I was on one of the affiliate marketing forums a few days ago and someone kept talking about how many hits he was getting on his site and why this was not converting to clicks....something along those lines
And reading through the thread and other similar forum threads, it occurred to me that a lot of the people responding could not distinguish between website hits and unique visitors.
You could get one unique visitor on your web page and record 15 or more hits for that visitor
A 'hit' refers to how many individual small packages of information on your website are loaded.
So if you have a web page with 8 different images, an RSS feed and a PDF, each of these are individual elements on your page and constitute individual 'hits'. One page load, 9 page elements, 9 hits, one visitor.
For the serious marketer, what you are looking for is the number of unique visitors you are getting on your website. Its the visitor that clicks the adsense ad or follows your affiliate link, or signs up to your email list. It's the visitor that you want to know how they found your site and which keywords appeal to them and where they go once they are on your site. It really is important to make the distinction between hits and unique visitors when doing your traffic analysis