Terminology Poll: Sessions, Visits & Visitors

Our lifetime summary stats allow you to keep track of the number of Page Views, Unique Visits and Returning Visits since you added your project to StatCounter. These stats are independent of your normal log size, have no storage limit and are recorded on a daily basis, allowing you to see weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly totals.

If a visitor to your website has 5 page views in the morning, and returns to your website later that day for another 3 pageviews, we record this as 2 Unique Visits for that day. On another day, if you have 2 different people viewing your site in the morning, this would also be recorded as 2 Unique Visits.

Recently we’ve been working on adding a new stat to record distinct visitors to your site, so that in the above example, you’d see 1 visitor for the first day and 2 visitors for the second day.  The terminology between ‘Visits’ and ‘Visitors’ could be confusing though, so we are proposing to rename ‘Unique Visits’ to ‘Sessions’ in advance of adding the new stat. Let us know what you think in the poll below!

Current: Unique Visits (New Visitors stat will be in pink)

blog-unique-visits

 

Proposed: Rename Unique Visits to Sessions

blog-sessions

Note: Returning Visits hasn’t been shown in these screenshots, but it would likely be renamed to Returning Sessions.

 

We’d really love your feedback about what terminology you like the best and find easiest to understand. Please post your preferences in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Pick your terminology!

View Results

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[Update: Thank you for all the great feedback so far. It’s a difficult decision and it’s very helpful to hear your thoughts on the matter. Please keep the feedback coming.]

121 comments on “Terminology Poll: Sessions, Visits & Visitors

  1. Hi

    Almost 5 years I’m a user of this statisticsprogramm, and till now I’m very glad that I changed from sitemeter to statcounter. I’m still using the free version, but I think it would be usefull to take the pro-version. Yearly not even 50$, I think it’s worth 🙂

    http://www.sud66.com

  2. Why don’t you consider letting each user change what they want to call it in a Configuration Setting… similar to the functionality of naming an IP?

    Currently you have;

    Page Visits
    Unique Visits
    Returning Visits

    Personally, I think that word “Unique” is confusing in that it can imply the number of ‘distinct’ sessions for that day. If I come in 100 times in one day, from the same device (cookie), you will report me as 100 Unique Visits, where in fact, I was only 1 distinct session. That being said, if I could change the name in the configuration, I would change “Unique Visits” to “Session”.

    Also, just to clarify, are “Returning Visits” counted as ‘distinct’ or as cumulative session (sorry, unique visits) for the day of someone (device) that have been there before? In other words, take my example above, if came to a site 1 time yesterday and 100 times today, would I show up as 100 Returning Visits?

    Finally, I would suggesting adding another metric, call it “Net New”. That would be a distinct count of people (actually, cookie-ed devices) that are totally new to the site, never having been there before, ever. To us, this count of incremental traffic is an important indicator of growth, SEO and marketing campaign effectiveness.

  3. Sessions, Visits & Visitors may look the same, but they actually not.
    The proposed name is very well for describing the correct situation.

        1. Matka gambling or satta is a form of lottery which originally involved betting on the opening and closing rates of cotton transmitted from the New York Cotton Exchange. It originates from before the era of Indian independence when it was known as Ankada Jugar (“figures gambling”). In the 1960s, the system was replaced with other ways of generating random numbers, including pulling slips from a large earthenware pot known as a matka, or dealing playing cards.

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