I’m not 100% sure I agree that pageviews are dead, but folks sure are talking about it a lot.
Pageviews have long been seen as the best measure of audience attention and loyalty. But the advent of AJAX and other technologies let visitors browse content without loading a new page. That, in turn, means that most web analytics software can’t accurately track pageviews on sites that use these newer technologies.
Don’t cancel your WebTrends or Google Anlaytics subscription just yet, though. You can still track loyalty and attention, here are four other ways to do it:
- Time On Site: Most analytics packages will show you the amount of time someone’s been on your site.
- Time On Page: You can also figure out the time spent, on average, on a particular page. In many ways that’s a more accurate measure of attention than the number of times a page is viewed: If 100 people view a page for 2 seconds, that’s probably not as valuable as 10 people viewing that page for 5 minutes.
- Goals: What do you want people to do? Are they doing it? How often? Tracking how well your site actually converts visitors to customers, or voters, or leads, is really the ultimate metric, anyway.
- Return Visits: How many times do folks come back to your site in a given time period? For many businesses this is the key to success. The lifetime value of a customer is determined by how long that lifetime is. Measuring that is critical.
As a metric, I think pageviews are wounded, but not dead. They’ve always been a decent but imperfect measure of attention. But, as you can see, there are lots of other ways to track visitor loyalty and your campaign’s effectiveness. And they’ve always existed. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to measure attention in the age of AJAX.