Paul Wackell – Imagine Web Designs
Principal Website Designer – Marketing Consultant
I know all the talk of web statistics and analytics is about as riveting as watching Olympic Curling. Much like curling, the discussion goes on and on ad nauseam. So while we wait for another stone to slide down the ice chased by frenzied nuts with brooms, we’ll jump into another important web stat. I wonder if I could hire those guys to sweep my house once a week. They could do the whole thing in twenty seconds!
The stat of the day – pageviews! Yippee!!! Isn’t this exciting. Perhaps you detect a small note of sarcasm. But while web analytics may not be as much fun as a barrel of monkeys (with or without their own wrenches) they are as serious and as important as an IRS audit. Full knowledge and understanding or your web stats, matched to a plan of action can lead to great business success. But, again, I digress (what a surprise).
A pageview is simply an instance of a page being loaded into a browser. So when I go to a web page, that is a pageview, if I refresh the browser and reload the page it is another page view. Each time any page on your site is loaded into a browser it count’s as a pageview.
So what’s the big deal? As I may have mentioned before, and I believe I did, this stat is a high level one. What I mean by that is that it is a good measure of the overall traffic to the site, much like unique visitors. It is simply a benchmark. So as you follow your web traffic from month to month you would hope pageviews would trend upward. The pageview stat is also used with stats on visitors to calculate an average page per user stat. More on that another day.
While overall pageviews in and of itself is not a stat that would immediately explain what is going on within your site, it is a good starting point. If nothing else it would be good to see this stat rise each month. When the pageview stats becomes helpful is when looking at specific pages as opposed to the overall site. If you have certain pages that have high pageview stats these are great pages to direct traffic too. Conversely if your site has pages with very low pageview stats it might be time to ask why? Does the content need to be rewritten? Is it information that your customers are not interested in? Is the page perhaps buried too deeplly in the navigation scheme?
To sum up (oh boy i hope this isn’t a math quiz), the siteview stat when applied to the entire site is a good benchmark. It is more valuable when looked at in terms of specific pages. High pageview pages are great for directing traffic too, low pageview pages, analyze why and take action.
Whew, now that that’s done, and I don’t feel like watching the grass grow anymore I suppose I could watch some more Olympic Curling! I think I accidentally DVR’d about twenty hours of it. That might be just one match!