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Behavior Tracking Terminology

Sean Needham avatar


Siteimprove Analytics allows you to track user behavior on your website.

When viewing statistics on user behavior in Behavior Tracking the terms below are often used to describe the activity on the site.

Visit ended

The user did not take any further actions on the website. A visit includes all paths taken throughout the website. It is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified visitor with a time of no more than 30 minutes between each page request.
Visit_Ended

Path ended 

The visitor ended a path taken on the website, e.g. the user closed the tab but may still be on the website within another browser window or tab. To put it another way, the page visited was closed, but the visit did not end. A path is a single sequence of links followed.
Path_ended
Example: A user visits page A. Here they click a link to page B opening it in a new tab. Then they click link C from page A opening Page C in the original tab.

They read the content on page B and close that tab thereby ending a path.

On page C they click a link to page D and then they type in another URL in the browser and do not return to the original site for 30 minutes, therefore, ending their visit.

The above scenario would result in the following terms being used:
A -> B (Path ended: In this case, the user closed the tab and ended a path.)
A -> C -> D (Visit ended: The user did not take any further actions on the website for 30 minutes, therefore, ending the visit.)

Internal referrers (not tracked)

Visits came from an internal URL but the log of the path to the referring page is unavailable. The reason this traffic is "not tracked" is because there is no script on the page that referred the user to the focus page. However, we know it's coming from the same domain because we get the referrer. 
Internal_referrers_not_tracked

Example of Internal referrer (not tracked):

Let's say we have demosite.com/about as the focus page. If a user goes to demosite.com and then, after 30 seconds, clicks through to demosite.com/about it would appear as Internal referrer.

If the user had gone for lunch and came back one hour later and clicked through to demosite.com/about (without refreshing the browser first) this would start a new visit/session and the referring page demosite.com would be seen under Internal referrer (not tracked) as the log of this pageview belongs to a different visit. We would still be able to see that the user came from demosite.com as the browser provides us with this information when demosite.com/about is loaded, so we know it was an internal referrer, but there is no log for a pageview on demosite.com in this new visit.

Direct traffic (first visit)

Visitors who landed directly on the focus page, e.g. by typing the URL directly into their browser (or arrived via an untraceable source, e.g. by clicking on an untagged link in an email) and who was visiting the site for the very first time.

Direct_traffic_first_visit

Direct traffic (returning visit)

Visitors who landed directly on the focus page (e.g. by typing the URL in their browser), but who have visited other pages on the site before (in the same or a previous visit).

Direct_traffic_returning_visitor

Untrackable

Untrackable refers to traffic sources and destinations that we cannot trace. (e.g. direct traffic)

Also see: What do the different metrics (visits, page views, unique visitors, etc.) mean in Analytics?

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