Chapter 07

View Visitor Reports

By Anna Tomalik

At this point, you probably have everything set up. Your website is added to Piwik PRO. The tracking code has already started collecting data. With the tracking plan at hand, you know what you want to measure. And you’ve got your segments ready. Finally, you can dive into the ocean of data. Yeah!

We’ll start with visitor reports. These reports group data about people who visit your website and present it in several reports like overview, engagement, times, locations, devices, and more. By looking at visitor reports you’ll learn lots about people coming to your site, from the web browser they use to when they visit your website most often. It’s all there.

To access the visitor reports, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click Visitors and pick the report you’d like to see.

First, we will look at the basic report, called overview.

Overview report

The overview report presents general, yet important information about visitors. It’ll show you data on a line chart and in table form. In this report you’ll see:

  • The number of visits
  • The number of unique visitors
  • The average visit duration
  • The bounce rate
  • The number of actions per visit
  • The number of page views
  • And a few more metrics

By looking at these metrics, you will know how many people are interested in your website, how long they stay, how engaged they are, and how many of them leave after viewing only one page (the bounce rate). In other words, you will quickly see if your website is doing all right, or not.


Metrics in the overview report  
Visit A single session of a visitor browsing the website. The visit ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Unique Visitor A person who visits the website and is uniquely identified by a first-party cookie.
Average Visit Duration The average time visitors have spent on the website, measured between their first and last action during a visit.
Bounce Rate The percentage of visits with a single-page view. The visitor came to the website and left after seeing one page.
Pageviews The total number of times when a page was loaded.
Unique Pageviews Pageviews counted without multiple views of the same page during one visit.
Downloads The number of downloaded files from the website.
Unique download Downloads counted without multiple downloads of the same file during one visit.
Outlinks The number of clicks to any link to the external website.
Unique Outlink Outlinks counted without multiple clicks on the same link during one visit.
Max. Actions in One Visit The maximum number of actions done during a single visit

Report setup

Whenever you analyze any report, including the overview report, you can set up a few things: choose a website, select a date range, pick a segment, and plot several metrics on the line chart.

To change the website presented in the report, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the drop-down tab with the name of the website.
  2. Select the website you want to analyze.

To select a date range for the report, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the date picker.
  2. Choose a period by clicking the radio button.
  3. Select a date or date range from the calendar and click the Apply button.

To pick a segment for the report, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the drop-down tab with the name of the segment.
  2. Select the segment you want to analyze.

To plot several metrics on the line chart in the report, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the line chart icon.
  2. Pick metrics to a plot.

Now that you know how to set up your reports, we can move on to other reports in the visitors section.

Engagement report

The engagement report is a blend of metrics showing you how much are your visitors attracted to your website. Do they just walk in and out, or are they hooked on to your site? The engagement report will answer these questions.

The basic metric to measure engagement is the number of returning visits. If you have lots of people coming back to your site, it means they like it and find it helpful. However, if you have a website that serves its purpose in just in one session, this metrics won’t be useful for you.

In the engagement report, you’ll see several metrics:

  • The number of returning visits.
  • The number of actions per returning visit.
  • The number of all actions by returning visits.
  • The average visit duration for returning visitors.
  • The bounce rate for returning visitors.

This report will not show you the number of new visits. So if you’d like to compare returning visits to the new visits you will need to grab the number of visits from the overview report, take the number of returning visits from the engagement report, and do the math in a spreadsheet. However, if you want to quickly access this information, you can take a peek at the line chart in the engagement report. On the line chart plot returning visits and all visits. Then hover over the date on the graph and it’ll show you those metrics.

The engagement report will also show you a tag cloud for visits per visit duration, and visits per number of pages. Using tag clouds you will quickly see how long most of the people stay on your website, and how many pages most of the people go through in one visit.

In the engagement report, there are two more useful tables — visits by visit number and visits by days since the last visit. These will show you how many visits most of the people have on your website, and how quickly do people come back to your site.

Time report

The time report is a simple bar graph that tells you when people visit your website. By looking at the graph you can quickly discover at what time during the day, or on what day of the week, your site is the most crowded.

Because it’s not easy to define the time when your website is running in various time zones, the report presents two graphs:

  • Visits per local time, with the local time in the visitors’ time zones.
  • Visits per server time, with the time in the server’s time zone.

By default, the visits per local time graph will show you times of day and the number of unique visitors. However, you can always plot other metrics on the graph or change the view to the visits by day of week.

To switch the graph to visits by day of week, follow these steps:

  1. From the date picker, choose a week, month, year, or a date range. The graph won’t work, if you select a single day.
  2. Click on the Related Report on the bottom of the bar graph.
  3. View the report.

The time report will be useful for planning a pop-up campaign or for picking the best time for an email campaign. If your users are interacting with your website in the morning, it could be a perfect time to show up in their mailbox. On the other hand, if your users are not thinking about your website during weekends, it’s pointless to bother them with messages.

Tip: In addition to the time report, you can use the concurrent visits report. It will show you visits happening at the same time distributed over a time period. The concurrent visits report will help you schedule a blog post publication, or will show your developers when to do the load testings.

Other reports

There’s a dozen of other reports in the visitors section. Yet, we’ve described the ones that will inform you best about the general performance of your website.

If you’d like to learn more about your visitors, feel free to use the locations report. This report will tell you where your users are and what language they speak. If the region of your visitors is important for your business, this report can be a mine of knowledge. It can help you uncover new markets, target ad campaigns, or focus on the top regions.

If you want to know what are the most commonly occuring devices and operating systems, explore the device and software report. The device report will give you information about the device type, model, brand, and screen resolution that your visitors use. The software report will tell you what operating system and browser are in use on visitors’ devices.

These reports will help you fine-tune your site for different devices and browsers. And they will be the most important reports to share with your web developers and designers.