Audience report

Web Analytics Dashboard that documents information about your page visitors.

Summary

The audience report describes how visitors find your content, as well as the volume of visitors. This report is entirely descriptive. It makes no judgments about what each metric means for your content’s performance.

The audience report consists of the following metrics:

Metric

Definition

Page views

The number of times the page was loaded.

Sessions

The number of sessions a page appeared in. Corresponds with “unique pageviews” in Google Analytics.

Traffic types

How visitors who eventually landed on your page came to Mass.gov (e.g. through a search engine, social media, etc.)

Sessions by device type

Segments your visitors by the device type they used. Corresponds with “device category” in Google Analytics.

Previous URL

The Mass.gov pages and outside web pages and apps that visitors came from before landing on this one. Corresponds with “previous page path” in Google Analytics.

Sessions by browser

Segments your visitors by the browser they used. Corresponds with “device category” in Google Analytics.

More on the metrics

Page views and sessions

The “Total page views” and “Total sessions” charts, alongside the “Page views and sessions (trends)” chart, illustrate how many times your page has been viewed.

Page views and sessions stats and trends

The distinction between page views and sessions is that sessions refers to a group of interactions by a visitor, as opposed to a single page view. The number of sessions will never be larger than the number of page views, which can represent the same person viewing a page multiple times.

Sessions can be a more valuable measurement in that it roughly shows how many unique visitors viewed your content.

If you move your cursor along the lower "Page views and sessions (trends)" line, you can narrow the range to zoom in on data.

Traffic types

This gives you a read on how people found your page in the first place. Starting points can include search engines, Mass.gov, direct URL links in newsletters, social media channels, and more.

Discoveries here could include that:

  • A lack of “organic” traffic is the result of a poorly titled page -- 1 that doesn’t use language people would likely use on Google or another search engine

  • A spike in direct traffic is the result of a successful email campaign

  • A lack of Mass.gov traffic could point to a need for a page to be better linked within Mass.gov itself.

"Traffic types" groups incoming traffic into 5 buckets: traffic from Mass.gov, organic sources (search engines), social media, direct, and other.

Sessions by device type

This pie chart shows what percentage of visitors access your page via desktop, mobile (cellphone) or tablet devices. With more than half of Mass.gov visits now coming via mobile devices, it’s worth seeing if your content falls into that category.

If so, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your content is optimized for smaller screens. For example, you might examine how to shorten or split up content so that pages don’t run on too long for mobile device users.

Sessions by device type chart

Previous URL

This displays a list of the Mass.gov pages from which your page visitors came, along with outside web sites and applications, ranging from search engines to applications. This drills down beyond the more general traffic type data in the dashboard report.

Things to look for include whether your page is being accessed from likely sources, and if not, why? You could learn, in conjunction with using the Pages linking here tool, that your page isn’t connected from as many other Mass.gov pages as it should be.

Previous URL chart

Sessions by browser

This straightforward pie chart shows which browsers your visitors are using.

Sessions by browser pie chart

Was this article helpful?

Tell us what you think button