Increasing website page views should be an important goal to any webmaster. From a user experience point of view, “page views” are a much more important indication of website quality than “visits” or “unique visits”. Consider the following scenario:
22,000 unique visitors
23,456 page views
15,792 unique visitors
48,102 page views
Statistically speaking, you might think of Website A as a more powerful, higher quality site and a better optimized website because of its higher unique visits. But its not, because of the following reasons:
- Website A page views are less than Website B. Even though Website A has much higher unique visitors, each of these visits poorly translates to higher page views. In fact, when you compute the average page views per visit of Website A:
Average Page Views per visit = Total Page Views/ Unique Visitors= 23456/22000 = 1.1
This means that each visitor is “not interested in reading the other pages of Website A”. It is because each visitor will only stay on one page on the average then quits/leaves the site.
- Website B is a far superior site. I say this because of the higher page views and the average page view per visit:
This means that each user will at least read/check 3 pages before finally leaving the site. This shows quality and better user experience on the part of Website B. It also implies that Website B does a great job of maximizing each unique visitor by letting them view more than one page. It also translates to higher average time on site for each visitor - a clear indication that the website is serving the “correct content” to the “correct type of visitor”. With respect to SEO, Website B does in fact appear to optimize the content and the targeted visitors better than Website A, which in turn translates to higher page views.
Website A may indicate that it’s targeting the wrong type of visitors or maybe serving inappropriate content. This could be a sign that the SEO practice of this website fails to deliver overall “success” despite having an increase in visits.
Financially, its actually higher page views that translates to better website income (whether in terms of Adsense, sales, CPM, etc) than higher unique visitors. It’s troubling how many SEO companies are so focused on increasing unique visitors and using this as a success goal when in fact a more accurate figure of “success” is higher page views.
Time will come that if Website A is continually adding more valuable content, it will surpass Website B in terms of unique visitors and substantially their difference is beyond comparison.
So what makes a site like Website B a success in SEO?
Ways You Can Increase Website Page Views
The good thing about increasing page views is that it is not an extremely complex activity. It requires good planning on the side of the website owner pertaining to the website design/flow. It also requires planning on the type of content to serve to the website readers. It also requires research on getting the correct type of visitors.
For the best illustration of this process, let’s use a highly successful website with very high page views: http://www.youtube.com/ and let’s suppose a user from a search engine will do a search for the keyword “How to train for a 5k run video”
When the user clicks one of the first page results in Google, a Youtube video with a title tag “How to Train for a 5K” appears, such as shown below:
This gives us the first tip:
TIP #1: A more descriptive and accurate title tag can earn quality and well targeted visitors from a search engine.
The user is expecting to see some video related content relating to training for a 5k run. The Youtube video title appears relevant to the visitor because it nearly matches the search query. The user will do one of the following in response to the content provided by YouTube:
1.) The user plays the video. Average video length on Youtube can span from a minute to more than 5 minutes. This type of content is complete since the user can see the process as well as get more details.
This gives us the second tip:
TIP #2: Put engaging, substantial and detailed content on your website.
This does not only apply to video, but quality text content as well. Well-written text content with quality images can provide a more engaging reading experience. The details in the content can help the reader spend quality time on your website. If your content is too thin, the user might not be willing to spend more time with it. Make sure though it is within reasonable limits.
2.) While the user is viewing the content, they might read comments from the viewers to get more insight about the video, or the user will comment on the video after viewing it. Reading and enabling users to submit comments adds more time to your visitors that increases chances of viewing another piece of content on your website, leading to our third tip:
TIP #3: Enable user comments on your website. Moderate it and make sure they are quality and will be useful to your visitors.
What happens next?
3.) The user will take a look at the Youtube page on “How to train for a 5K”, the user will notice that Youtube gives suggested videos of related topics, so the user clicks another video for details. This is the fourth tip:
Tip #4: Show links to your related content in the content that the visitor is viewing/reading.
This is the most important factor to increasing page views. Without this related content, the user might opt to use the search query in your website, or they will leave the site.
Visibility of suggested or “related content” is very important. In the Youtube example above, the suggested videos are placed in the side of the video. This is not applicable to all types of websites. For example in WordPress, the side section of the website is commonly used for sidebar and navigation.
Find a way you can integrate and add related content. If you are using WordPress there is a plug-in called “Yet another Related Post”: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/
You can add that plug-in to your WordPress website and it will automatically generate related links at the end of your blog post pointing to related content. For example in this page: http://www.webhostingpro.co.za/wordpress-plugin-review-yet-another-related-posts-plugin, it talks about this WordPress plug-in. And at the bottom you will see the related post such as:
As you can see, the related post also talks about WordPress. Going back to the Youtube example, after the user clicks on the related videos, the visitor might want to search something like “How to run 5k faster” but it’s not shown as one of the related videos. In this case, the user will enter the query in the Youtube search box. This gives us the fifth tip for increasing page views:
Tip #5: Add a search box across your entire website, particularly those pages with content. The search result should also be of quality and relevant to the query.
Yet, a lot of websites does not have a search box. As a result, the visitor will leave the site if he/she did not find anything further relevant. In WordPress, search boxes are widgets. The same with Blogger/Blogspot; however for best results (particularly aiming for high relevance) you should be using the Google custom search widget. You can embed the Google search box directly in your website. The search results will be more relevant than those that are provided by your default search box. To do this in WordPress, you can read this tutorial: http://tools.devshed.com/c/a/Blog-Help/Add-Google-Custom-Search-to-WordPress-Blogs/
When your visitor is reading the content, the user might find internal links using relevant anchor text pointing to other related pages in your website. This is the final and sixth tip:
Tip #6: Another big factor in increasing page views is to add internal links to your content using related anchor text. These internal links should be pointing to other relevant pages in your website.
A good example to this is Wikipedia.org. If you happen to read any Wikipedia article, you might be surprised that you probably spend hours in Wikipedia. The primary reason is that as you are reading the content, you clicked one of its internal links pointing to another related pages. And when you land on that page, you read and click again another internal link. As a result, the amount of time you spent reading is very high so as the number pages you have viewed or read.