|14. Total Visits
- The sum of visits from all sources except spyders.
The base count upon which all percentage metrics are calculated.
15. Total Visitors - The count of all real people who visited. This is the
metric that bridges your traffic report with your financial metrics. This is what to use
for calculating conversion ratios. It is also what I used to rank customer sites from 1 to
The total visit count is used to calculate all of the percentages, you can call
it the common denominator. The Online Advertising Industry standard is reporting traffic
in Visits. Since visitors make visits, this metric shows how many times in a reporting
period visitors visited your site. If your site is working well your total visits will be
at least two times greater than your total visitors. This is because some visitors will
come back to your site more than once in a reporting period, which is typically monthly.
This shows the number of real people who visited your site during the reporting
period. This is the metric used to develop conversion ratios, and some financial ratios.
Improving the performance of the visit sources is for the purpose of raising your total
site visitors. Be careful not to confuse "visitors" and "visits".
Visitors vs. Visits
The real story of your Web site activity (traffic) is told in the Visitor and Visit
counts. Within the Online Advertising Industry the debate rages on about which number has
more value. Without going into endless detail I will say that for the majority of area
tourism businesses, the most important number of the Visitor vs. Visit debate is Visitors.
"Visitors" are real people, one set of eyeballs, looking
at your Web site. Since real people, not robots, are what pick up the phone to make a
reservation, we want to know how many people have looked at your Web site. Visitors are
what convert into real business.
Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley