Statistics for WordPress blogs provide two important figures, “Views” and “(Unique) Visitors”, and in this post I’d like to discuss what these mean and how you can infer important information by comparing them.
First lets look how these are defined by the WordPress support page:
Views: A view is counted when a visitor loads or reloads a page.
Unique Visitor: A visitor is counted when we see a user or browser for the first time in a given period (day, week, month).
Of course you want both of these two be as high as possible, but the ratio between these values also gives critical information which can be easily overlooked. Let’s use an example of two blogs with differing statistics:
- Views: 50
- Visitors: 45
- Ratio of Views/Visitors = 1.11
- Views: 40
- Visitors: 20
- Ratio of Views/Visitors = 2.0
Some people might prefer Blog A since it has a higher number of views, but I prefer the stats of Blog B since it has a higher number of views per visitor. But why is this so important?
For Blog A, most people that find your site leave immediately without checking out of any the other articles. This could mean that theyfind your blog via a search engine, but aren’t interested enough to read other articles. It could also mean that they are frequent readers and have already checked out past articles. You can use the number of referrers (also listed on the stats page) to help distinguish between these two cases. The more referrers from search engines, the more people are checking out your site for the first time and have not likely seen the other articles. Those who are your followers would not typically come in via a search engine reference.
Blog B, on the other hand, has less total visitors but those that came to the site were interested in the subject matter enough to hang around, and on average each person looked at one other article. To me this says a lot about the content and quality of the blog in general.
The two above examples are actually roughly based on two of my blogs, with Blog B based on this blog itself. Blog A refers to a blog which I haven’t updated lately, and rarely gets new followers. Self Taught Japanese has less total views, but much more activity and higher rate of new followers. I’m hoping to increase the overall stats of this blog while maintaining, or increasing, the visitor ratio.