Prepare to embrace the future of website measurement and tracking with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest incarnation of Google’s powerful tool. On 1st July 2023, it will bid farewell to its predecessor, Google Universal Analytics (UA), a platform you may be familiar with. Within GA4 lies a wealth of remarkable reports and invaluable data insights, presenting a golden opportunity for hospitality businesses to gain fantastic data insights. However, to fully capitalise on this treasure trove, it’s essential to understand the significance of it all.

To assist you, Clockwork Marketing have curated a comprehensive overview of the pivotal terms and metrics nestled within GA4. Think of it as your go-to hospitality glossary for Google Analytics, a quick and indispensable guide that will give you more clarity when analysing your performance and revealing powerful data insights.


Acquisition is how people find your website, or simply how you acquire customers. There are multiple reports that provide data insights on how users got to your website and how much traffic your different marketing channels generate.

Active users

Active users are the number of engaged users on your website. This is the number of individuals who have had your website open for at least a second in the time period you are analysing.

Note: This metric focuses on engagement of users. Universal Analytics previously measured Users and Total Users as the same number, whereas GA4 measures an active user based on their engagement with your website.


Attribution is how you determine or give credit for a conversion. This is very important when running online marketing campaigns, as you will be able to understand your return on investment (ROI) with more precision. GA4 uses data-driven attribution, which will consider all the actions a user took to get to your website across all their visits. Last-click attribution was the default option for Universal Analytics, which gave credit to the very last action a user took before triggering a conversion. You can change your attribution model setting through the admin section of Google Analytics and also change the lookback window for how much historical data is also used for attribution.


A group of users that share similar behaviour or interests can be segmented into audiences. This way you can analyse your data to understand how a particular group engages with your website to identify any emerging trends, such as who is visiting a particular page but not clicking on your ‘book now’ button.

Average Engagement Time

Average engagement time is a measurement of the average amount of time people spend on your website. This metric is calculated by dividing the total time by the total number of active users. Remember, in GA4 a user needs to be engaged for at least one second and have a visible browser to be included in this metric.

Average Engagement Time Per Session

This is similar to Average Engagement Time, but is based on sessions instead of users.


A single-page visit to the website in which there was no interaction with the page.

Bounce Rate

In GA4, bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that last less than 10 seconds, have no event conversions and only includes one page view. This is a measurement of sessions that are not engaged.


Channels are the top-level groups associated with how someone came to your website. Each channel will combine both ‘Source’ and ‘Medium’ so you can get an understanding of the overall performance of that group. An example of this would be ‘Organic Search’ which would combine all users from Google Search or from Bing.

Content Group

Content Groups are helpful to separate each page of your website into a particular category. This will enable you to report on top-level groupings such as Stay pages, or Wedding pages if your website has these page groups. You can create content groups by sending a value for the content_group parameter with another event to Google Analytics.


A conversion is reported whenever a user triggers an event that has been defined as a conversion. This could be a button click, or scroll depth.


With comparison, you can look at different section of your website traffic to analyse performance. This is helpful to know which parts of your website are performing better or which areas might need improvement. For example, comparing desktop traffic to mobile traffic.


A cookie is used to track and gather information which is stored from a website browser. This is how Google Analytics can identify users and sessions. If someone does not have an existing cookie, then a new cookie will be created, and they will become a new user. If someone already has a cookie, they will be reported as a returning visitor to your website. Cookies also have expiration dates, this is due to how long the information can be stored by a browser.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click, the cost paid per user click on an advert. In GA4, this can be found in the acquisition and advertising reports.

Custom Dimension and Custom Metric

In GA4 you can collect additional data. Beyond the default dimensions and metrics you can also create ‘Custom Definitions’ in the Admin section if you want to measure specific variable unique to your website.

Data Retention

Data Retention controls how long you can view data for in GA4. By default, user data is stored for two months, but you can extend this to 14 months in the Admin section. After this, specific data that can identify the person will be removed from analytics, such as a client ID or events. Aggregated data will continue to be available in reports after the data retention period.

Data Stream

A data stream is used to collect website data for your reports. You can create multiple data streams for each of your GA4 properties if you choose to, but it is best to keep this to one data stream per domain. Each data stream will have its own unique measurement ID which is used in the code added to your website or via Google Tag Manager.

Default Channel Grouping

Google Analytics automatically classifies and groups source/medium combinations into marketing channels. For example, a source could be Google and the medium might be cpc, Google will default this into Paid Search channel. This helps to get a top-level overview of the marketing channels that are performing best. Common channels you’ll measure include Organic Search, Paid Search, Direct, Organic Social, Email, Paid Social, Referral and Display


Demographics reports delve deeper into data about users on your website, such as age, gender, location and browsing interests. To collect demographics data in your reports, you will need to enable Google Signals in the admin settings.


Dimensions (along with metrics) are one of two types of data that makes up reports in GA4. Dimensions are usually displayed as a row of information in Google Analytics reports, whereas metrics are usually displayed as columns.


Direct traffic includes users you ‘directly’ types in your website URL into their browser or have saved it in their bookmarks. This is any user who came to your website where there is no other definable campaign tag or channel assigned.

Ecommerce Purchase

An ecommerce purchase occurs when Google Analytics collects a purchase event. This needs to be specifically set up with the system that integrates with your website, for hospitality this would be your booking engine. When ecommerce purchases are set up you will be able to see a variety of ecommerce dimensions and metrics in your reports, detailing purchase value, which items were purchased and much more valuable insights.

Engaged Sessions

An engaged session lasts longer than ten seconds, includes one or more page views and/or at least one conversion event. Ten seconds is the default engagement time, but you can change this in the admin settings if you want to.

Enhanced Measurement

In GA4, the enhanced measurement feature allows you to measure a number of additional actions a website visitor might perform without modifying your tracking code. This lets you automatically track page views, scroll depth, outbound link clicks, internal site searches, video plays and file downloads.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a metric which is calculated by dividing the number of engaged sessions by the total number of sessions. If there were a total of 60 engaged sessions out of 100 sessions, then the engagement rate would be 60%.


GA4 collects website data, including user actions as Events. Event tracking in GA4 is completely different from previous event tracking in Universal Analytics. In GA4, an event could be a page view, a button click or a file download.

Event Count

The total number of events that have been measured on your website.

Event Count Per User

Event Count per users is the average number of events that has been collected for each website user. You can calculate this metric by dividing the total events, by the number of users.

First User Medium

This dimension is used to report new users on your website and shows the Medium they used to get your website. If their cookie remains active and they return to the website by another Medium, then this data will not change as it is using the first visit attribution.

First User Source

This dimension is used to report new users on your website and shows the Source they used to get to your website. If their cookie remains active and they return to the website by another Source, then this data will not change as it using the first visit attribution.

Google Signals

This feature in GA4 enables you to report your demographics in more detail and create audience lists to be used in Google Ads. You will need to enable this feature in the Admin settings.

Landing Page

A landing page is the webpage a user views when they first arrive on your website. In Google Analytics you can measure which landing pages people visit the most and which content is most important.


Medium is one of the dimensions (along with source, campaign and channel) that provide powerful data insights on how someone found your website. Medium is a top-level dimension, for example all organic search traffic will be classified as ‘Organic’. It is the medium by which you communicated a message for someone to click and go to your website.


Metrics are one of two types of data (including Dimensions) used to create reports in Google Analytics 4. Metrics are usually displayed as columns of data in pre-configured reports. An example of a metric includes page views, total users or sessions.

New User

New Users are the people who have visited your website for the first time.


Organic relates to all users that have comes to your website from a ‘free link’ which they have accessed from a search engine, such as Google. The user as typed in a search query and found your website in the results page and clicked on the link.

Page View

Page views are measured when a user views a page on your website. Every different page they visit will count as a page view. You can measure the average page views per session as an indicator of user engagement.


A property in Google Analytics is created in an Account. You can create different properties which combine different data streams into a single set of reports. For example if you wanted to measure data from a subdomain as well as a root domain. However in most cases you will only need one property per website.

Scroll Depth

Scroll depth is a percentage measure of how far a user might scroll down your web page. This enhanced measurement will need to be enabled to get access to this in your reports. It is particularly helpful to understand how you display and order your most important content on a webpage.

Search Query

Search query is the specific terms a person has used in a search engine to find your website link on the results page in a search engine, like Google before clicking and landing on your website.


Segments let you review and analyse a predefined subset of your analytics data based on website users, sessions, and events. You can apply up to four segments to a report in the exploration navigation tab.


A session is measured as a single visit to your website but engages in several ways including page views, purchases, or other events. Google Analytics will automatically trigger a session start event from the first engagement trigger, then this will timeout by default after 30 minutes when a user is inactive on the site. A new session will be reported when the user actively engages with your website again. This will not measure a session if your website is open but on a minimised tab on a user’s browser, they must be actively engaging on your website.


Source is one of the dimensions (along with Medium, Campaign and Channel) which allows you to view how many people found your website from a secondary dimension such as which Organic Search engine like Google or Bing.

Total Users

This is the total number of individual users that have visited your website.

User Engagement

User Engagement metrics are used to analyse how long people have been on your website or how many items of content they have viewed. In GA4, time is only measured for as long as the website is visible within the browser window. Hidden or minimised tabs will not measure engagement in GA4.


A user is an individual that interacts with your website. Each User can visit your website multiple times and start multiple sessions.

Note: This metric focuses on engagement. Universal Analytics previously measured Users and Total Users as the same number, whereas GA4 measures an active user based on their engagement with your website.


This is the total number of times a specific page has been viewed.


To see the full GA4 glossary, visit