Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking your web analytics. It’s a must if you want to keep track of visitors and their habits on your website. It does have some quirky functionality that you will want to be aware of.

Average Time on Site

Average time on site does not include the last page visited.

The time spent on a page is calculated by comparing the time stamp of when the visitor loaded a page to the time stamp of when the visitor loaded the next page. For the last page a user visits, there is no next page available for comparison. So it’s impossible to calculate the time a visitor spent on the last page they visited.

This also means that it is impossible to track average time on site for someone who viewed only one page. The visitor may have found your site through a Google search, and found exactly what they were looking for, yet their visit will show up as 00:00:00 and will contribute to a higher bounce rate.

So it goes.


If auto tagging is not enabled for adwords, referral traffic will appear as google / organic.

Pretty self explanatory, if you do not enable auto tagging, you do not have a prayer of effectively tracking your adwords ROI. You do not want your paid traffic showing up as organic!

Goals & Conversions

A goal conversion can only be tracked once per visit, e-commerce transations can be tracked multiple times. 

A visitor may complete a goal multiple times in one visit, such as visiting your contact page or submitting a contact form, but this only counts as one goal completion.

E-commerce transactions will be tracked as often as they happen.


Filters are applied sequentially.

When you create two or more filters, they are applied in the order that you list them.

If you tried creating two filters, one to filter Windows users and another filter for Mac users, your profile would show 0 results because they cancel each other out.

The key is that when you apply more than one filter, the first filter becomes the base of your data.

Multiple Sub Domains

When tracking multiple sub domains, you will not be able to differentiate between your subdomains in your analytics reports unless you apply a filter.

By default, your Google Analytics reports do not show the subdomain or domain name. You will need to apply a filter  to show that information. Read more about that in my Guide Tracking Multiple Subdomains In Google Analytics.

Search Terms & Keywords

Google Analytics refers to internal searches as search terms, and external searches are referred to as keywords. 

Internal searches are when a user utilizes a search box from within your website. This can be confusing, it’s good to know the difference with these similar looking keywords.