A page view, otherwise known as a page impression, is counted every time someone clicks on a link or makes a request to load a webpage. This can be differentiated from a page hit, because a hit is counted every time a request is made to load a file from a particular page.
Since there can be many files within one website, a page view may be comprised of several hits. For instance, a page may contain twenty photos or files. A person who goes on this page will register twenty hits and only one page view. For this reason, it makes more sense to count page views rather than page hits when determining website traffic.
The number of page views is something to be considered under web analytics. Web analytics involves the measurement of website traffic, collection of data, and analysis in the interest of web site optimization. In internet marketing, this is an important tool for market research.
The site owner can make use of page view information to determine if any changes should be made to a particular page. It can also be used to find out, based on visitor response, if recent changes made were effective. If the main objective of the site is to generate income from advertisements, this information is an essential part of the inventory.
Page view data is also important to advertisers. They can make decisions based on the number of page views, because they can gauge the expected revenue from ads that they place.