Difference between Unique Visitors & First Time Visitors

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Decipher your website statistics to assess your returning visitors.

Web analytics is a set of very important numbers pertaining to your website including the number of visits, visitors, hits, links and more. The number of visitors is the most interesting number, as it tells you how many people have been to your site. However, to distinguish how many new visitors you had during the day vs. the number of individual or unique visitors, you will need a little more information. The trouble is worth it; advertisers and potential business clients tend to ask about visitors to gauge your website's popularity.

  1. The Visitor Totals

    • The visitor counter on your website tracks each time anyone enters your site; it is a general number that does not distinguish between new and returning visitors. A visitor number could record several visits to the website by you and others over the course of a day. Advertisers and potential clients look at the total visitor numbers to see just how active the website is.

    Unique Visitors

    • The number of unique visitors is the total number of individuals entering your website over a given period; return visits from the same IP (internet protocol) address are ignored. The unique visitor number shows how many people visited your website irrespective of how many times they visited.

    First Time Visitors

    • First time, or new, visitors are the visitors who have never visited your website during the time period that you're are sampling --- this could be a particular day or the year-to-date. The new visitor number is a count of the people that you attracted for the first time. It is good to see the new visitors melt into the unique visitor ranks, as this is a sign of a return visits.

    Considerations

    • The new visitor numbers are only tallied during a certain time period. Thus, you can get a new visitor total that is skewed higher than normal by examining a shorter time period. This is not advisable, as you may be asked about the time period used for tracking.

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