"Unique Visitors" Must Die

by Anthony J Namata 8 replies
Yeah, I know, that title sounds OTT. But here's what I just read...

"Unique Visitors" Must Die

Given growing bounce rates, we must stop using "unique visitors" as a metric for site success. Site tourists who leave a site immediately ratchet up the unique visitor count, but don't contribute long-term value.

On the contrary, bouncers should be considered a negative statistic: the site failed to engage them enough to entice even a second pageview.

To measure site success, you should count only loyal users who return repeatedly. Or, if your site is such that most people will visit only once, at least require that they exhibit a minimum amount of engagement before you count them as a positive statistic.

Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you'll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.

Read the rest at: Reduce Bounce Rates: Fight for the Second Click (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Anthony
#main internet marketing discussion forum #die #unique visitors
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  • Profile picture of the author Tirmizi
    interesting thought .......
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      From a copied post on someone else's blog? Hmmm...

      require that they exhibit a minimum amount of engagement before you count them as a positive statistic.
      The behavior of your unique visitors depends on:

      1. the quality of your site (product/copy/content)

      2. focused traffic methods that attract visitors with interest in your niche

      If most unique visitors leave quickly - something is wrong with 1 or 2 above. Requiring "minimum amount of engagement" would skew results as it would only count visitors that do what you want them to do.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
    Originally Posted by Anthony J Namata View Post

    Yeah, I know, that title sounds OTT. But here's what I just read...

    "Unique Visitors" Must Die

    Given growing bounce rates, we must stop using "unique visitors" as a metric for site success. Site tourists who leave a site immediately ratchet up the unique visitor count, but don't contribute long-term value.

    On the contrary, bouncers should be considered a negative statistic: the site failed to engage them enough to entice even a second pageview.

    To measure site success, you should count only loyal users who return repeatedly. Or, if your site is such that most people will visit only once, at least require that they exhibit a minimum amount of engagement before you count them as a positive statistic.

    Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you'll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.

    Read the rest at: Reduce Bounce Rates: Fight for the Second Click (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

    Anthony
    Interesting article. I disagree to a certain extent though. All in all, it depends on what your motive is. For instance, if you are gunning for readers, then obviously you want folks to be totally engaged into the information.

    However, if your goal is to get "clicks" via contextual ads or even affiliate products you are selling, then the goal is different. In most cases, you don't want your visitor to find the solution to whatever problem they have...instead, you are hoping that they starting clicking away.

    Personally, I will take 1,000's of one and done visitors over a huge daily readership. Readers just aren't as valuable as most people want to believe. They won't click on ads (in fact, most don't even "see" ads on websites they go to). If you don't believe me, start taking a look at some of the blogs that have several thousand RSS subscribers that are complaining about the money they are making.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
      You've convinced me to only count the visitors who buy.

      Watch for my WSO next week about my amazing 100% conversion rate strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingMommy
      Readers just aren't as valuable as most people want to believe. They won't click on ads (in fact, most don't even "see" ads on websites they go to).

      I agree because I am a reader. I love reading so the sites I go to have things I want to read about and I never click on ads. When I want something I search for it. The only time I have clicked on an ad was after I saw it about twenty or thirty times after logging out of one my frequented sites and the ad was for another free social site.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonKing
    Originally Posted by Anthony J Namata View Post

    "On the contrary, bouncers should be considered a negative statistic: the site failed to engage them enough to entice even a second pageview.

    To measure site success, you should count only loyal users who return repeatedly. Or, if your site is such that most people will visit only once, at least require that they exhibit a minimum amount of engagement before you count them as a positive statistic.
    This was obviously written by a developer, not a marketer.

    Metrics are all about RATIOS, not numbers.

    For example, #opt-ins/#uniques, #clicks/#uniques or #sales/#opt-ins. And you want them to be going UP.

    The only number I care about in isolation is PROFIT.

    Second page views mean nothing to me.

    -JasonKing
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