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Difference between visitor and unique visitor and why you should care.

June 19, 2012

It’s the end of the month and you’re scrambling through your monthly reports trying to figure out your pay per click report and you wonder what do term like “visitor” and “unique visitor” mean and how they might be important or affect your online marketing campaign. Understanding the report it’s just as critical as how you perform. The meaning of each term will help you make important decisions on how to adjust important factors such as budget.  Some important terms are visitors and unique visitors that can be determined through a month long tracking cookie.Web site traffic can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors who return to the site.

Visits: A visit refers to a visitor’s session with your website. During the session, the user can view any number of pages, but the visit as a whole will count as one. The session ends when the visitor navigates to a new website, closes the browser or is inactive for a certain period of time (i.e. 30 minutes). If the visitor returns to the website later in the day, this will count as the second visit.

Visits, when compared with the next term – unique visitors, can help a webmaster understand the number of times visitors repeatedly enter a website.

Unique visitors: are the numbers of unique individuals that visit a website within a specific time frame. The time period set can vary depending on the tracking system in use, but it can be a week or month. There are usually two ways to track unique visitors, and this may be through a tracking cookie or by unique IP addresses. Through unique IP addresses, which are like online fingerprints, unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site.  Another way is through tracking methods that uses a month long tracking cookie, one web user can visit the website as many times as they want during that time and only have it counted as one visit. The unique visitor tracking method is good because it shows a business website how many potential customers they have browsing the site.

http://www.zero360marketing.com/pay-per-click-management.html

update: 2011/06/14

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