As I continue to explore blogistan, I stumbled across a good post from Matt Belkin of Omniture on the Omniture blog:
He talks about how Visits should be the key metric to use when talking conversions and accuracy of the traffic to your site. Couldn't agree more.
I've been ranting for a while about using visits as the key stat for other reasons as well. First, visits to me is comparable to things like # of phone calls and the # of people visiting your physical site. It is basically counting the number of customer interactions or experiences with your site. That to me is the true definition of traffic. The second reason, is folks used to brag about the number of page views they got as if it was some sort of pissing contest. High amount of page views though can be misconstrued as a good thing. In some cases they are not, as the more poorly designed your website is, the more page views you rack up as visitors try to navigate your terrible design. Therefore visits become a more accurate depiction of the health and opportunity of your site, as it takes out all the duplicate page views, and circular navigation that customers follow.
In addition, Belkin brings up some good points on why visits trump Unique visitors as they aren't as accurate based on folks deleting cookies, and the arbitrary definition of what is truly "unique".
So there you have it…Visits are where its at!