Google Analytics Tip The Truth about Visits

Here at PuTTin’ OuT, we like to make sure our followers and clients are well-informed, so sometimes I stray away from our social media theme to talk about the basics of some of the more technical aspects of online marketing.

Not long ago I covered some basic Google Analytics tips that everyone with a website should know about. But now I realize there’s often a lot of misplaced emphasis placed on Visitors. Let’s get that cleared up!

What Is a Website Visit… Really?

I know, you think this is too basic, everyone knows what a VISIT is. It’s just when a person who visits your site, right?

Wrong. Sort of.

A “Visit,” in the Google Analytics sense, is technically just a period of uninterrupted interaction with your website, widely considered to be about 30 minutes long without closing the browser.

A “Visitor” is someone who comes to the site and engages in at least one of those sessions.

A “Page View” is just any time a Visitor goes to a site page.

So you can have a Visitor come to your homepage, close the browser to update it, reopen it to the homepage, make a 39-minute phone call, come back, and then click your “Blog” tab then click to read a specific blog post. Let’s do the math: 1 Visitor, 3 Visits, 5 Page Views. Badda bing, badda boom!

The Trouble with Unique Visitors

The difference between a Visitor and a Unique Visitor is a sort of hazy area that depends on the metrics you’re looking at, which I won’t go into here, mostly because I’m not so sure myself 😉

Anyway, a unique visitor is just that (even though we’re all unique 🙂 – an individual person. Just one. No amount of browser closing is supposed to affect this, but it depends on browser Cookies, so technically it’s not perfect.

Anyway, let’s say you’re looking at site traffic for January. You have 500 UVs and 1000 PVs – that’s 2 views/person. But that metric depends on date range.

Let’s say you have Visitor Bill who accounts for 5 visits/month, and you look at your months separately.

In your January analysis, Bob = 5 Visits.

In February, Bob = 5 Visits.

March, Bob = 5 Visits.

So if you add up Bob in individual months, he’s actually 3 Unique Visitors for 15 total Visits. But when you look at the First Quarter (all 3 months combined), Bob is still just one Visitor accounting for 15 Visits. See where it gets tricky? Remember to gauge your metrics based on date ranges!

And now that you’re excited about Analytics, you can dig into your Tumblr Analytics, too!


Got more info on these Analytics? Got questions? Let me know in the comments!