Why You Should Stop Obsessing Over Pageviews

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As a content marketer, my job is to get our content in front of the right people. As simple as that sounds, some marketers obsess over the wrong content marketing metrics — like pageviews. I’m not saying that pageviews aren’t important. They are. What I’m emphasizing is that pageviews alone mean NOTHING.

Dramatic? Sure. But, what’s the point of people coming to your site if they aren’t doing anything once they get there. If we get 150 pageviews on a piece of content in the first hour that means we’re onto something, right? Well, maybe. But what about all the other stats that impact the true meaning of those raw numbers?

4 Other Content Marketing Metrics To Consider

1) Time on Site

What it is: The amount of time people spend on your site.

Why it matters: Time is a hot commodity. If people are parting with their time to read through content on your site then you’re doing something right. By contrast, if you have 100 views to a certain page, and Google Analytics is telling you that 86 of those 100 people spent 2 seconds and moved on, that means they didn’t love what you gave them.

Obsessing over pageviews and ignoring your bounce rate or time on site is like one hand clapping — it just doesn’t work. Getting your content in front of the right audience is hard work. Don’t waste that effort by failing to dig into how long they’re sticking around.

2) Virality

What it Is: The measure of how much people are sharing your content.

Why it Matters: If people are not sharing your posts, something in the system is broken. Focusing on pageviews alone keeps you from essential feedback in the machine. One interpretation of a lack of social syndication could be that you’re close to understanding your audience, but you haven’t quite hit the target. Another may be that it is simply too difficult for your readers to do so. Whatever the reason, it is a vital metric to pay attention to and devote time to improve.

3) Unique Visits

What it Is: The number of distinct individuals that come to your site.

Why it Matters: If you only take into account the number of pageviews, you fail to get a sense of the true size of your audience. While the day-to-day change may not seem significant, it helps you determine whether or not your audience is growing — and we all want it to grow, right?

4) Page Rank

What it Is: How well your content ranks on Google in its search engine results.

Why it Matters: Page rank brings inbound traffic and reinforces thought leadership. Of course, if you want to give your site a good page rank, you’re going to need some keywords to go with it. You know you’re doing it right when you appear on page 1 and if we’re really serious about page rank, you want to be in the top three slots of organic search. If you’re not ranking for any of your target keywords, you’re not optimizing your content. While I won’t go into a full-blown strategy here, this eBook by OpenView is a great place to start.

The Bottom Line

Pageviews are part of the metrics to consider, but they should be a broad reference point as you tinker and hone the other more effective cogs in the machine. Without the other pieces of the puzzle, you can distill a content strategy that is ineffective wasting valuable time, resources and energy.

What about you? What content marketing metrics other than pageviews are important to your content strategy?

Photo by: Horia Varlan