Tracking users or traffic?

There are different possibilities to track the incoming traffic. The easiest is:

Counting clicks

Let’s say you have a 10.000 page views per month. It means users have clicked 10.000 times on your pages. You can count also your revenue for this month, divide it by the pageviews and call it “conversion”.
But at the moment when you want to increase it, you need to analyze it deeper. How many actual people came to your site. 10.000? or may be just 100 and one persistent spam-bot? How often do they came to your website?
So you want to track people, not clicks. It immidiately rises a number of questions. There is no sessions in the process of web-browsing. User doesn’t start any process or ritual on your site and doesn’t end it. He just opens sometimes some windows and sometimes closes it.

Web analytic tools can combine clicks to “visits”  very easily

“John” opens a first page on your website, a web-analytic service like Google Analytics takes a mental note, marking a start of a “session” Later it  uses cookies to find out that that is the same John, who is opening pages. Normally it “John” doesn’t open new windows on your site for 30 minutes, we consider his “session” finished.
We must somehow found, how may unique people has visited our site

Counting unique “visitors”

What is unique is this concept?  What to do if the same “John” starts another visit 2 hours later? He is the same person, we could see it from his cookies. But what about next day? next week? When should we draw the line and count him several times.
There is no answer on this question. “Unique” in this concept can not be easily defined.  Instead of that different parameters could be measured:
  • daily unique visitor (all visits from the same person in one day are counted as the same visitor)
  • weekly unique visitor (all visits in one week are counted as the same visitor)
  • monthly unique visitor ( the same, but in the whole month)
(be carefull, the more the period,the less will be the number)
What you should count depend on your business-model. If you’re measuring the performance of a media site, where people could come every day to listen to music or check out nice pictures, you need to count daily visitors. If you expect that person buys from you something once per month or more seldom – you should know how many really different persons coming to your site in a month.
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