P Is for Page View: When Getting Stuck in Traffic is a Good Thing
A page view, in and of itself, is a single instance of an internet user visiting a particular page on a website. Page views, on the other hand, are one of the most commonly tracked metrics in digital marketing. They can help us determine what our audiences are interested in, how well our website pages are optimized for search, and what the user behavior trends are.
Tell me more
OK, first let’s talk a little bit about different analytics tools, and page views vs. other types of website tracking, because it’s really easy to get some of these mixed up.
Google Analytics tracks three main visitor metrics within overall website traffic: users, sessions, and pageviews.
Users: The number of people who have visited your website.
Sessions: A session is a period of time a user is active on your site or app. By default, if a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.
Page Views: The total number of pages viewed during the measured timeframe.
For HubSpot users, visitors = users, and page views = pageviews. Sessions is a little more complicated, as our friends at HubSpot explain here. Any time you’re using multiple measuring tools you’re likely to see inconsistencies, but in general, we all mean the same thing when we talk about page views (whether we spell it as one word or two).
That does not, however, mean page views are the perfect tracking metric. HubSpot counts a page view every time the tracking code is loaded, so if a single page is refreshed multiple times by the same visitor, each refresh counts as its own page view. For that reason, you probably want to use visitors or sessions when tracking overall website traffic.
Why page views are important to marketers
So what should we use page views for? Page views can be a particularly useful metric when looking at traffic to individual website pages.
Say you had a pretty normal month for overall website traffic—about the same number of visitors as usual—but when you look into the page performance you see an abnormally high number of page views on your pricing page. That could indicate that more of those visitors were checking out that page or that single users were checking it out more than once in a session, or that the change you made to the metadata last month is leading to more visits from organic search…there are a lot of things it could mean. But what you can know right away is that there’s a lot of interest in that page, and that gives you a good starting place to dig deeper into where those views came from and what they did after viewing that page.
If you skimmed this post…
Page views are one of the most common KPIs (key performance indicators) that marketers track to determine the number of times specific website pages were viewed.
Want to learn more awesome inbound marketing terms? Check out our Inbound Marketing Definitions page.