September 28, 2023

GA4 Glossary of Terms: The Basic Terminology

In the ever-evolving realm of SEO, staying abreast of the latest tools and technologies is paramount. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has emerged as a pivotal player in this landscape, revolutionising the way we perceive and harness data-driven insights. In this article we aim to unravel the intricacies of the most basic GA4 terminology, providing a guide to the language used within this analytics platform.

If you’re interested in understanding the basics of GA4 or you’d like to be able to follow along with your SEO agency as they talk you through your GA4 metrics, you need to be able to understand what following metrics mean:


In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the terms “Organic Active Users” and “Organic New Users” each paint a distinct picture of user engagement. Let’s delve into the differences that set these terms apart.

Organic Active Users

Organic Active Users are at the heart of digital engagement. In GA4, engagement is defined as a session lasting a minimum of 10 seconds, accompanied by at least one conversion event or two or more page or screen views. These criteria are the difference between true engagement and fleeting visits. They signify individuals who not only spend time on your website but also take tangible actions. These actions range from submitting inquiries to clicking on transactional buttons like “purchase” or “contact us.”

Why are they crucial? Organic Active Users are more likely to convert into customers or loyal followers. Their engagement reflects genuine interest, making them a valuable audience segment. Building lasting relationships with them is pivotal, as it enables tailoring your digital strategy to cater to their preferences and needs.

Organic New Users

In GA4, Organic New Users are individuals who have never visited your virtual realm via a search engine before. The moment they land on your website, courtesy of a search engine, GA4 categorises them as organic new users.

While Organic Users form the bedrock of engagement, Organic Active Users take engagement to a deeper level with tangible actions. Organic New Users represent the start of a users’ exploration on your website or app. Understanding and effectively engaging with each of these user categories is essential for a comprehensive GA4 analytics strategy.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate is how the interactions of user sessions are measured. It is represented as a percentage of organic engaged sessions on your website. Engaged sessions are those that surpass the 10 second mark, contain a conversion event, or boast at least two pageviews or screenviews.

Engagement rate is a metric of quality over quantity. It doesn’t just count sessions; it looks deeper into how else the user interacts. Consider a user who briefly browses your content for less than 10 seconds and then departs, leaving no trace of interaction. In this scenario, because the user didn’t meet any of the criteria of an engaged session, the session remains uncounted.

Engagement rate is the metric we should now consider instead of Bounce Rate, which is a metric that has been lost along with Universal Analytics. Take a look at the changes and improvements Google has made to GA4 compared to Universal Analytics by checking out our blog “Why is Google Analytics 4 better than Universal Analytics?”.


An Event is a specific user interaction or action tracked on a website or app. Events help in measuring user engagement and behaviour beyond traditional pageviews. Examples of events include button clicks, form submissions, video plays, downloads, and interactions with embedded elements like widgets.

Events in GA4 provide valuable insights into how users interact with your website or app, helping you make data-driven decisions to optimise user experiences and achieve specific goals, such as increasing conversions or improving user engagement.

If an event is considered the last line of a marketing funnel (such as a purchase or enquiry about business) this can be marked as a conversion.


Conversions are events that are marked for their importance. For many conversions, these have been set up because they give data on how many leads, purchases, or form completions you have received through your digital channel.

Page and Screen Views

Engagement isn’t just conversions or events. It also embraces the concept of ‘page and screen views.’ For a session to be deemed engaging, it needs to have at least 2 of these views. These views represent a user’s willingness to explore the website, turning pages or scrolling screens in a quest for information or interaction.


A session kicks off when a user casts their eyes upon a page from your website or app. However, it doesn’t persist indefinitely; it has a lifespan of 30 minutes. If a user continues to explore your website within this window, it remains within the same session. Once the 30 minute mark is hit, the session is deemed concluded, birthing a new one should the user return.

A session commences with the user’s first gaze upon your website or app and terminates either after 30 minutes of inactivity or upon the user’s departure. This event houses the user’s interactions, offering insights into their journey.


A “Source/Medium” is a critical dimension that reveals how users discovered your website or app. It comprises two key components:

Understanding the Source/Medium dimension in GA4 is vital for evaluating the effectiveness of various marketing channels, helping you allocate resources to those that drive the most valuable traffic and conversions to your digital assets.

Implement GA4 With Wildcat Digital

Implementing GA4 correctly and understanding the data it provides is imperative for an online business to succeed. If you need any help, please contact us for a free consultation to help you start your SEO journey. If you have any other questions about SEO or what else is involved, check out more of our Knowledge Base content. Our SEO experts are here to help you with any of your digital needs.

Post by

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

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