What is the difference between visits and unique visits?

There are three main metrics in Google Analytics terminology: Page Views, Visitors, and Unique Visitors. They are each slightly different.

First, there is the concept of a  Visit. This is essentially a browsing session. Visits last until there is 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight. (A new visit also occurs if the user visits the site via a different "campaign" but I'll assume you're not using those.)

Each visit consists of a number of page views. So if a user starts at the home page, goes to the About page then leaves the site, that is 2 page views in one visit. If they come back a few hours later and do the same thing, it then counts as 2 visits but 1 unique visitor, and a total of 4 page views.

  • Page Views = the total number of pages viewed by all people.
  • Visitors = the total number of browsing sessions by all people.
  • Unique Visitors = the total number of people who visited that visited during a specific time.