Hits, Visits and Unique visits

John Flottmeyer
February 17, 2011 0 Comment

You’ve checked out your stats, but there are these descriptors that are throwing you (Hits, Visits and Unique visits). What is the difference between hits and visits, and what is a unique visit?

I get this question a lot. Here are some definitions from Smarterstats, that help me to sort things out – when I get this question.

Hits – A hit represents a request to your web site for a file such as an image, a web page, or a CGI script. One web page may contain several related resources, and as a result, a visitor viewing one web page may trigger several hits. Hits generated as a result of an error (either a 400 or 500 level error) are not counted as actual hits to your site, and are kept separate from successful hits.

Return Visitors – A return visit is counted when a computer that has already been to the site before returns for another visit.

Unique Visitors – A unique visitor represents any number of visits from the same computer. If a person returns to the site again, a visit is counted, but a unique visit is not.

Visits – Visits represent the total number of times people have visited your web site. A visit is counted whenever a web site user requests one or more files from the web server. If the user becomes idle for more than a certain amount of time (usually 20 minutes), a new visit is generated when they come back.

Wait! no that’s too many words! – Ok, here is the video version for Google Analytics

Next week: One more post on stats.

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