is among the dimensions. It is for scrutinizing the place where the message is seen and found. Plus, the Source can be combined with a medium for various purposes.  

Total Users

The total number of users in a determined time is called total users.

URL Builder

It is a tool supplying a visual interface and helping you to add campaign tags. 

User Engagement

The duration of the users viewing content. GA calculates the time, which can be counted only when the page is visible. 


The people, who visit the page or app and interact, are users. The users are free to do whatever they like, and their sessions are reported. 

Also, every new device ID is a new user. So even when you open the website from the web or app, they will be considered different users.

User ID

User ID is exclusive to the person visiting and using the website, then, it is sent when your page is viewed, and GA detects it. 

Also, it is possible to say that though the users prefer particular devices, you can still combine the same User ID.

User Retention

It presents the rate of new users who come back or refer you for their shopping. For good user retention, the users get back to purchase more. Inadequate user retention shows no interaction with the webpage.


UTM signifies ‘Urchin Traffic Monitor.’ Urchin was the base for Google Analytics.

UTM Tag is included to record the content and performance of campaigns. There are five types of URL parameters: utm_source for traffic, utm_medium for what kind of traffic comes, utm_campaign for following a specific campaign’ utm_term for keywords, and utm_content.  


Views are the action of observing the pages, sliding through the pages in a way. Each click on a page counts.

Views per User

Every user is responsible for their own views. Therefore, we calculate how many ideas an individual has on their own.

Conversion Rate

This is a critical metric that measures the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action (conversion) out of the total number of visitors. A high conversion rate indicates effective website design and marketing efforts. You may check average conversation rates from benchmarks.

Page Load Time

This metric measures the time it takes for a page to fully display on a visitor's screen. Faster load times improve user experience and can positively impact search engine rankings.

Exit Rate

Different from Bounce Rate, the Exit Rate indicates the percentage of exits that occur from a specific page or set of pages. It helps in identifying pages where users are likely to leave your site.

Behavior Flow

This feature visualizes the path users take through your site. It helps in understanding what content keeps users engaged and the common paths to conversion or drop-off.

Goal Completions and Values

Goals in Google Analytics allow you to track specific user interactions on your site. Each goal can have a monetary value, which helps in understanding how much value specific conversions bring to your business.

Audience Insights

This includes data about the demographics (age, gender), interests, geography, and behavior of your site's visitors. Understanding your audience better can guide more targeted marketing efforts.

Real-Time Reporting

This feature shows what’s happening on your site at any given moment. It can be useful for tracking the immediate effects of social media posts or marketing campaigns.

Custom Alerts

You can set up custom alerts to notify you of significant changes in data trends like sudden traffic drops or spikes.

E-commerce Tracking

For sites involved in e-commerce, this feature tracks sales activity and performance. It provides insights into sales data, transaction details, and product performance.

Site Speed Metrics

These metrics help understand how quickly users are able to see and interact with content. It includes measurements like Page Load Time, Execution Speed, and Browser Parsing.

FAQ Section for Google Analytics Glossary Blog Post

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics, offering new features and insights compared to previous versions. It focuses more on user-centric data and offers flexible, event-based tracking.

How does Acquisition work in Google Analytics?

Acquisition in Google Analytics refers to how you acquire users and the channels through which they find your website. This includes organic search, paid ads, social media, and direct traffic.

What is the importance of Active Users in Google Analytics?

Active Users metric shows the number of engaged users interacting with your site or app. It's crucial for understanding user engagement and the effectiveness of your content.

What are Google Analytics 'Events'?

Events in GA4 track user interactions that don’t involve loading a new page, such as button clicks, form submissions, and video plays. This helps in understanding specific user actions on your site.

How does the 'Bounce Rate' metric work in GA4?

Bounce Rate in GA4 has been replaced with Engagement Rate. It measures the percentage of sessions where the user found the content engaging, based on time spent, interactions, and other factors.

What is 'Conversion' in Google Analytics?

A conversion in Google Analytics is when a user completes a specific action on your site, like a purchase, form submission, or a sign-up. This is a key metric to evaluate the effectiveness of your site in achieving business goals.

Can I track e-commerce transactions in Google Analytics?

Yes, Google Analytics provides e-commerce tracking, allowing you to monitor sales activity, transaction data, and product performance directly through your analytics dashboard.

What is the difference between 'Pageviews' and 'Sessions' in GA?

Pageviews count each time a page is loaded or reloaded in a browser. Sessions represent a group of user interactions (pageviews, events, e-commerce transactions) within a given time frame.

How does 'User Retention' work in Google Analytics?

User Retention in GA examines how well your site retains users after their first visit. It tracks how many users return to your site and how frequently, which is crucial for understanding long-term engagement.

What are 'UTM Parameters' in Google Analytics?

UTM Parameters are tags added to the end of a URL to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media.

All in all, you have covered the terms related to Google Analytics, and you are ready to practice the ones you need.

We hope that all helps!

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