Nothing like a bit of stats news to add a bit of life support to my apparently dead blog.
If your running a WordPress blog, they added a new stat to their standard stats package today, and it’s an important one.
I need to make clear this is NOT my blog stats (I could only dream of such numbers!) But it clearly shows the visitors in the dark blue bars vs. the pageviews in the light blue. Hovering over each bar will also give a pages/visitor number that is what we really care about.
It’s important to understand what this new metric is. It is a measure of the unique visitors your blog had. Wordpress has always showed pageviews, so if one person came and looked at 10 pages, it would look the same on your stats as if 10 people each looked at a single different page.
This metric is important as it shows how much or little folks are browsing around your site. It does only go back a couple of weeks, so the data going forward will be what is important and we can learn from. Looking at the handful of blogs I have stat access to, it appears like the majority of blogs run a pages per visitor number of 1.3 to 1.5 most of the time. We all know that most people simply look at a single post and move on (think about how you browse the web), so anytime that number pushes towards 2 it indicates there’s quite a bit of browsing on your site.
Don’t over-react to this number, it often will actually be inverse to your blog’s popularity. If you write a popular post that gets quite a bit of sharing and traffic, it’s likely most of those visitors will read the single post and leave, driving your pages/visitor number down. Likewise, if your blog isn’t very active <raises hand> your pages/visitor may be higher simply because the majority of your visitors are likely folks that check out your blog wanting to know more about you and may read a few posts. So while there’s no “right” number here, but it is a useful metric to better understand how folks are using your blog.
One other tip, it also appears this stat will show up on the weekly and monthly views, so if trying to get new visitors to read more of your blog is a goal, and you like messing around with your blog’s design, etc. <does NOT raise hand> this new metric is a very useful way to track over time how successful your efforts are there.