One of the terms frequently thrown around regarding website traffic is "hits." What most people mean by "hits" is the number of visits the site gets. But technically, the word "hits" actually refers to the total number of files that are requested from the server. Therefore the number of hits to a site is always going to be significantly higher than the actual number of visits to the site. This is because a typical visit to a website will include "hits" on a number of pages. Not only is each page counted as a hit, but all the graphics on every page requested also register as uniquely requested files, a.k.a. "hits." Given the number of graphics on a typical webpage (including the navigation bar, highlight states of graphic menus and so forth), the difference between hits and visits is substantial. It would not be uncommon for a traffic report to show ten or even twenty times as many hits as actual visits.
When analyzing your traffic report you can, for the most part, ignore hits and bytes (bytes being the total amount of data sent out from your site). Instead, it's much more helpful to review the trends in sessions, pageviews, and length of stay. Urchin provides both totals and averages for these traffic stats.
Tracking your overall website sessions is the best and most accurate way to determine your site's performance. A session is a unique visit by a singe individual. One session is recorded for each unique site visit whether the visitor looks at one page or every page on the site.
Because every site is different, comparing your site's performance to another's is not very useful. Some sites are designed to attract daily readers. Some are simply used to support other marketing materials. Therefore, comparing overall traffic volume is not a useful effort. Rather than worrying about how many sessions your site receives compared to other sites, it's better to understand how your site adjustments and marketing efforts impact your site's overall traffic patterns. Therefore, tracking session data from month to month is the most fundamental aspect of analyzing your website traffic reports. Hopefully, you will see growth in your overall session traffic over time.