Visits, views and page impressions: A little guide through the jungle of numbers
Was that a page impression, view, or visit? And where is the difference anyway?
Whether digital communication on your website is working can be read off well from the relevant KPIs, among other things. Who reads it and if so, how many? This article provides clarity around the most important KPIs and how they differ from each other.
As the year draws to a close, an often “unloved” but essential topic is once again just around the corner: annual evaluations, analyses and clipping overviews. While the key figures for print and TV are relatively easy to assess, there is often still uncertainty, especially online: not everyone knows the difference between views, visits and pageviews and how to classify these key figures. Which ones are suitable for evaluation and why? The fact that a wide variety of terms are in circulation doesn’t make it any easier. We try to bring some light into the darkness!
A visitor is an individual person who visits the website. It does not matter how often the person visits the website. So if someone visits the website once in the morning and once in the afternoon, he or she is still only counted as one visitor. But be careful: If the website is visited via different devices, several visitors are counted, because the analysis tools refer to the IP addresses.
The devil is in the details: Visitors are usually determined per day, e.g. 3000 visitors/day. Unique visitors are recorded over a defined period of time, e.g. over a month. Visitors who access the page several times from one IP address are only recorded once as unique visitors (and not several times). For evaluations, it is therefore important not to simply add up the visitor numbers of the individual days, but to use the information on unique visitors if possible. In this way, it is possible to determine exactly how many individuals are reached by the page.
Visits refer to visits to the website. Regardless of whether a person only views the home page or several subpages – it remains a visit. Similar to a guest at home, who also goes to the kitchen and bathroom during his visit.
A visitor always makes at least one visit. Of course, a visitor can also make several visits in one day or in the course of a month. The number of visits compared to visitors is a good indicator of the number of regular readers.
Pageviews / Pageimpressions
The PIs provide information about how often the website including all subpages was called up. One visitor calls up the home page = 1 pageview. If three subpages are also called up by the same visitor, that’s three more pageviews. One visitor thus generates four pageviews.
The number of page impressions compared to the number of visitors can help to estimate how intensively or superficially the visitors move around the website.
Similar to the unique visitors, the aim here is to find out how many individuals have read the corresponding page and not how often the subpage was read. If a visitor first goes to the home page, then looks at a sub-page and returns to the home page, that is three pageviews, but only two unique pageviews. The second visit to the home page is not counted separately.
Visitors thus ensure one or more visits to the website, whereby at least one or more page views/page impressions are generated in each case.
For an analysis, e.g. as part of an annual evaluation, the visits or unique visitors are particularly suitable, as these figures provide more precise information about how many individuals and regular readers are reached.