Average Number of Pages Viewed. What does the mean?

Last week we began a series about unlocking your businesses’ key performance indicators (KPI) by focusing on a few “key” indicators that will help improve your business. The indicators we discussed were:

  • Average Page Views Per Visit
  • Average Time Per Visit
  • Average Bounce Rate

This week we’ll focus on Average Page Views Per Visit in detail and provide best practices surrounding the decisions you can make from this KPI.

The average page views per visit on your website is also referred to as ‘depth.’ Depth is the average number of page views a visitor consumes before ending their session. It is calculated by dividing total number of page views by total number of sessions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics).

Primarily, this is used as an indicator of two things:

  • How compelling your content and messaging are
  • How easy it is to navigate your website

Keep in mind that different websites have different purposes. Marketing and E-commerce websites generally want to increase this average, because it shows greater interest from the visitor. However, depending on the goals of the website, more page views can indicate confusion on the part of the visit. For example, if your message is simple and your purpose is to quickly drive a visitor to call you from your website, then your average page views should be low.

When the average number of page views per visit trends against expectations, we recommend examining a handful of common site components that affect page views:

Presentation: First impressions are EVERYTHING. Even if you have a compelling message and the presentation of your website is poor, you may not capture the attention of your visitor. Consider reviewing your competition and analyzing whether or not your presentation is on par with those websites.

Expectation: If presentation and content are strong, however visitors are not engaging with your messaging, then your website may not be meeting visitor expectations. If this is happening, do some research on what visitors are typing into search engines to find you and changing your messaging to match these key terms and phrases.

Content: If your content is poorly written and doesn’t follow best practices for web content, visitors may leave your site prematurely. However, if your content is well written, visitors may be inspired to “keep reading,” driving up the average number of page views.

Navigation: Navigation, or website architecture, are critical to providing ‘depth’ of page views. If it is difficult for visitors to navigate your website, they will not be able to easily flow from page to page and browse the contents of your website.

Search Technology: If your search functionality is poor or you don’t have a search function on your site, visitors who are used to searching to find what they want quickly may turn away or not find the information they’re looking for.

Next we’ll discuss average time spent on your website per visit.

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