Back in February 2004, we published an article when companies were trying to impress clients with the number of hits that their websites were receiving. As people have now become more aware of the difference between hits, page views and visitors, they certainly no longer get too easily impressed with telephone number hits.
A more educated advertiser is now looking for a number of Visitors received by a website and for a time unscrupulous companies quite simply started to define their hits as number of visitors. I suppose that some may still use this practice on an unsuspecting client, therefore one has to be very wary of telephone numbers that mean precious little.
What one really wants to know is how many people actually do visit a website and how many people actually do use a particular website on a regular basis, the latter is much more relevant and to the point. But, yes there is a difference between number of visitors and number of UNIQUE VISITORS, which is what we are really interested in when deciding how popular a website really is.
We do not want to get too technical here and confuse the issue for some, but should anyone be interested in a more complex explanation, there is ample material on the subject on the internet, just search for difference between visitors and unique visitors.
For the sake of this short article lets just quite simply define the visitors as the number of visitors who just visit a website and unique visitors as the number of people who return to the site to visit a website more than once during a given time.
Do bear in mind that although the Unique Visitor may visit the website more than once, it is only counted once.
It important to note that a simple visitor, even with just one visit, can count as more than one visit to a website especially if it happens to be generated by a search engine robot or other mechanical device whereas an Absolute Unique Visitor is the most accurate way to count the traffic because you do know that they are people who are counted only once and who visit the website more than once in a given period of time.
This means that there is a substantial and very relevant difference between visitors and unique visitors. Visitors could be as much as two or even three times the true number of Absolute Unique Visitors. If you are told that someone has had 30,000 visitors in a month, this could mean 15,000 or even just 10,000 unique visitors, an average of some 300 unique visitors per day.
Now put this into the right perspective; if you had an average of 300 people looking into your shop window or calling at your office for information, even if they do not buy anything at that time, wouldnt you be happy with that? Remember Unique visitors are those that come back more than once during a given time!
Do not just believe any number that is given to you, ask to see a printed chart of the statistics and if its worth anything, it will show the number of Unique Visitors, the number of visitors, the number of hits and pages per day, over a period and the daily averages. Who needs 200,000 visitors from China or USA which mean absolutely nothing!!