Unique visitors refer to the number of individuals who visited a website or set of web pages in a given time period. E.g One person visiting multiple times throughout the day, is counted as one unique visitor.
The difference between visits and unique visitors is quite simple.
Visit refers to every person who visited your website in the reporting period. If one person visits the website 5 times, it’ll count as 5 visits.
A unique visitor, on the other hand, refers to a distinct individual user who visited your website in the reporting period.
Unique visitors are only counted once no matter how many times they return to the website. In general, you will always have more visits than unique visitors.
On Google Analytics, ‘unique visits’ are labeled as ‘users’ whilst ‘visits’ are labelled as ‘sessions’.
It is important to know your unique visitors for a couple of reasons. These reasons vary based on several factors such as your marketing goals or your type of business.
First of all, unique visitors tell you the actual size of your audience.
For example, one person can visit a website 3x per day. In this case, if there’s an ad on the website, it means the same person will see it three times.
This might be a good metric for a news website selling ad impressions. However, this may not be a metric a SaaS website may be interested in.
This is because they may be interested in getting more people to sign up for their product.
In this case, the number of unique visitors they attract would paint a much clearer picture of how well their marketing campaigns are doing.
Secondly, it can also help you understand your customers’ behaviour.
For example, if your visitors continue to return to your website, it could be a sign that they enjoy your content or what you’re serving on the site.
On the other hand, if you notice you have a lot of unique visitors but not returning visitors, it could mean something is wrong on the site.
You could then investigate and fix the issue.
Whilst they all have different labels for this metric, the underlying definition remains the same.
To measure your unique visitors, simply select one of the web analytics tools, install on your website and start tracking.