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What do the different metrics (visits, page views, unique visitors, etc.) mean in Analytics?

Gudrun Gustafsdottir avatar

You may have noticed when looking through the Analytics tool dashboard that there are several metrics displayed. Below you will find the definitions of these metrics to help you understand your website visitors.

Analytics dashboard table

  • Visits: A visit is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified visitor with a time of no more than 30 minutes between each page request.
  • Page Views: A page view is a count of how many times a page has been viewed on a website or the chosen group within the chosen period of time. All page views are counted no matter how many times a user has visited the website in the chosen period of time.
  • Unique Visitors: Unique visitors are identified as unique visitors if they did not have a persistent or session cookie from Siteimprove on their browser/device. Treat this metric with caution and look at trending rather than absolute values. Cookies are specific to browser and device which means that if a visitor is visiting your website using a different browser or device than before, or has deleted or never accepted the cookie, then that person will be seen as a new unique visitor even if that is not the case. 
  • Returning Visitors: A returning visitor is a user that has visited your website during the period selected, who has also visited your website at least one time prior to this period. So if you have 10 unique visitors on your website in January and five of them have been on your website in a period prior to the period you have selected, then you will have five returning visitors. Similar to unique visitors, this metric relies on cookie data, so treat this metric with the same caution and look at trending rather than absolute values.


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