Metrics: Understanding new and returning visitors
In Parse.ly, visitors who came to your site fall into one of two categories:
- New visitor: A visitor that came to your site once within a 30-day window on the same device and didn’t return.
- Returning visitor: A visitor that came to your site and then returned within a 30-day window on the same device.
When you select a time period to see historical data, you’re slicing across this 30-day window. The chart below shows behavior for three visitors over the course of 30 days.
For Days 1-10, Visitor 1 appears to be both “new and returning.” However, to count this user as both a new and a returning visitor would result in situations where new visitors + returning visitors are greater than the total visitors. If you selected Days 1-10 as a time period, Parse.ly would mark this visitor as a returning visitor because they have returned to your site multiple times.
Following this logic:
- If you selected Days 1-10 as a time period:
- Visitor 1 is a returning visitor.
- Visitor 2 is a new visitor.
- If you selected Days 11-20 as a time period:
- Visitors 1 and 2 are returning visitors.
- If you selected Days 21-30 as a time period:
- Visitors 1, 2, and 3 are returning visitors.
Last updated: February 16, 2023