Knowing the metrics of your web site is important. But metrics alone are not enough if you don’t know WHICH metrics are important and for what reasons.
If you’re a retailer you want to know details about your web site and even more details about individual items you’re selling. What countries are your web visitors from, what times of the day has the most traffic, what other web sites are referring your web visitors, how much time is being spent on your web site and etc.
For web sites that are mainly producing content, key measures have been pages views and unique visitors. That could change.
Major web traffic measurement companies, Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore are seeking to redefine what stats are important.
The prevailing metric has been page views. However, some pundits, including Nielsen//NetRatings are wondering why is it important how many times a person clicks on the various pages of your web site.
Business Week reports that Nielsen//NetRatings, comScore’s biggest rival in Web measurement, is weighing in. Its verdict? Page views count, but not much. On July 10, the company announced that it would focus on the amount of time spent on a site, rather than pages viewed, when discussing a Web property’s ability to engage users. “Time spent is a better denominator than other things,” says Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen//NetRatings.
The stat battle is critical for web sites that make their money from online advertising. Right now page views push the top web sites to the top based on volume, but if it’s time spent online, then many other sites, such as Apple’s iTunes site would quickly rise.
What does this mean to you?
If you’re web site relies on paid advertising then get as much information about your web traffic and visitors as you can.
If you’re web site is not focused on advertising then you have one less thing to worry about and you can 100% focus on the audience coming to your web site and how to serve their needs better and respond to your call(s) to action.
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