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refers to the number of distinct individuals requesting
during a given period, regardless of how often they visit. (
refers to the number of times a site is visited, no matter how many unique visitors make up those sessions.) When an individual goes to a website on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, this is recorded as
one unique visitor
(if the time period being measured is, for example, a week or a month).
The purpose of tracking unique visitors is to help marketers understand website user behavior. Because a visitor can make multiple visits in a specified period, the number of visits will be greater than the number of visitors. A visitor is sometimes referred to as a unique visitor or unique user to clearly convey the idea that each visitor is only counted once.
The measurement of users or visitors requires a standard time period and can be distorted by automatic activity (such as
) that classify web content. Estimation of visitors, visits, and other traffic statistics are usually filtered to remove this type of activity by eliminating known
for bots, by requiring registration or
, or by using panel data.
Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; and David J. Reibstein (2010).
Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Second Edition).
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. <
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