A unique visitor is a term used in marketing analytics which refers to a person who has visited the website at least once and is counted only once in the reporting time period. So if the user visits the web more than once, it counts as one visitor only. It’s also called a “Unique User”.
For example, if a user visits your web page and then browses further on 2 other pages and then leaves your website and returns again to see more pages, he is counted as a single individual user (“unique visitor”). This metric is different from the number of visits, which actually shows how many times your web pages were visited, regardless of how many visitors visit a page on your website.
Calculating unique visitors can help you better understand the size and reach of your website’s audience and is useful for:
- Measuring your business’ reach by strategy and investment teams
- Assessment of the exposure for a competitor’s piece of content by publishers
- Quantifying the overall impact of another company’s campaign by advertisers
Tracking unique users will help marketers understand website user behavior. A unique visitor is usually identified using an IP address along with any other identifiers like cookies, user agent, registration ID, etc. Unique users metric is one of the most important metrics used to measure the popularity of a website.
It can also be used to measure the performance of a website across different time periods, however, extreme care should be given to this analysis. At times, unique visitors can give erroneous data if not properly filtered because different users might actually be using different devices and not be new users. Counting cookies can sometimes result in errors and automated bots and internal traffic can always overstate the numbers.