Three metrics for measuring the quantity and efficiency of content on a site are:
- Total pages
- Total active or accessed pages
- Views per active page
Total pages is the amount of content that exists on the site. Even though the pages exist on a search, users and search engines can’t always get to them.
Active pages is how many pages were actually viewed during the month. A site with 1,000 pages of actual content may have only 100 pages that visitors viewed. It means 900 pages sat there dormant without producing income or engaging visitors.
“Inactive” pages equal lost opportunities and wasted efforts. So it benefits the site publisher to find out why the pages are dormant and do something about it.
Tracking Active Pages
Views per active page tracks the average activity level of each page that is viewed.
Google Analytics and other site reporting software track the number of active pages each month. In the case of GA, the line to look for is in the Top Content report where it says “2,400 pages were viewed a total of 17,100 times.”
In the example above, a content management system may show that a site has 3,000 pages of total content.
A report showing that 2,400 of them or 80 percent of the total were accessed during the month is cause to feel good. It indicates that site navigation, search engine marketing and search engine optimization, among other tactics, made those pages easily accessible.
But if the site has 10,000 pages of content, that same report is cause for feeling not so good because it means that only 24 percent were active during the month.
It should lead the site manager to review whether pages are:
- Archived in a way that makes them easy to find by reviewing the navigation structure.
- Distributed to search engines via RSS feeds and other methods.
- Available on social media accounts.
- Optimized for search engines with a good title, meta description and other characteristics of effective search engine optimization.
If a page follows the above guidelines and still doesn’t get activity, it means the page is not well optimized for search engines or simply not useful enough.
Value of Views Per Active Page
How many times site visitors view an active page is a useful metric.
In the first example of 2,400 pages viewed a total of 17,100 times, the average page has 7.1 page views during the month. But some sites generate more than 100 page views for each active page.
Some popular pages will skew the average higher while other pages will drag the average back down.
A site with 10,000 pages of content is too big for any one person to analyze each page. So it makes sense to concentrate on the pages in the middle of the spectrum that have the greatest opportunity for growth.
Good Web sites, like good newspapers and magazines, are driven by both the quantity and quality of their content. The more content they present, the higher the perceive value by the visitor or reader.
But it’s not just about the total quantity. Visitors have to find the content first.