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Google Analytics: Metrics and Dimensions

Why are dimensions and metrics important?

Knowing your metrics and dimensions (and what they indicate) is important for customizing your reports (either creating custom reports or segments) and for properly reading the reports.

Common Metrics

This "cheat sheet" shows some of the common Google Analytics metrics and describes what these metrics show. It may be useful to print out or keep this sheet on hand when you are starting out.

If you are ever unsure of what a dimension or metric is showing, hover your mouse over the "?" symbol next to the dimension/metric to see a description.

Metrics and Dimensions

Dimensions and Metrics Clip


Dimensions describe attributes (e.g. city, region, browser, visitor type, etc.). These attributes appear as rows in Google Analytics. When choosing dimensions in custom reporting, Google Analytics will display the choices in green.


Metrics are measurements (e.g. Sessions, Time on Page, etc.) and will appear as columns in Google Analytics. When choosing metrics in custom reporting, Google Analytics will display the choices in blue.


Below is an example of a type of standard report with the dimensions and metrics highlighted in green and blue, respectively.

Country / Territory Acquisition
Sessions % New Sessions New Users
20,765 81.89% 17,004
1. United States 8,531 80.40% 6,859
2. United Kingdom 1,085 81.01% 879
3. China 926 86.83% 804
4. Germany 914 74.95% 685
5. India 829 92.64% 768
6. Canada 623 76.98% 479
7. Australia 508 74.41% 378
8. Philippines 470 89.57% 421
9. Japan 430 75.35% 324
10. Italy 349 84.81% 296