A recent blogging advice site offered this piece of wisdom to
its readers: "If each visitor reads 1.5 pages or more, you're building a community of readers". That's not necessarily so..
A blog that gets most of its traffic from regular subscribers (high repeat visitors) is going to show a smaller number of average page views per visit - they've visited regularly, have already read the other pages, why would they read them again? A blog like mine, primarily driven by search engine results, should have a higher page view per visit count BUT (and it's a big but) that depends on the specific page, too. If a page reached by search is a complete answer to a specific problem, people may immediately leave because they are off to apply the fix!
For a sales website, trying to drive visitors to that final page
where they place their order, a high number of page views per visitor
might indicate confusion: they can't find what they need to know and
you may be losing sales because of it.
So how many Page Views per visitor should you have? I don't know -
because it depends on your web site. You need to compare your
site to other sites that are similar to yours. There are two places
I know of where you can do that: Alexa and
Compete. Both of these allow you to
plug in multiple websites and compare them head to head for popularity,
page views per visitor and other statistics.
For example, I often
measure this site against Linux.com - that's
a pretty popular place, but not so far above this site as to make
comparisons meaningless. They used to have a very high PV/V ratio, but it
seems to have dropped recently - I have no idea why, but as long as my
ratio is similar to theirs I feel I'm probably doing the right things. Like
me, they probably get a lot of their traffic from search, some from regulars, and have a few "oh that solves it" pages.
the other hand, it wouldn't make sense for a blog that gets 10% of its traffic
from search to compare itself to either of us - their PV/V ration probably
should be low, maybe hovering around that 1.5 number thrown out at the
beginning of this post. If a site like that has higher numbers, they must
have very forgetful readers! Of course it is also possible that the
small number of search visitors read dozens of pages and push the average
up.. so it wouldn't be a bad thing for them to have high PV/V stats.
High PV/V can be good, it can be bad, and it can be unexpected. You
need to know the traffic sources before you can judge.
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