Page views mean so much

Technically, a page view means that an HTML page was rendered by a web browser. That’s a good thing, right? Well, not always. Here are a few other things that a page view could mean.

  • Confusing navigation: If your site is built in a way that makes it hard for visitors to find what they’re looking for, each page view could represent a level of user frustration.
  • Poor search: If your site’s search engine doesn’t work well, then some page views represent lists of unsuccessful search results.
  • Pagination: If your articles are split into multiple web pages, then each part of the article counts as a page view.
  • Media files: Is each picture or video on your site served on its own page? That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just keep that in mind when analyzing your traffic.
  • Hack: Two years ago, one of my blog posts received an undeserved spike of  12,000 page views when a URL-shortening service was hacked. Admittedly, you probably won’t run into this problem.

Please read Page views: bad metric #3 by Dana Chinn for a much more thorough explanation of the problems with the page view metric.

This is the last of a series of three posts about page views. The first installment was Page views mean so little. The second was Use page views wisely.

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