“You got 10,000 Hits this month!”

Some of you may remember those old “Hit Counters” that used to be on the bottom of every website.  Ever wonder why Hit Counters went away?  Because it’s not a useful SEO metric!  You should be tracking the number of “Unique Visitors” to your website, not Hits.  That’s because a single Unique Visitor can rack up multiple Hits.

A Unique Visitor is one person coming to your website that has either never been there before, or hasn’t been there in a while.  A “Hit” is  a measure of a hit on your web server, not your website.  There are many things that can create a Hit on your web server when someone Visits your website:  graphic elements, photos, HTML files, java applets, etc.

So if you have 15 separate elements on your Home page, and 1 person Visits your Home page, it will rack up 16 Hits.  So you can see where an SEO company would want to report Hits to you (because it makes it look like they’re doing a wonderful job) and why you want to track Visits (because it is a more helpful metric in understanding how many people are coming to your website.)

There are many other metrics you should be monitoring with the traffic analytics your SEO company provides, such as Bounce Rate, Pageviews, Time on Site, etc.  These other metrics will help you understand how Visitors are responding to your website once they get there, but understanding the basic Visits vs. Hits metrics will give you a better idea of how much traffic you’re getting to your website.

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