What Are Unique Visitors and Why Do They Matter?

Do unique visitors really matter and can they make a difference? What does this statistic mean for marketers and why is it so important? 

In today’s article, we’re answering these questions and more and also looking at what value your website unique visitors can have for you from a marketing and money-making perspective. 

Unique Visits Definition

If you have used Google Analytics before or any other type of software for tracking your views and unique visitors, you probably know that there is a difference between views and unique visits. 

A unique visitor is a person that goes to your website and accesses it for the first time and for a variable period. This statistic can be measured in a number of ways – you can look at your daily visitors, those that you acquire for the whole week and last, but definitely not least, the number of unique visitors you have per month. 

What detail worth noting is that unique visitors are not the only type of metric that can determine the value of your website. It is more of a combination between this figure and your bounce rate, visit duration, as well as the number of total page views you can get in a month. 

Why do unique visits matter?

Unique visitors are a quite important metric for several reasons. Whether you are looking to monetize your website yourself either by using affiliate marketing or some other monetization options, it goes without saying that you need as many unique visitors as possible.

Repeat visitors and customers are obviously also important, but they might not matter as much in the long run. For example, when you have to present a pitch to a company, it’s quite likely that they are going to look at your unique visits number more than they would on their repeating visitors. 

Another area where this metric can prove its value is in establishing the credibility of your brand. Best of all, it is a clear indicator of growth. When you publish content on a regular basis and you’re getting indexed for the keywords you target, it’s quite natural for people to find out using search engines.

This tells other brands that might want to work with you that your website is valuable and that your brand is continuing its growth. Needless to say, these companies have a budget for marketing so they will want to spend their money only on collaborations that provide them with some return on investment. 

Website unique visitor measurement

You can use any tool that’s convenient for you to measure your unique visits, but we have found that Google Analytics is by far the most effective one and the one that also gives you accurate data. 

You might try others, and we aren’t going to say anything against SEMRush or Ahrefs, but their data might not be up to date all of the time. The way the calculation is made is strictly based on the user’s IP. 

There are multiple ways of ‘cheating’ the system into thinking that you’re actually getting more unique visitors than you actually are, but since most people look at other metrics besides your unique visits, you have to pay attention to a number of factors — and we will detail all of them in a section below. 

What other key metrics are related to unique visitors?

While this metric is very important, in fact, we might argue that it is the most important, it needs to be correlated with others. For instance, if you try to use shady techniques of increasing your number of unique visits per month just to get sponsorships, you might not be able to achieve the same with other metrics. 

Here are some that brands that might want to work with you are going to analyze:

  • Visit duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Total page views
  • Average visits per week or month
  • Interactions per visit

Visit duration

Ideally, someone who visits your website for the first time is going to find information that is useful enough to convince them that they might want to have a look around. 

That means that they will both spend some time on the page or post they’ve come across and read it thoroughly (which, by the way, not too many people do these days), but they might also want to see what other articles you’ve written and published in the past. 

A higher duration of a user’s visit to your website is important not just for the brands you might want to work with in the future, but also for the way you are ranked in the search engines. 

Bounce rate

Your bounce rate can be essential when it comes to getting that position in the 1-3s on the first page of a search query. When visitors click on a result they see in Google or Bing, for example, they need to find specifically what they are looking for. 

Otherwise, they are going to click the back button on their browsers, and then select a different result on the search page. This will effectively tell the search engine that what they found on your website wasn’t good enough. 

Sometimes, it takes just one second or less for people to make up their minds on whether they want to read an article and if it is relevant to them or not. The click-through-rate is extremely important for search engines. 

If a user leaves your site almost as quickly as it accesses it, this will influence your rankings in the long run — and in a negative way. 

There is a trick that some websites have been using for a while now and it’s the introduction of a ‘read more’ button after the first paragraph of their content. 

That means that the text people stumble upon needs to be extremely enticing so that they click on the button and at least spend more time on your website — therefore telling the search engines that people are engaging with your content more. 

Total page views

The number of total views is in fact the number of page loads you have on your website — whether that’s a new visitor or someone coming back. 

It is a pretty good indicator when it comes to assessing how loyal your readership is. Do they come back for more or do they just leave your site after a couple of seconds upon not finding what they are truly looking for?  

Average visits

This is another metric that can be used to tell what loyalty your readership has for your website. 

It’s a somewhat confusing metric, one that not a lot of brands look at as it is a combination between page views and unique visitors, which can make it somewhat irrelevant for marketing campaigns and establishing the value of putting an ad on a website. 

Number of interactions per each visit

When a person finds you using a search query and clicks on a page or post on your website, that is what you would call an ‘interaction 1’. 

But the whole point is that while this unique visitor matters since it all adds up, they should both spend a bit more time on your website (hopefully more than a minute) and after finding the information they need, they should go through your other articles.

The reason we have mentioned this metric in relation to the website unique visitor one is that it can matter in the grand scheme of things. For example, just one visitor that checks out your website twice or three times per week and looks at three pages each will increase both your number of interactions, but also the number of total page views. 

How exactly are unique visitors useful for you?

We have already described how this metric is one that’s essential for collaborating with brands, but there are some other ways your number of unique visitors can prove its worth to you. 

For example and in relation to what we have mentioned before, it is a good way of deciding on a price. Sure, there are a lot of ways you might be able to tell what you can ask for an advertising campaign, an advertorial, or the placement of a banner on your website. 

Moreover, these days you might be able to combine a variety of other marketing methods, so you could, for instance, offer packages where you mention the brand or its products on your Instagram stories or in a post, on your YouTube channel, and also write an article about trying out the services. Many influencers offer such packages these days and depending on their number of followers, they can ask for higher prices. 

The number of unique visitors is also a metric that can be used by you when you purchase guest posts, for example. While it most definitely is not the only one you should look at (the DR, site age, and other factors matter, too), it can definitely influence the way you negotiate with the website owner or journalist you reach out to. 

The lower the number of unique visitors, the lower the price of a backlink from that website. You should also look at the page views, of course, and perhaps ask around and see if that blogger isn’t offering links for lower prices on platforms such as People per Hour or Fiverr, too. 

It’s also worth noting that you can use your unique visitors to compare your data across a period of time. If you’re just starting out, your number of unique visits is probably pretty low, but it might be a good idea to create a report over a period of six or even twelve months and look what progress you have made and perhaps think of ways your growth has been slowed down. 

Finally, unique visitors can be quite useful for A/B testing. Although it might sound a bit complicated, A/B testing can be extremely valuable, especially for people producing digital products or offering digital services or those that create several different landing pages. 

The reports will be a tad challenging to create, though, in that you’ll have to make sure that you have an accurate sample size and also carefully analyze the performance of your A/B testing campaign. 

Competition analysis and unique visitors

It can be frustrating, particularly for someone who’s just starting out their affiliate marketing journey or who’s just built their first website to see that their competitors have a number of unique visitors that can’t be matched no matter the amount of effort you might put into marketing.

But the truth is that huge websites, especially those that have been around for a while and have found a so-called ‘recipe for success’ also use paid ads to increase their unique visitor figures and also acquire more customers or generate more sales using some other method. 

For this reason, you have to look at what your competitors are doing in terms of the marketing channels they are using and how they’re generating unique visits, but you also have to consider the paid ads. 

If you’ve got no budget for paid ads, you need to use your creativity and a number of growth marketing techniques, instead. Replicating their social media marketing campaign might be worth a try, but you also have to look at everything else they are doing, from the number of backlinks they are acquiring, from which sites, what guest posts they’ve published on other websites in the past, if they’ve done any PR and everything else. Even the anchor text of the backlinks matters. 

The information that you acquire during all of this process can help you understand what marketing strategy you should use and how you should tweak it. 

On top of that, you should know that some websites simply must use paid ads — otherwise they really stand no chance against competitors. 

A good example in this case would have to be eCommerce websites, which can make a lot of sales through Facebook ads, for instance, but they have to work with a pretty good social media manager to get the results they need. 

Conclusion

While your unique visitors are undoubtedly important, this is a metric that needs to be associated with others, such as the total page views, interactions, or bounce rate you have on your website.

Also, depending on the exact type of content you have on your website, you might acquire more users seasonally (on holidays or for specific discount periods such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday). 

School schedules, severe weather, promotions, as well as news and events can all influence your unique visitors, so the metric can vary a lot depending on your niche and what topics you tackle on your website. 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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