My understanding is:
New visits - A visit is tracked as a “new visit” if the visitor making the visit has never visited the site before. (Regardless of the timeframe/period being reported on.) Every visitor will make 1 “new visit,” and each visit after that will be a “returning visit.”
Unique visitors - a sum of the unique visitors to a site within the period/timeframe being reported on.
My theory was that, if the timeframe/period requested is “the entire time we have tracking data for,” then every unique visitor to the site would have had to make 1 new visit at some point. So is this is true, then during this timeframe, “Unique visitors” should be equal to “new visits.”
However, for all of our sites, it seems like there are more “unique visitors” than there are “new visits.” For example:
Site A - Unique Visitors: 16,549 New Visits: 14,905
Site B - Unique Visitors: 22,031 New Visits: 18,656
Site C - Unique Visitors: 12,326 New Visits: 11,005
We are not sure if this difference means that:
- We aren’t understanding these definitions correctly (especially when it comes to timeframes/periods),
- We do understand correctly, but there is something wrong with our “unique visitors == new visits” logic, OR
- We do understand correctly & the logic stands, but the numbers may not be entirely accurate for whatever reason.
If it’s 1 or 2, we would like to correct our understanding. If it’s 3, we’d like to know the reason so we can explain the numbers. We’ve been trying to understand how these metrics are calculated (especially with regards to timeframe/period) so that we can accurately inform our clients, but our numbers aren’t adding up. I’m hoping someone here may have some insight!