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Traffic is the same as last year, but page views have dropped

What reason would you suspect?



3:21 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

For months I've been going nuts because the number of page views is off substantially from last year. The number of visitors each day is very close to the numbers for last year, but the page views have been running at 75% or less than the same days last year. Yesterday's page views were just 56% of the same day in 2009.

Even though the visitor count is very close, I've looked at the search engines from every angle, and not much has changed with them. Google, Yahoo and Bing all have nearly the exact percentages of total referrals.

The only thing left is the fact that the number of views per visitor has declined, even as I've added significantly more content and made the site more attractive and user-friendly.

Part of my site is ecommerce, and the rest generates revenue via eCpm advertising, so a drop in page views is a drop in income.

Any suggestions as to what to look at or consider?

Thanks for any replies.


3:48 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Have the ads improved to the point where they are getting more clicks?

Has the new content actually made navigational decisions more complex?

I think you're going to need to explore the top exit pages and high bounce rate pages. In other words, top level data won't provide the insights you need, it's time to get granular. Also, I wonder about more automated bots skewing your data,


4:58 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Thanks for the reply, Tedster. I don't know what the CTR is on the ads, as the ad agency that places them rotates clients throughout the day and keeps tabs on their performance.

I changed the GA script for measuring bounce rate so that a one-page-view visit that lasted over 10 seconds didn't count as a bounce. The rate dropped from nearly 50% to a bit under 18%, and it's stayed below that since I made the change early this year.

I've looked at exit rates and other metrics, and I don't recall seeing anything vastly different from last year. I'll have to look again.

I'm beginning to think that, even though I've added new content, it's not markedly different than the old content (photo, information and spec's about particular models of widgets). Maybe people are just bored with what I'm giving them.


7:35 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

You mention that you've made your site more userfriendly. Could it be that the number of pageviews has been reduced because visitors find what they're looking for faster?

A bad navigation can lead to a lot of pageviews. People have to click through multiple sites before having success. If your site is truly user friendly a low pageviews number could be seen as an indication of soccess, not failure...


8:53 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Searches are now taking visitors direct to the page they want
Better ads are taking visitors away
Improved navigation has eliminated redundant page views
and some negative possibilities:
Changes have optimised site for the wrong terms and visitors are not the ones who want your site
Your topic has just gone out of fashion or the site appears out of date in terms of your topic

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