Analytics is undercounting engagement of your users

Versión en español aquí.

The two most important traffic measurements for news entrepreneurs are NOT unique visitors and page views. Those numbers can mislead you. They count people who arrive at your website by accident or search, glance at a page and leave.

As Ken Doctor has so eloquently put it:
"Unique visitors are a great dumb count. As I’ve noted, it’s as if in the print world we counted the everyday subscriber — consuming 5 hours a month of a news publication — the same as someone who, standing on a Midtown corner on a windy day, happened to catch a sheet of flying newsprint as she held up her hand to hail a cab."
By contrast, the two measures that should really matter to you are:

  • engagement -- how long a visitor is on your site per visit and how many pages they view
  • loyalty -- how many times they return per day, week or month
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