Visitors, Pageviews, or Hits?

It drives me nuts when some journalist reporter on the evening news starts talking about how many millions of hits the latest hot startup has gotten.

Who cares about hits?  Hits on a website are largely meaningless.

Why are hits meaningless?

  • Someone comes to your website and clicks around a bit. They may read one page or a dozen pages.  That visit is counted only once in a defined period of time, typically 24 hours… this is a Unique visitor.
  • Each page that person visits is called a Pageview.
  • Webpages are made up of many different elements (images, text, chunks of code) and each of those elements is a Hit.

When this page loaded in your browser it generated around twenty or so hits.  I’m not really sure and I really don’t care.

What I care about is you… a unique visitor who came to my site.

Are hits useful for anything?

If you’re in marketing and you’re struggling to find something to brag about… talk about hits, which are otherwise meaningless.

Startup founders trying to identify trends and opportunities should look at unique visitors and pageviews.

And if you’re a reporter who still doesn’t know squat about how websites work and you’d like to become a journalist, call me and we’ll go through this again… s-l-o-w-l-y.


  1. Norell says

    The Today show reporters get this wrong all the time. Or maybe they’re strugling to find something to talk about that will keep us interested.

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