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Sep 07

Is a Hit the same as a Visit the same as a View?

How do you measure the  success of your website-ROI?

Looking at your website stats is necessary for figuring out how well your pages or your campaigns are doing. But some of the terms can be confusing.

A question I get asked frequently is:  What is a HIT?  Is it the same as a VISIT?  What is a View?

Hits represent the total number of requests made to the server during the given time period (month, day, hour etc..).

ReCap:   Pages are made up of many items (images, text, etc) and each one of these physical resources are requested by the server for that visit. Each of those is a hit, while a view is the page itself

Visits occur when some remote site makes a request for a page on your server for the first time. As long as the same site keeps making requests within a given timeout period, they will all be considered part of the same Visit. If the site makes a request to your server, and the length of time since the last request is greater than the specified timeout period (default is 30 minutes), a new Visit is started and counted, and the sequence repeats. Since only pages will trigger a visit, remotes sites that link to graphic and other non- page URLs will not be counted in the visit totals, reducing the number of false visits.

ReCap:  Someone comes to your web site and looks around a bit. They may go to one page, or they may go to 100 pages, but they are still only visiting once.

View – How many pages were seen by that visit

Think of it like a book store. A person goes into the store (visit) and picks up 5 books to buy (views). While he is holding the books, he flips through them and looks at a few pictures (hits). So he would have 1 visit to the store, 5 books handled during his visit (views), and maybe 30 pictures he looked at (hits).

So which value is more useful?

It depends on the use of the information. If you’re in marketing and you’re striving for bragging rights or high activity numbers, use Hits.

If you are using your stats to actually identify trends and the personal impact of your site, use Views and Visits.

Hits can always be inflated artificially, by adding a few more images to a page, for example. Visits and Views, however, represent people coming to your site and the number of web pages they saw, which is much more useful for analyzing usage patterns.

So we are actually trying to track what the visitors do.   We want to learn more about the visitors that eventually become good sales leads or purchase from us.