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More of Page Views

Chris over at Performancing has a good post on the topic of Do You Have a Post View Problem? where he comments on the fact that many blogs have a fairly low page view count per visitor.

He gives some reasons why this might be the case:

  • “Homepage-centric navigation where all the action is on the first page you visit. Browsing the homepage lets you see all the new stuff. If you return every day then there is no need to click any deeper.
  • Defaulting to full post rather than snippets. If you switch to partial content as teasers you force the reader to click through to see the rest of the post, only you can decide if it is worth it as some visitors might not like the change.
  • Success of RSS. If your readers tend to read the RSS rather than visit the blog you will only get post views on those posts where the RSS user has to click through.”

He then gives a few ideas on how to keep page views higher. If you’re looking for more similar tops you might find my post on how to increase page views on your blog also.

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.

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Comments

  1. Hey Darren,

    At randon, any website owner can put an “onload” function call in their body tag and place some javascript in the head with coding that automatically loads another page. It takes a split second, but you can force another page, then they simply click on the home link if they find the content irrelevant to them. If you get 1000 page views on a day, you’ll get 2000 with this technique.(I can show you how if you need to.)

    ALSO, VERY BENEFICIAL: I told Chris Pearson this already. Varying color schemes periodically keeps people coming back just to see the aesthetic changes. Visit http://www.colorblender.com and tell me IF IT DOESN’T BLOW YOUR MIND!

    Hope this is helpful to someone out there.
    Regards
    Buck

  2. Bob says:

    Hi Darren,

    Can you comment on how many page views per visitor you consider to be good? What is you current number of pageviews per visitor, and what is your goal?

  3. Clark says:

    I don’t entirely agree. I think the problem with many weblogs is their strict adherence to a time based structure for their content. Categorizing or tagging content means little to a site visitor if it is only presented below your entry or in a sidebar. If you did click on a category link under an entry you would be then faced with possibly 100′s of posts in that category with nothing to guide you.

    Problogger is one the very few weblogs that answers questions I might have on the homepage thereby leading me deeper into your site. Look at Lifehacker, an extremely valuable well written resource. Go to the site with a question in mind (on topic) and note how difficult it is to find an answer. They have wonderful collections of information hidden from the site visitors.

    People creating weblogs have forgot all the old school stuff. You need to find ways for people to browse your content in a way that works for your readers. Highlight collections of entries, create a real navigation system, create good archive pages (where is the link to the Problogger archive page – I can’t see it here), prominent search boxes, and etc.

    If you allow people to browse for the content they are looking for – you will get more page views.

  4. Ryan says:

    I’m always back and forth on forcing people to click more and more to get to where they’re going. I’ve got my RSS set up as a snippet right now, and I also cut long posts on the main index page… but I always wonder if viewers are bothered by these things.

    What do people thing? Personally, if I want to read something, a click just doesn’t matter to me… I’ll click it (did so with this from Bloglines). Are people so finicky and (alright, I’ll say it) lazy that they’d actually just dump reading something they liked because they’d have to click one more link?

    Anyone have deeper opinions about this? I’m too niubi to give much input.

  5. Tinus says:

    Want more pageviews? Use hemmingway as a template. For wordpress that is..

  6. leo says:

    Hi Darren,

    What is the suggested ratio of unique hits vs pageviews that you can consider the site is doing good? I’m a new blogger and my blog is only 3 months old. My site’s unique hits(20k) vs pageviews(84k) ratio is 1:4 (sitemeter.com). Is this good or bad? Btw, I’m from Philippines.

    - Leo

  7. I think it all depends on your ultimate purpose for your blog. If you are blogging to get money from adsense, then I don’t think it matters if your pageviews are low, as long as your ads are being clicked.

    If you are most concerned with your visitors’ experience, then again, I don’t think pageviews are that important, as long as your visitors are getting what they want.

  8. Leo –

    Great question. I’ve been tracking page views for the last 6 months on my blog, and the number fluctuates. Usually between 2 and 3. I think 4 is a relatively high number from what I’ve read over the last year. Part of it depends on your goals for the blog – are you trying to build a community? Do you regularly write posts that are related (and interlinked?)

    I’d also like to hear Darren’s and others’ thoughts on this.

    For our blog, we have full posts in RSS and email – because we want long term subscribers to be able to read as conveniently as possible, and also to forward content around and grow virally. We have excerpts on our archive and index pages, partly because our posts are very long (page load times and continuity of thought), and partly to increase page views.

  9. Brian says:

    I think that the ratio between unique visitors and returning visitors would be important if you want to assess the readership of your site.

  10. eSearing says:

    We added a “random Posts” section to the top of our blog so readers might be enticed to read other articles. It seems to get us a couple more clicks for those that visit more than 1-2 pages. Below the random posts are links to pages we want them to visit blended in.

  11. Jee says:

    I guess the page/visitor standard highly depends on the topic of content with the blog. My personal blog is consistent for 3-4 pageview per visitor while another pro-blog is getting around 7 pageview per visitor.

    I guess my pageview ratio is not bad at all huh? I’ve done nothing much special to increase the ratio, the only thing I did is perhaps the installation of ‘related post’ plugin for WP some mths ago, which did provide a significant increase in pageviews.

  12. A.B. Dada says:

    I’ve gotten a pretty good page view ratio to uniques (up to 8 to 1 on some days) by combining a few different aspects into my blogs.

    1. I united all my blogs into a blog network.
    2. I create 3 1-2 word phrases for each blog entry and I list those word phrases in a spreadsheet with a link to the blog.
    3. When I write other blogs, if I see a place for any of the 1-2 word phrases, I’ll hotlink those phrases to my other blogs (increasing readership).
    4. I nuked comments and instead combined all my blogs into a single forum with multiple forum categories. This gives readers the chance to jump around (and they do jump around) between my various other blogs and posts.

  13. Jon says:

    I’m sitting at 2.11 page views per visitor according to AWstats. Honestly, I’m happy with anything over 1:1, but perhaps that’s just me.

  14. Brad says:

    I get a lot more page views since I implemented a “Related Posts:” menu at the bottom of each post. I do it manually, so I look back at past posts and find ones that are similar in topic to what I’m writing about.

    Then, using Google Analytics, I can see which posts are getting clicked on the most. This will come in handy when I eventually create a “Best Of” list, because I’ll already have the numbers for each post.

    Also, since starting my “Related Posts:” menu, I noticed the average time readers spend on my blog is going up as well. So it’s been good all around!

  15. No updates for a day? Darren, did you have a baby or something?!

  16. Brad says:

    I’m getting “shaky” without my Darren-fix! :-) I just hope all is well with him and his family.

  17. Terry says:

    Looking at my tracking, I’m noticing visitors are reading an article that interests them and then they flee. Some move on to other posts, but by and large they move on. Might have to give the “related posts” plugin a try.

    Any suggestions on the best WordPress plugin to use?

    One thing I’m glad to see is that visitors are staying on my blog for quite awhile. Some must be falling alseep or leaving their computers on because my stats show visitors staying on for over 20 hours!

    Very strange indeed.

    -Terry

  18. 95% of all my articles have a small teaser, and a link to read the rest. My blog is 2 months old and my pageviews vs unique visitors is about 13:1 (pw:uv).

    I’ve always have questioned the effectiveness of the RSS feeds, can anyone tell me if they’ve apreciated an increase in readership because of their RSS subscriptions.

    Alexander Wunderlich
    .

  19. Clair says:

    Some of the comments have mentioned different considerations and factors. Hmmm. Maybe it really all depends on those different goals. In any case, I do see the need to give out information as people need it and I realize that I ought to be more helpful my readers/visitors too by going beyond giving them the links to categories. This might mean a major overhaul in the layout though.

  20. Brad: Thanks for the “Related Posts” idea. I love it! I’m going to implement it immediately (or as soon as Typepad comes back up….)

  21. I realize that I ought to be more helpful my readers/visitors too by going beyond giving them the links to categories.

  22. ajblade says:

    Looking at my tracking, I’m noticing visitors are reading an article that interests them and then they flee. Some move on to other posts, but by and large they move on. Might have to give the “related posts” plugin a try.

    Any suggestions on the best WordPress plugin to use?

    One thing I’m glad to see is that visitors are staying on my blog for quite awhile. Some must be falling alseep or leaving their computers on because my stats show visitors staying on for over 20 hours!

    Very strange indeed.

    ajblade

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