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Glossary of terms used in reports

Visitors

Unique Visitor is "a person".  We use the terms "Unique Visitor", "Visit" and "Page Views" in their normal english-language meanings, much as if they were people visiting your house.

There are some technical caveats to this: we track people with a cookie in their browser, if you delete it you will be viewed as a different visitor, same thing if you use a different browser. 

Robots that impersonate humans may also be counted as unique visitors. 

New visit is a visit from someone who's never been to the site before,

Returning visits are visits from people who have visited before:

Example

9 New visits (visiting for the first time)
19 Returning visits (people who have been to the site before)

If I come to the website, do some stuff, and come back the next day you will get
1 Unique Visitor - me
2 Visits (one for each day I visited).  The one from the first day is a "New Visit" the second day (and all other visits I ever make) is a "Returning Visit"
x page views (one for each time I loaded and viewed a page in that visit)


Robots - Automated software that browses websites extracting data for various purposes. eg Search engines use robots for finding and indexing websites.

Cookies - are small bits of information stored in your browser by a website and are used for identifying the visitor and carrying information across page views:
  • Storing ecommerce data such as shopping carts
  • whether you are logged in or not
  • it can also be used for tracking visitors
Page views - When a visitor loads a page on your website this is counted as a single page view