Can someone give me an angle on this. I have been trying to appraise the value of our websites and over the years have used either Webtrends or Sawmill on the log files. I have consistently considered the 'user sessions' daily as a measure of the traffic. I am now approached by someone to take over the company and he is evaluating the worth of the company by viewing the 'unique sessions' as the measure of traffic.Can anyone suggest any negotiating stance to take on this? Are uniques the only 'real measure' of worthwhile traffic? Clearly, the user sessions are somewhat less than the unique visitors therefore, this is being used to drive down the value of my websites.
If he/she uses this metric on other sites too, then the comparison would be a valid one. But I think boiling it down to one metric isn't the right way to go. You want to know about the number of unique visitors (not visits) which is really the size of your audience. (True, you're not really getting "visitors," just "unique cookies" which can be inflated if people visit via more than one browser or computer, but it's the best you'll do unless your have authenticated login.) Then, knowing the number of visits can give you an idea of whether people come more than once, which is extremely important on some sites. There's # of page views per visit, time per page, # of key pages visited, and a zillion other things. Of the two visits metrics you talked about ... well as long as he/she is intelligent about what they really mean in terms of the purpose of the site, I don't see why one would be better than the other.