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A Look At Page Views

Posted by on May 1, 2009

Last time we talked about traffic and visits, and this time we’re going to take a look at page view statistics.

I tend to think of page view statistics as more important to how people feel about my content than the traffic, which is really more to help impress those who might want to advertise on my site. Page views show just what people are looking at, and how long they’re looking at it.

Doing it like last time, we’ll start with my web host statistics on page views. My hosting company, 1and1.com, only gives me two statistics on page views. One is the total number of page views I receive per day, which is a statistic that does nothing for me, and the other is the total number of visits each of my articles has received for the month. Since that’s one I can compare with Google Analytics, we’re going to start there.

One odd thing about web host statistics is that they seem to track plugin activity as a page on your site, which Analytics wouldn’t do. It’s important that I mention this up front because, per my host, my most visited page each month is my Broken Link Checker plugin, which of course no one else would see. Also in the top five are the admin panel, threaded comments, and robots.txt. So, I’m ignoring those and only going for actual articles.

A quick reminder; the words in this color, except for these two, are links to articles within my site. I remind folks of that from time to time. The navy is just for highlights.

In looking at what 1&1 believes are my most popular articles, this is what we have:

January

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 386
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 251
About page – 249
My Favorite Eighteen Blog Posts Of 2008 – 233

February

Why Don’t More People Comment On Blogs – 251
Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 219
My Favorite Eighteen Blog Posts Of 2008 – 203
The Ads On This Blog – 195

March

The Keys – 353
Visa Black Card – 302
About page – 294
Blogging Tips – 271

According to Google Analytics, these are my top articles for the same time periods:

January

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 116
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 70
How Do You Twitter – 45
December Statistics Report – Everything – 41

February

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 85
Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1; How – 81
Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 – My List – 54
At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 54

March

The Keys – 140
Visa Black Card – 137
Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 110
Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 My List – 69

One thing I like is how some of my articles show up two months in a row; that always feels good, knowing you’ve touched enough people that an article has more life than some others.

Now, I’ve said page views is the most important thing to me, but the main statistic for page views has to do with length of time someone stays on the site. The longer people stay, the more you know they’re reading your article, or articles, and that means you’ve captured someone’s attention, and that they’re not only popping by, looking at a few words, leaving a comment based on a couple of lines, and moving on. At least you hope that’s not what they’re doing.

Hosting companies don’t track this, which is why it’s great having Google Analytics. For these same three months, here are top times for my articles, with at least 10 visits:

March – the average was 3 minutes and 27 seconds:

Keys To Leadership – 8:55
Is The Dream A Fraud – 7:59
Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1; How? – 7:58

February – the average was 4 minutes and 21 seconds:

At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 9:07
The Art Of Hype – 7:41
My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 6:45

January – the average was 3 minutes and 2 seconds:

The Psychology Of Gambling – 9:03
SEO & Multiple Web Pages – 7:19
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 7:05

To me, for the number of visits I had each month, and the length of some of my articles, knowing that the average time people spend here means to me that people are actually reading the content, and that makes me feel pretty good, better than the traffic numbers indicate. It’s probably the people who know me and keep coming back who are the ones actually reading, but that still feels nice.

It’s also interesting to see that the articles that people stayed around the longest to read differentiate from the articles that had the most page views. Just so you know, if you’re looking at these stats, you could decide to pull together a combination of both the main article itself and the comments page, which Analytics also keeps statistics on, but I left that one alone for now.

So, that’s the two part study on traffic and page views, the two most important things for your blogs or websites. There is one last brief study, but I’m saving that one to add to my little SEO project, rain or shine. Stay tuned.
 

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13 Comments »

gagan @ Miami Web Design:

lot of difference between statistics of your host and google analytics . isn’t this sound weird .what could be the reason ?

May 1st, 2009 | 10:29 AM
Mitch:

They look at different things. Google tracks actual visitors; ISPs track everything that comes, even if it’s only bots.

May 1st, 2009 | 12:39 PM

This is something I know I should be paying more attention to but I just don’t have the time. Something always seems to be coming up to take me away from my blogging. lately I have been preparing the place for my daughter’s formal after party. Over thirty teenagers and I had to make sure they drank responsibly.

I was a bit worried about the volume of the music but fortunately they blew my speakers before I got any neighbor complaints 😉

Sire´s last blog post..Passive Income With Your Own Online Store

May 1st, 2009 | 9:40 PM
Mitch:

By formal after party, Sire, I assume this was a school function, something we might call a formal or semi-formal over here?

And the numbers are what they are, and you’ll always have them when you’re ready to check them out.

May 2nd, 2009 | 11:51 AM

Yeah, something we didn’t have in our day. Apart from the speakers it all went well.

As for the numbers, I know they will always be there but by the time I get the chance to check them out I more than likely won’t want to go that far back.

May 2nd, 2009 | 10:21 PM
Mitch:

Nah; the numbers you’ll look at will be new numbers, and you can always go back if you’d like, but you don’t have to.

May 2nd, 2009 | 11:17 PM

hey Mitch,
Is 1and1 your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or your web host?
BTW, if they are hosting your website, are you happy with their hosting? ~ Steve, the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Exhibit Booths and SEO

May 4th, 2009 | 11:23 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for making me correct that, Steve, because I kept saying it and felt something was off.

1&1 is my host, and they’re not bad. Last August I had about 10 days where they went off, and in a bad way, but other than that I’ve never had any other problems in 4 years.

May 4th, 2009 | 11:45 AM

Hi Mitch,
My brother recommended 1and1 for domain names and I’ve started using them recently for that. I was wondering about their hosting. Thanks for letting me know. 4 years of good service is a pretty nice track record. ~ Steve, the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Exhibit Booths and SEO

May 6th, 2009 | 12:20 PM
Mitch:

Well, I still have this thing about purchasing my domain names from the same place I have my host, which is why I’m sticking with GoDaddy for that. And, to add one more thing about 1&1, their customer service, for the most part, is supreme.

However, be warned; if you’re looking for Cpanel, they don’t offer it.

May 6th, 2009 | 1:34 PM
almir:

Not once did my website go down and I’m very glad with my hosting provider

almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

May 5th, 2009 | 3:23 PM
Chris:

I always think of New Visitors as being an indicator of the draw of your blog (how attractive it seems to an outsider), this may be due to backlinks, or search.

Returning visitors and page views are a great indicator of how good your overall site is.

May 8th, 2009 | 8:30 AM
Mitch:

That’s the correct way to see it, Chris, and obviously, as a new visitor here, I welcome you and I’m glad you found me somehow. 🙂

May 8th, 2009 | 1:13 PM