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What is a Page View and Why Does It Matter?

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What is a page view? A page view is a metric in website analytics. It measures a website visitor who views one page on that site.

The term is clear, but why it matters is much more complex. Understanding all of the factors that impact a page view can lead to more audience, more revenue and higher rankings in search engines.

Among all possible metrics in website analytics, page views is one of the most important in addition to:

  • Unique visitors (users in Google Analytics)
  • Visits (sessions in GA)
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per visit

In some ways, “pages per visit” is more important than the total number of page views. Pages per visit reflects how many pages a site visitor views in a single visit. A high pages per visit number is a sign of compelling content, strong engagement and effective navigation. It increases time on site, which is known as a positive signal to search engines.

Page Views Versus Visits

How is a page view different from a visit? A person, tracked in analytics as a unique visitor, “visits” a site with a web browser and looks at one or more pages before leaving again.

If that unique visitor comes back in the same month, analytics will note that he or she is still one unique visitor. But he or she has now made two visits. If that person viewed only one page each time, the metrics for the month will report:

  • One unique visitor
  • Two visits
  • Two total page views
  • One page per visit

Ideally, a website manager wants more than one page per visit. More page views and pages per visit mean more ad revenue, ecommerce transactions and other valuable activities.

In the above example, let’s say the website manager has made the site more attractive and improved the navigation. She increases the average pages per visit from one to two. The metrics for that one unique visitor will now show:

  • One unique visit
  • Two visits
  • Four total page views
  • Two pages per visit

The page views have increased by 100 percent. For sites that rely on advertising, the number of available ad impressions also increases by 100 percent, which boosts total revenue. Sites that rely on ecommerce have a 100 percent increase in the number of potential transactions.

How to Increase Page Views

Speed is the single biggest factor that impacts page views. That’s not an opinion. It’s a simple fact supported by search engines, especially Google.

Google research found that even as little as 300 milliseconds can start to influence how long a visitor stays on a site and clicks into more pages.

Page content and attractiveness impact the visitor’s perception of the page, but they don’t necessarily lead to a second page. At that point, navigation counts quite a bit.

Tactics that support more clicks from a page include:

  • A prominent navigation bar
  • Prominent links within the article on the page
  • Links in other elements on the page such as the sidebar or bottom

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