What does the term “unique visitor” mean in online marketing?
Today I’m explaining a term that you often come across when analysing website and blog statistics.

Unique visitor – who is it?

Unique visitor - who is itThe term “unique visitor” refers to a user identified by the cookie data stored in the browser or, less commonly, by the computer’s IP address.

Unique visitors are also often referred to as unique users (UU). So although the word “unique” in the name may suggest that a unique user is a single individual, this is in fact not the case. In fact, this indicator measures the number of computers (or, more accurately, browsers) from which a particular website was viewed.

It does not take into account the fact that one device may be used by more than one person, or that one person may use several computers (for example at home and work) and several browsers. In addition, the indicator is subject to another error. If a user clears the data including cookies after closing the browser, this will be considered as a visit by a new unique visitor when the page is reopened.

Data on unique visitors is certainly not representative.

In order to make the results collected from the cookie mechanism more statistically reliable, data on the average number of users using a single computer is taken into account.

However, what percentage of users clear cookies after closing the browser is not taken into account. This in turn may be even more significant in assessing the number of actual users than the average number of people per computer. Indeed, it is estimated that more than 50% of internet users delete cookies. The wide scale of this phenomenon is also indicated by the fact that there are several times more sets of cookies circulating on the Internet than there are Internet users.

Unique visitors in Google Analytics – where are they?

Unique visitors in Google AnalyticsGoogle is systematically improving and updating its user identification system. Hence, the “Unique Visitors” section has disappeared from Google Analytics and has been replaced by other indicators. We can now observe new, returning, and active users.

Google is vigorously developing the User-ID function. It assigns each user a unique, permanent identifier that is sent with each of his or her web activities. It contains data about his or her engagement, whether from one or many sessions or
from one or multiple devices.

New users in Google Analytics are, as the name suggests, users who have visited the site for the first time. Google’s advanced measurement methods are characterised by high accuracy and low error rates (less than 2%).


Hi, my name is Marta. I am a content marketing specialist and copywriter with over 10 years of experience. On my blog I cover topics related to marketing, copywriting and blogging.

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