Google Analytics: Learn top 4 basic concepts

Google Analytics (GA) is pretty much the industry standard when we talk of measuring web properties. Google Analytics uses an account structure to organize data, websites and multiple clients.

Account Organization

Below is a simple hierarchy demonstrating the account organization structure:

Google Analytics Account Organization Structure
  • Account: this is the analytics access point; it is the highest level of the account organization structure.
  • Web property: this may be your website, mobile app, blog etc., an account may include one or more web properties.
  • Profile: this is the access point to reports. A profile consists of a given view and data about visitors to a web property. Users with an account added to a profile, can see the reports and data from that profile. A web property can include one or more profiles.
  • Users: these are are added to the account. Users can have administrator access or read-only access.

An Account is the basic structure in which the measurement of one or more web properties using Google Analytics is organized.

  1. An account can be used to measure one or more web properties depending on project needs.
  2. Every account is provided with a unique ID (UA-XXXXXX) that is part of the tracking code script.
  3. You can create up to 50 profiles in a Google Analytics account.
  4. Administrators can view and modify data from all profiles within the account.
  5. One cannot migrate historical data from one account to another within GA.

Reports are grouped together into 5 sections

AdvertisingHow did they find me?
Traffic Sources
ContentWhat are they doing?
ConversionsAre they of value to me?

Google analytics recollects and calculates metrics in a wide range of dimensions


Below is a sample table showing metrics collected by analytics and reported using several measures.

Source / MediumVisits / SessionsPages / Session / VisitAvg. Session or Visit duration% New Visits / SessionsBounce Rate
1. google / organic101,4324.5200:04:1548.89%36.71%
2. (direct) / (none)40,6533.4900:03:3658.96%51.45%
3. google / cpc16,7403.9800:03:0772.96%46.60%
4. / referral9,7571.8600:01:4721.18%74.01%
5. yahoo / organic3,4775.6600:04:5661.69%27.38%

Note: The term “Visit” or “Visits” is deprecated in GA; now replaced by “Session” or “Sessions”

Google analytics analyzes trends, not absolute values

Analytics takes samples for information analysis. Data from digital analytics tools are not 100% accurate:

  • 1% to 3% of users block JavaScript
  • JavaScript errors
  • Users eliminate or block cookies
  • One user, several PCs
  • Different users, one PC
  • Purchase decision periods


To get started with Google Analytics reporting for your web properties, sign up here.

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