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.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Vis. 1 N R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Vis. 2 N R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Vis. 3 N R R R R R R R R R

 

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.
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