Defining the blog traffic terms

Amarnath Prabhakar October 16, 2008 0

Blog traffic, as we are now aware of the importance of traffic to your blog, we will now dvelve into the nuances of internet traffic. There are a lot of terminologies that we need to understand when someone talks about traffic. If you are still not aware of what internet traffic is, then a suggestion is that you read this post “Internet traffic” before you further read this post.

image by zigar

There are a lot of terms within the subject of internet traffic and they are described to you in this post.

Unique Visit

Unique visits are often confused with new visits, but they are not the same thing. A unique visitor is one person who has visited a site at least once (note that it can be more than once) within a given time period. A new visitor is visiting a site for the first time.

New Visits

Often confused with the previous jargon, new visits are simply visitors who have never been to the site before.

Direct Traffic

Sometimes this is also referred to as “type-in” traffic. These visitors have typed in a URL into their browser’s address bar and are directly visiting your site, rather than reaching your site from clicking a link on another web page. Direct traffic is often the result of your audience having your URL memorized ( is pretty easy to remember). It can also result from offline advertising methods such as print and television ads.

Average Time on Site

The amount of time, on average, a visitor spends on your blog. The majority of your visitors won’t stay very long and may not even be human, so this will seem lower to you than it should (for example, less than two minutes). This can be thrown off by someone who decides to go on vacation while your page is in their browser, and who, upon return, clicks to another page in your blog.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who immediately leave a page upon landing on it. They leave so fast it’s like they “bounce off” the page. You want this as low as possible, especially for search and referral traffic. High bounce rates (over 60%-70% and higher) means your visitors aren’t finding your content relevant or compelling enough to stay for even a moment. The bounce traffic is better if it is minimum.

Page Views

The number of times web pages are sent to browsers during a given time period. For this metric there is no distinction between single post pages in your blog and “static” blog pages such as your About or Contact page. Advertisers are often concerned about page views because higher page views means more times an ad can be displayed (called an impression, but that’s a different vocabulary lesson), which means a greater likelihood the ad will be clicked. Really bad, confusing web navigation also leads to high amounts of page views, but for the wrong reasons.

Pages per Visit

The average number of pages sent to visitors during their session for a given time period. For example, the average number of pages visited during a month might be 1.36. I have nothing smart-alecky to say about pages per visit.

Returning Visits

The number of tracked visitors who have returned to the site more than once during the reporting period. Having things that don’t work in an email or an RSS reader (like videos or other interactive widgets) will increase returning visits, as will posts in a series where links to the other posts in the series are present. Just telling people to come back doesn’t work so well.

Referring Site

A referrer is another domain’s web page the visitor was on before coming to your web page by clicking a link on the previous page. There is another blog of mine, world cuisines and there is a link which leads to this blog. A visitor can click on that link to visit this blog, at this the blog world cuisines becomes a referring site.


A visit is simply a session in which a person views pages in a website (well, posts in a blog, in this case). It doesn’t distinguish between new or repeat visits.

Search Traffic

Search traffic is traffic that arrives through clicking a link in a search engine results page (SERP). If your blog or a post in your blog comes up in a search result, and the searcher clicks the link to your blog, that search engine (who are we kidding, here? We all know it’s Google) has referred traffic to you. In analytics software, such as Google Analytics, it’s possible to see what keywords the visitor was searching on that caused your blog to appear in the results.

Web Analytics

Web analytics is the practice of analyzing web traffic. It’s how we know information about our site visitors and what they’re doing while they’re on our site. It’s also a shorthand for web analytics software or reports from such software. For example, you might say, “Show me the web analytics,” meaning you want to see the numbers on the screen or in a printed report.

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