Basics of Measuring your Website through Web Analytics

If you want to dwell on Web measurement and Web analytics, then you need to know the common terms used and their meanings. Understanding the terms in Web Analytics will guide you to the measuring process and the information that you lack.


Basics of Measuring your Website through Web Analytics “Hits” is one of the terms mostly and commonly used in Web Analytics. However, it is also one of the terms that are used incorrectly in Web Analytics. Wikipedia defines “hits” in Web Analytics as “any request for a file from a Web server”. The definition means that every request made to the web server is considered a hit.

Each time a certain image is downloaded so it will be displayed on the webpage is a hit. Example: a webpage with 4 images results to 5 hits to the server.

Requesting JavaScript or CSS and other auxiliary files are counted as hits.

If a reader views your page, then you can make hundreds of hits to the server.

In business context, hits are not reliable or useful in Web analytics. They will not be useful to you except if you are a web server administrator. These administrators look for hits if they want to know why a certain page is slow when loading.

Page Views

Page Views are when a document has loaded successfully from a web server through a visitor of the website. Page views do not include views by robots or error pages.

Page Views tries to measure the number of documents viewed by visitors in your website. Documents mostly include:

· Documents – .xls, .pdf, .doc

· Web pages – .htm, .html, .php, .asp files

· Plain text files – .txt

· Script files – .cgi, .pl

The files that are considered as part of the web page but not that entire content are not considered as a page view. These include scripts, images, CSS and sometimes video and sound files.

Page views are determined to express or show the website’s popularity. Sometimes people refer page views as hits. Page views don’t pertain to the number of visitors visiting the site.

Visits or Sessions

Visits are collection of documents being viewed by an IP address and user-agent combination or if you require a log in, then that would be the customer who logged in during a certain period of time. A visit quantifies the person wandering to your website. Visits try to measure the doings of a person and not measuring the technical details of the downloaded data.

Visits are usually measured with the amount of clicks in 30 minutes in that same site. Example: a person goes to a website and had a coffee break for 20 minutes and came back and began clicking, then that is still considered as 1 visit. This means that a visitor who hasn’t clicked anything for 30 minutes is considered that he/she as left that page.

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