What’s the difference between clicks, visits, visitors, pageviews, and unique pageviews?

The visitor data in your Analytics account can be easy to misinterpret due to the many similar terms used in different reports. Below you’ll find a more detailed explanation of the terms that most often lead to questions.

* Clicks vs. Visits
* Visits vs. Visitors
* Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

Clicks vs. Visits

There is an important distinction between clicks (such as in your AdWords Campaigns reports) and visits (in your Search Engines and Visitors reports report). The clicks column in your reports indicates how many times your advertisements were clicked by visitors, while visits indicates the number of unique sessions initiated by your visitors. There are several reasons why these two numbers may not match:

* A visitor may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, AdWords will record multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one visit. This is a common behavior among visitors engaging in comparison shopping.

* A user may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark. The referral information from the original visit will be retained in this case, so the one click will result in multiple visits.

* A visitor may click on your advertisement, but prevent the page from fully loading by navigating to another page or by pressing their browser’s Stop button. In this case, the Analytics tracking code is unable to execute and send tracking data to the Google servers. However, AdWords will still register a click.

* To ensure more accurate billing, Google AdWords automatically filters invalid clicks from your reports. However, Analytics reports these clicks as visits to your website in order to show the complete set of traffic data.

Visits vs. Visitors

Analytics measures both visits and visitors in your account. Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors.

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a visitor hits reload after reaching the page, this will be counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview will be recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.