Recently, a colleague mentioned that he thinks increasing page views is different from growing an audience. He’s right. Here are a few definitions of the phrase “page view” and the word audience.
Audience: One Merriam-Webster definition of audience is “a reading, viewing, or listening public.” Dictionary.com defines audience as “the persons reached by a book, radio or television broadcast, etc.”
So page views measure how many times a page has been requested or loaded, regardless of how many many people (an audience) made those requests.
Imagine each reader as a diner in a restaurant, and each page as a menu item. One person could visit three times a day and consume three hearty investigative reports. She is still one diner. Maybe another patron really likes tasty pictures, and orders 20 of them in one sitting. He is still one person.
But that restaurant analogy only represents one part of a reading audience. What if one person reads three of your articles on his tablet, skims two of your blog posts on his mobile phone, glances over one of your tweets on his work computer and enjoys three of your pictures on his personal laptop. Although he has looked at nine pieces of content – three of which aren’t traditional “pages” – he is still one person.
So if not page views, what do you use to measure your audience? Leave your comments below.
Oh, and make sure to read these important posts about page views as a metric.
- News Media that use Galleries to increase Page-views don’t increase Time-spent (Attention)
- Gawker Gives Up Pageview Addiction, Quickly Picks Up a Monthly Uniques Habit
- Page views: bad metric #3
- Page view metrics? Bah, humbug!
- Measuring Visitor Engagement Take Two: Unique Visitors and Page Views
- The Death of the Pageview