Close
Close

Blog Stats – Page Views

Stuart left a comment on a previous post pointing to some traffic graphs of a few of Weblogs Incs that he was interested that none of the WIN blogs seem to have an average of more than 2 page views per visitor.

I replied to Stuart’s comment that I’d be interested to see how this compared to other blogs and that someone should research it.

As I hit publish on that comment I decided that perhaps I could do a quick survey of blogs and find out for myself what is ‘normal’ for the page views per visitor statistic.

So today I took a look at the top 50 blogs in Truth Laid Bear’s ranking by traffic page (note that this only measures blogs with sitemeter stats packages – and there are some real inaccuracies with it as at present it seems to be being gamed by the sports blog network).

Despite the inaccuracies of this list it’s a quick way to get a picture of how some of the webs most visited blogs are going in terms of their stats as all have the same public stats package available for comparison.

After surfing the top 50 blogs listed there (I couldn’t find stats on 6 of them) I found that on average they have 1.7272 page views per visitor. The highest any of them had was 3.3 page views per visitor and the lowest was 1.1.

I then decided to see if this figure was comparable to blogs with less traffic and then surveyed a random 50 blogs from other pages on the traffic rankings. These ranged in traffic from about 10,000 visitors per day down to just a few visitors per day.

The average of these 50 random blogs was 1.7083 page views per visitor – a remarkably similar figure to the higher trafficked blogs.

While my ‘research’ is far from scientific or accurate it’s an interesting figure. The average blog reader spends looks at less than two pages per visit.

I don’t have figures to compare this to other types of websites but this number seems depressingly low. As I wrote in my comment replying to Stuart – there could be many reasons for this. Perhaps it’s because blogs tend to have so many outbound links, perhaps its because the way they are designed doesn’t tend to push people deeper into the site, perhaps its because the most visited page on a blog is usually the front page which tends to have a number of posts on it (meaning a reader can read 10 or so pages worth of content without leaving the one page). I’m sure there are other reasons – but the question it might leave some asking is what strategies might one put in place to maximize page views on your blog?

I’ll unpack this question in the coming days.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. I try to always have a “read more” link on my home page, and only give the first paragraph on it. Mostly, I would rather people come straight into the page that they want rather than to a category page or the home page. My site is currently averaging a bit over 2 page views per visit.

  2. Croak says:

    Wow, I feel all warm and fuzzy now, according to OneStat I’m averaging 4.24 pageviews per visit. That’s one metric I can feel good about..now to get those daily numbers up. ;)

  3. ExtremeLee says:

    I think you can get too wrapped up in stats. Most of those sites are way overrated. If your content is interesting, then people read it and they’ll trawl as many categories and sub-categories as needed, so long as you make navigation simple and easy to follow.

  4. This is the type of information that eludes me at the time until someone points it out. I’ve been looking at my statistics for last 3 months. My Latest View… I tried to recap all the information, but I never thought to put [PageViews]/[UniqueVisits] .. D’oh! For Nov05 site-wide, my urchin stats shows avg 5.8 pages per and 8.0 clicks per .. It’s better than it was in Oct05. That’s good. I still want to try something new January 1 because I shouldn’t have to recap statistics. I don’t understand them. I actually like the graphs from the SiteMeter ..(I use statscounter) But .. what is it like when you have about 20 sites? Do you need 20 accounts? if you pay for the monthly fee, is it for all sites? or would I have to have 20 fees? I’ll probably figure this out after XMAS so, these questions are rhetorical for now.

  5. ExtremeLee says:

    HART – why are you paying or considering paying for stats? When your basic web stat package will do the same thing, or failing that try: http://digitalsurgery.net/archives/2005/11/15/google-analytics-enterprise-class-web-analytics-for-free/

  6. jim says:

    I think the reason why we’re seeing such low pageviews per visitor is because as your blog becomes more popular (as a measure of unique hits or perhaps RSS subscriptions) the greater the percentage of visitors are from search engines. As a search engine user, I know that they’ll typically pop in, try to find what they’re looking for, and if they don’t, hit back to look at other results. Most RSS subscribed readers will read that one post because they’ll probably be up to speed on what you’ve been writing thus far.

    That only leaves casual visitors who hit your front page and start reading multiple posts because they’ve just “discovered” your blog and that percentage is probably relatively low.

    That’s my theory anyway…

  7. izahan says:

    Mine are shopping blogs and average at about 1.8 page views per customer. This is within expectations as most customers arrive via search engine so they come straight to the product that they are looking for.

    The focus for me is to convert the traffic because I prefer one pageview that converts to 10 pageviews that leave unconverted. What I need to do is provide customer satisfaction so that they come back for more.

    It could be that a good blog with mind blowing articles would have lower pageviews per visit because a visitor is just mentally tired after reading and trying to comprehend. Then they leave to ‘freshen up’ and come back another day for another read.

    A good blog with good short articles would probably hover around 2-5 pageviews before people leave to ‘freshen up’.

    Maybe a ‘freshen up’ section is the key to more pageviews. People read your article(s), then you direct them to the ‘freshen up’ section that occupies the other side of their brains, then you direct them back to other mind blowing stuff all freshed up and ready to take in more.

    Does that make sense?

  8. ExtremeLee – I don’t want to pay! :-) .. I am currently tracking 19 sites.All of them are on two servers, as domain aliases so my own server urchin and google analytics (which I am collecting data and signed up already) it’s hard drilling down into the sites, other sites are part of the main sites. I just noticed that with SiteMeter they want you to pay over a certain unique visitor or page view level. I don’t meet that requirement individually, but collectively I might. You’re probably right. I should be looking more at Google stuff before I move. I just look at the front page graphs now.

  9. when i look closer at statscounter for nov05, my product/shopping blog is getting 1.43 page views (PV) per unique visitors (UV). This 1800hart seems to get 1.58 PV/UV and the blog with most traffic is only getting 2.94 PV/UV. My urchin host stats shows 5.8 PV/UV probably due to the non-blog shopping sites and crawling robots? 1.43 is far cry from 5.8. (this shouldn’t be so much work figuring this out with multi-sites)

  10. I currently run a rather small and not very popular blog. According to Google Analytics it averages 1.71 P/V.

  11. Mike says:

    2.75 pages per visitor for me.

    I use a lot of links to other posts to keep ‘em around.

  12. Rich Miller says:

    There’s a reason for this “low” number, and it’s not bad news at all. Blog readers scan a blog’s news through their RSS reader, rather than the web site home page. When they see a story they like, they visit it directly, rather than navigating around the site. There’s less wandering around looking for information, because folks are finding it without clicking around. This is exactly the value proposition of RSS and its use in blogs and the “Web 2.0″ economy – it makes it easier for readers to find specialized news, and monitor their favorite news sources.

    This poses a challenge with regards to advertising support. RSS advertising options are starting to improve, but have a long way to go before bloggers can fully realize the profit potential of these new web use patterns.

    While 1.7 page views per visit sounds low, I think it reflects changing traffic practices will soon spread beyond the blogosphere as RSS becomes more widely used.

    2.

  13. William Cox says:

    In response to Blaine Moore’s (first) post, I have to say that only posting a little bit to your front page is an extremely aggravating thing to me. It’s like you’re blatantly trying to double your pageviews. At least, that’s how I perceive it. What do other think?

    It seems to me that if folks want to read more, they will, without you having to force them to click more than they should.

  14. 3.1 pageviews per visit here.

    @William Cox: Another reason for only posting excerpts on the front page is to make it quicker for visitors to find out what the last few posts are about. I think that’s a usability enhancement compared to the endlessly scrolling front pages everybody had a couple of years ago.

  15. jim says:

    William,
    I do the same thing except I cut it off after the first paragraph and the reason I do this is to try to keep the front page as clutter-free as possible, showing a whole bunch of posts and allowing the reader to drill down if they really want to read more. It makes the front page much faster to load.

  16. jesse says:

    ~1.6 per visitor

  17. I’ve seen varying numbers from 1 to about 5. With nonblog sites I’ve seen almost exactly the same range. The note regarding search engines directing people to exactly the right page on your site, blog or nonblog, I think is key. On the other hand, the more targeted that traffic is the more they seem to be clicking off the site by clicking on ads. Would I rather have 1,000 visitors visit ten pages at my site or 1,000 visitors visit only one page because they leave via an ad? I’m honestly torn – after all I want the whole world to know and love my incredible writing.

  18. Dave says:

    Interesting post, I asked a friend of mine who runs an adult blog and his average is 7.4 pages, I think this shows its all about the content !. My own view is it depends a little on the style of the blog too, for example a celebrity gossip blog is not going to be read too deep. If i use my own experiance with progblogger, when i first found the site i read alot of the content here, but of course now i just check in to see what Darren has posted on becuase its interesting.This brings the average down unless you have lots of unique visitors. Perhaps the key for us all is to figure out how we can get our returning visitors to stick around, however from another point it could be argued that if they viewed 2 pages and then clicked an advertiser because of the article we should be happy ?

  19. FMF says:

    A strategy I use to increase page views is to do “series” posts such as these:

    http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/05/the_best_financ.html

    http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/10/save_big_on_a_t.html

    http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/11/ten_ways_to_pro.html

    Then to make the most of them, I enter them in blog carnivals with the outcome being new people come to the site and review more than just one page. This gives them a better taste of the blog and (hopefully) helps them decide they like Free Money Finance while also increasing page views (I’m currently at 2.3 per visitor).

  20. Hmm is it actually bad to have a low figure on pages per visit? Think about it, don’t you want your visitors click on your adverts? If they stay and read your entire site, you’re not making any money.

    While I don’t advocate designing sites so unappealing that everyone leaves, I also think it’s not such a great idea to make people want to stay and read forever.

    Also there’s a difference between returning visitors and people who read lots of pages on a single visit. I’d rather have returning visitors.

  21. Jason says:

    The reason we have a low pages per visit is because there are 20 stories that all have at least one link out. So, our goal is to send people to other good stuff.

    If you go to Yahoo or NYTimes you’ll find that there are not links outside of their network for a couple of pages.

    Also, we don’t do a lot of “continued…” or multipage stories like some blogs and CNET does. To read a story at CNET you have to hit next page five times. To read one on engadget you have to do one click.

    So, some folks goose their page views and make their users suffer…. we take the approach of if you treat the users well and send them to amazing stuff they will come back.

    We don’t want to be some roach motel…. :-)

    now, one stat you should consider is visits per month and per day. We have *many* folks who come back to our 2-5 x a day!

    So, the pattern is I check in on Autoblog, TVSquad or Engadget when I get to work, at lunch, at the end of the day, and when I get home… that is seriously how some folks do it.

  22. stuart says:

    After I made the comment yesterday I spent sme more time thinking about it and as per Jason’s comment above it comes down to how often you return to read that one page. I don’t read many blogs — in fact problogger is just about the only one I read… but as I don’t use RSS, I tend to check back through the day to see if anything interesting had popped up — if interesting I’ll read it (so that’s two views) if not I close the window (1 view). Now depending on my procrastination level on any given day, I may check back a dozen times (or more) through the day… so while it’s one pageview per visit, when it’s twelve visits it ain’t so bad… There you go Darren, now you know why you’re getting those hits from Cambodia in your logs ;-)

  23. paul says:

    Most of my readers subscribe via RSS Readers and I offer them my full feed.

    If I ever want to leave a comment on Jason’s inc blog it will require 5 page views, but I only saw one post!

  24. Andy Merrett says:

    I’m not sure of the exact average, but I see a number of visitors to one of my blogs visiting between 4-6 pages of content – which of course I’m very happy about. Others are more modest, 1-3 views per visitor.

  25. Matt says:

    I missed this post earlier when it was “fresh”.. but this is one of the stats that we’re going to be tracking (via alexa) on blognetworklist – hopefully by the time that the weekend is out we’ll have this up as a measurement.

    Matt

  26. Brandon says:

    Darren,

    Is ProBlogger the same as the others? About 1.7 page views per user?

    Brandon

  27. Jason says:

    I tend to blog concisely making my point with beautiful pictures and very few words. This allows readers to read multiple articles quickly. They can then jump to the links or thumbnail the pci if they want to learn more. To me this style makes the most sense and is really one of the main advantages of a blog versus a traditional website. This I think is why blogs are so popular. I started ProfessionalWatches.com in 2003 as a static website and my traffic grew slowly. Since I converted my site to a Movable Type website in March of 2006 my traffic has more than tripled and continues to grow significantly every month. I am now on pace to hit 75,000 page views a month by the end of October. I expect to see 150,000 page views per month in the next 6 months. This would put my traffic above almost all wristwatch websites on the web. My Adsense profits continue to grow along with the site traffic.

  28. fornls says:

    After reading this post and many comments, I had learned a lot of useful things today. So there are types of visitors that come to your blog depending on whether they come from search engines, other sites, etc. Also depending on whether they are interested in reading lot of material, or reading only precisely what they are looking for.

    This results in different statistics. I am in a little confusion with lot of useful information learnt quickly. But I will think through this and make good strategy.

    One conclusion that I could make and others did not is that the stat of 1.7 page read per visitor implies that no matter how many pages you have on your blog, per visitor you will get only this much of traffic. Where as when you have a lot of pages, it does seem to tell that the visitor count may increase. This will also increase if the per visitor count is also high. This is not a completely accurate conclusion. But I am wondering more blog posts can mean more page views on the overall blog.

    Moreover the ideas on comments, like self-linking through related articles, writing series’ of posts on particular topics are really encouraging in that it keeps our focus on long term posting and also long term results.

    Thanks,
    -fornls
    India.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] What does this have to do with blogging, you might ask? It has everything to do with the ongoing self-congratulatory, self-propping egotistical maneuvering that is going on in the blogosphere. First it was the pajama orgy, then it was the crazy ongoing debate about “the ecosystem” which ranks blogs based on the number of folks who have linked to them and seemingly continues to be exploited for the benefit of the egos.  Darren points out evidence that links don’t mean a thing if no one is reading (if I can make that logical conclusion).  Now it’s the “Weblog Awards”, which seems to be another opportunity to pat the same old people on the back – the old boys club.  Example, Rob (who is a self-proclaimed NON-A-lister) posts about the Weblog awards and how  “it’s a new day…and you can vote again”.  Granted, I believe Rob when he says it’s all for fun.  But if you go to each of the blogs nominated for an award, they are all pushing and promoting themselves like they are running for a political office. [...]

  2. [...] Yesterday my brief study into page view statisticsrevealed that the average blog reader views around 1.7 pages every time they visit a blog. [...]