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The difference between Hits and Visitors

There's a lot of terminology that goes along with the SEO Profession, and someone who is not on the up-and-up (and goodness knows, there's plenty of those in the SEO profession!) will be quite happy to take advantage of your ignorance of the terms they're using.

Here are two terms you need to understand: HITS and VISITORS.

A "hit" occurs whenever a web browser requests a file on your website.

A "visitor" is exactly what it sounds like. It's a human who navigates to your website and browses one or more pages on your site.

A clever (and dishonest) SEO specialist will proudly proclaim, "We will get you a thousand hits per day," trusting that you are unaware of what that actually means. A non-savvy website owner will think to himself, "Wow! A thousand visitors per day! That's a lot!"

But here's the trick. Let's say your home page has a header image, 5 menu images, a couple other pictures somewhere on the page, plus a style sheet that gets called by the page. That works out to a total of 10 hits per page: the page itself, the style sheet, and eight images.

Now let's suppose that your site is interesting and well designed, so every visitor who comes to it sticks around long enough to read five pages. That's a total of 50 hits per visitor.

So when the SEO company brags that they're going to get your 1000 hits per day, they really mean that they're going to give you 20 visitors per day.

All of a sudden their promises don't seem so golden, do they?