What’s the difference between “hits” and “page views”?

Posted by & filed under Online Advertising.

This is a question that I always get in conferences and e-mails from readers. It’s important to know what these terms mean especially if you’re going to use a portion of your marketing budget in digital marketing. Usually publishers try to dazzle advertisers by giving unreliable data to give the impression that the website is really popular. By knowing the definition of terms you’ll be able to cut through the BS.

Each file sent by the web server to the browser is a hit. This means the page contains several elements like pictures, videos, and different graphics and text, you get multiple hits each time one person loads one page. This is a very unreliable way to measure traffic of a website. Don’t settle for this if this is the only metric being presented to you.

Page Views
This is pretty straightforward. A pageview is generated each time a visitor views a page on the website. This is independent of hits. Regardless if the site has dozens of photos and images (generating dozens of hits), it will only record 1 page view for the viewer.

To get a better idea of the actual traffic of a site ask for the Page Views and the Unique Visitors (number of unique views to the site). Don’t settle for hits.

5 Responses to “What’s the difference between “hits” and “page views”?”

  1. Andre

    theres a different between visitors and unique visitors (in google analytics)
    visitors are unique people who visit for a session of like 30 minutes or less,

    unique visitors are the total # of unique people who visited a site within a timeframe

  2. Eric Pena

    I remember before Web 2.0, websites proudly display a hit counter to impress people on the “number of visits” their site has. Today, nobody uses those counters anymore. Website analytics have come a long way to make site metrics useful and actionable.


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