Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews: Which Is More Important?

Pageviews are an integral metric to track. Here we explain the difference between pageviews and unique pageviews and which is more important.

Brody Hall
By Brody Hall
Romi Hector
Reviewed by Romi Hector

Published May 25, 2022.

When it comes to understanding web traffic, pageviews and unique pageviews are two metrics that are often confused.

Here we put the confusion to rest.

What Is a Pageview?

A pageview is the total number of pages viewed by all visitors to a website over a specific period of time, usually a day, week, or month. It is one of the many ways webmasters can analyze customer behavior. Pageviews are important as they help measure the popularity of a website and its individual pages. Pageviews also contribute to other important metrics, such as average pageviews per visit and average visit duration.

What Is a Unique Pageview?

When you visit a website, the number of pageviews that are recorded is based on the number of times the page was loaded in your browser. However, if you reload a page multiple times, only the first load will be counted as a pageview.

The number of unique pageviews, on the other hand, is based on the number of different users who have loaded the page. This means that if you reload a page multiple times, it will be counted as a unique pageview.

Are Unique Pageviews More Important Than Pageviews?

There is no straightforward answer for deciding which method of segmenting your customers is more important. It depends on your website and your goals. Generally, though, unique pageviews are more important than pageviews.

Here’s why: If you have a high number of pageviews but only a small percentage of those returns as unique pageviews, this means you are attracting new visitors but aren’t incentivizing them to return. This can be a problem for e-commerce stores or online shops.

If you are an e-commerce merchant, return customers are amongst some of your most valuable. Research shows return customers spend more than new customers and, the best part is you won’t have to spend as much marketing to them as you would new customers.