For those of us that have been around for a while, there are certain terms and references that make us cringe. This is especially true when talking about web site stats and analytics. So, I’m going to break down some of the terms that are commonly found and referred to when looking at site stats.
My number one recommendation/pet peeve…
Stop using the term “hits”.
It’s hard to say how people were using the term “hits”. Sometimes it sounded like they meant page view, sometimes like visit, and sometimes like visitor. All three very different things. Hey, what’s the difference between those three anyway?
Page View – A page view occurs whenever a single page is loaded. This is most commonly where people use the word “hits”.
Visit – A visit is made up of one or more page view in a single session.
Session – A session is the time and actions of a visit that begins as soon as a person gets to a web site and ends when that person either leaves the site or is idle for a certain amount of time (usually 30 minutes).
Visitor – A visitor is a single person/computer. One visitor can have several visits over a certain period of time.
Now, when you’re talking about your analytics or if you’re even just trying to make sense of some of the different terms, you have a bit more knowledge to sound and think smart about your site’s analytics.