Below, I will provide some statistical data, which may be found in Google Analytics. It is important to remember that everything is relative. For example, if visitors spend too much time on one page, it could mean that they are very interested or they cannot resolve some major issue. It depends. Therefore, prior to analysis, think about the purpose of your interface.

1) Visits and unique visitors

Visits are a cumulative number of views of all site pages. Unique visitors are calculated a bit differently. If you visited a site 10 times, then you are still considered a 1 unique visitor. Technically, a number of new devices, not people, is calculated.

The traffic is defined by the ratio of this data:

  • High quality— there are significantly more visits than visitors.
  • High quantity — there is almost the same number of visits as unique visitors. However, there are more unique visitors than in a previous month.
  • Quality and quantity — currently there more unique visitors than in a previous month and significantly more visits than unique visitors.
  • Something middling — there are less unique visitors than in a previous month and almost the same number of visits as unique visitors.
In my opinion, it is more important to have regular visitations of 500 people per day than 50,000 of those, who visit the site only once.

2) Page views per visit and time of one visit

Page views per visit shows an average number of pages viewed by an average user per single site visit.What should we pay attention to? If the site is focused on resolving issues or social interaction, then the number of pages per visit is even more important than the number of unique visitors. Although, if you are designing a search engine, then you should strive to reduce this parameter to a minimum. This is because a good search engine will give you the wanted result on the very first page.

The time for a single visit shows how long (on average) a single site visit lasted. If visitors are spending too much time on the site, then they are involved in its study (in a perfect world).

It is quite interesting to compare these two parameters.

  • If you have many page views per one visit, but for a short duration of such visit, then it could mean that visitors are not finding what they are looking for (that's bad), or they quickly perform their tasks (that's good).
  • If you have a large value for visit duration, but a low value for pages per that visit, then perhaps you have a shitty navigation. Or your visitor got so deeply immersed in reading that he forgot about everything else in the world.
  • If both parameters are low, then that could be a bad sign. Excluding those cases, where the purpose of your site is to provide the needed information as fast and concise as possible. For example, just like on the search output page.

3) Page views

One view is counted every time a visitor loads any page. This is the main traffic parameter (with many disclaimers), since it indicates how many total pages were viewed, ignoring other factors.
This parameter is important for news portals and sites, which earn money per views (for example, ad views).

4) Rejections and returning visitors

A rejection index shows visitors, who, after seeing the first page, leave the site (and do not click on the page). Usually, that means that the site did not suit the visitor.

However, the site structure and traffic sources have an enormous effect on the rejection index.

For example, blogs usually have a high rejection index, since they are focused on the view of a single page/post. The main page, however, has snippets, which do not always work well (i.e. they may not show whatever is interesting to a visitor).

If a visitor (actually, a device) never visited your site, then it is considered "new". If it visited previously, then it is a "returning" visitor. The returning visitors usually know your site and their rejection index is less, since they view more content. Perhaps they like your site and they spend more time on it than "new" ones. "New" visitors are also good. Because they show that your site is spreading among a large number of people.

The most important thing for us is a ratio of returning vs. new visitors:

  • If your visitors do not return, then your site is most likely new (or repulsive).
  • If you only have "returning" visitors, then it means that visitors like you, but your site is gradually dying, since there is no influx of "fresh blood".
  • Mature sites always have a ratio of more returning visitors than new ones.