Death to the Pageview: Giving Life to a New Era of Measuring Content

You—yes, you—are measuring your content wrong. Want to know how I know that? Well, I don’t. But my chances were good, considering only 9% of marketers are confident that the key content metrics they’re using are effective in measuring business results.

Despite that the technology surrounding marketing has been evolving at a rapid pace, enabling marketers to connect with consumers in many different ways faster than ever before, the metric system simply has yet to catch up.

Personally, I have been astonished by the amount of change I have witnessed just in my lifetime (if you can consider 22 years to be a lifetime). And yet, in those same twenty-something years, the marketing world has seemed to be faithfully indebted to the pageview for the revolutionary powers of measurement it originally crowned marketers with.

However, according to a report from Contently, marketers have since been dethroned. In continuation of this monarch-filled metaphor, the report blames the ruler of the content kingdom for the lack of progress: “The king metric of the web—the pageview—and its evil queen—the click—have held the media and marketing world under their tyrannical reign for two decades. And they’ve kept many smart people in the data-illiterate dark ages.”

In keeping with the Middle Ages-esque theme, there seems to be only one solution to dethrone this king…

Death to the Pageview!

To be clear, the pageview isn’t totally useless—it’s actually a simple way to assess the kind of interest your content is getting, but only on a superficial level.

The biggest downfall that comes as a result of this metric is the extent to which it’s used, with 69% of marketers still using pageviews to measure the success of their content.

But in reality, pageviews aren’t a real reflection of the ROI of your content.

  • There is no correlation between clicking on a piece of content and actually reading or watching it.
  • Marketers often mistake a user’s action—the pageview—as a positive impression, and can misinterpret the experience
  • Placing such large emphasis on clicks puts marketers in danger of delivering content that users don’t actually want.

Views don’t equal value. Friends don’t let friends live and die by the pageview.

Long Live the New Leader of the Content Kingdom

With the pageview no longer ruling the content kingdom, there’s room for a new era of marketing analytics. The next age of measuring content will not be like the last; it will not be easily obtainable, easily quantifiable or easily understandable.

The key to transforming analytics into valuable, actionable insights will be driven by a mentality centered on people, not visitors. In the past, metrics have represented the aggregate of a mass of people, but engaging and building relationships—the true measure of content success—simply can’t be achieved en masse.

Establishing enduring relationships, just like finding the perfect value system for content, can only happen over time.

About Kaitlyn Smith

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