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Your Google Analytics panel holds a lot of information, but one of the most popular and basic metrics is pageviews. There’s a bit more to a pageview than you’d think, so we’re breaking down how to understand pageviews versus unique pageviews on Google Analytics.

What is a Pageview?

Google defines a single pageview as “a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code.” However, most of the time we visit multiple pages when we go to websites. Multiple pageviews are defined as “the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.”

So what is a pageview in plain English? Essentially, it’s the number of times someone visits any page on your site. Your total pageview count goes up when a user:

  • Lands on a page on your website
  • Clicks “reload” after reaching the page
  • Returns to a page on your website they’ve already viewed

How is a Unique Pageview Different?

Unique pageviews are a little different than pageviews. Here’s what Google Analytics says: “A unique pageview aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session.”

Simply put, unique pageviews combine the pageviews that are from the same person (a user in Google Analytics), on the same page, in the same session, and just count them as one. Unique pageviews are tracked for each page URL and page title combination. A user could view the same page 15 times, and refresh it multiple times as well—but if all of the views come in one session, it only counts as one unique pageview.

Pageviews Versus Unique Pageviews in Google Analytics

Let’s look at some scenarios to see how Google counts all these things.

  • Your visit to this page right now counts as one pageview.
  • If you reload this specific page, we will go up to two pageviews, but it’ll still be one unique pageview.
  • If you send the link to a friend and they visit (thanks), that’s three pageviews and two unique pageviews.
  • If you come back to this page tomorrow in a separate session, we will have four pageviews and three unique pageviews.

The Bottom Line

Pageviews allow you to track how web traffic interacts with your site. Since unique pageviews filter out page refreshes and multiple pageviews in a single session, you are provided with a more accurate look at the amount of traffic coming in. This makes it easier for you to see what pages drive the most traffic, and what content people are actually interested in. All that should inform what content you put on your website and help you figure out how to get more unique pageviews.

Do you want help getting your unique pageview count up? Call in the pros at Quietly

Image Credit: Rawpixel / Shutterstock, Inc.

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