Monday, January 4, 2010

Key Metrics Revisited : Visits or Sessions

Visits : This metric is also referred to as sessions. Its purpose  is to measure how many times people visit the website during a given time frame (cookies are used to track sessions). Because most web analytics

platforms use cookies and start and end a session when the visitor comes and leaves, the simplest definition of the Visits metric can be
Visits:  A count of all the sessions during a given time period . Sessions are identified by transient cookie values(There are two types of cookies : transient cookies : to keep track of the user's session ,maintain the state of the user's session and is automatically removed once the session ends, persistent cookies :  to track the browser/user over a period of time). When a visitor requests the first page, their session starts and typically, the session lasts until one of the following occurs:
1. The visitor exits the website or closes the browser.
2. The web server automatically terminates the session after 29 minutes of inactivity or 12 hours of continuous activity.

So in case the user visits the same site twice on a particular day (1st visit at 10 am --- lasts for 2 minutes ---- closes the browser or navigates away to a different site ---- 2nd visit 10:30 am) it constitutes 2 sessions or visits.

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