Understand Web Traffic – Hits, Pageviews, Impressions, Unique

understand web traffics

There are various of terms when it comes to calculation of web traffics. Some statistics give you report in terms of daily and monthly unique visitors; some provides more – Pageviews, Hits, etc. You could have heard webmasters claiming their sites to have more than 1 million hits a month. But how big is 1 million hits, does that means they have 1 million visitors every month? Here’s a brief explanations for those who are confuse how figures in these web statistic terms are generated.

Hits

Measuring traffics in hits usually returns you a proudly large number. Hits is also known as request and it’s the total number of files loaded when a single page is requested from the web server. So how hits are calculated? Picture this – a single web page with 20 images (transparent.gif, header-background.gif, etc)is loaded, that’s 20 hits for starters. The web page has 10 photos (jammie.jpg, group-photo.jpg, etc), that’s another 10 hits. if you add up the CSS files, Javascript files and all the external files, each time a web page is loaded, it can easily build up more than 50 hits. If you clear cache, reload the page, another 50+ hits again.

Hits are rarely used to to judge a website’s traffic nowadays as they are not really accurate. The numbers are big and certainly cool, but generally useless.

Pageviews

Pageviews is a calculation of how many times a page is viewed. Say a visitor lands on your main page, that’s 1 pageview. Same visitor clicks to About Us page, that’s another pageview. By dividing total pageviews with total unique visitors, you can get an idea how many pageviews each visitor generates.

Impressions

Impression is more or less a marketing term, normally calculated in bulk of 1000. It counts how many times a element (image, text, video) appears on a web page. If a advertisement network is paying $3/CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), that means you are getting paid $3 when the banner appears 1000 times on your web page. Here’s 21 ad networks that pays you based on CPM ads.

Visits / Unique Visitors

Visits is normally equivalent to unique visitors. Think of it as the number of different people (different IP) that visits your web page. Visits or unique visitors are the most essential numbers of all, when it comes to determine the traffic of a specific site.

Author:

Founder and Chief Editor of Hongkiat.com, a designer, developer and hardcore fan of Apple. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook.

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