Views or Visitors?

So, I'm the kind of guy who obsessively checks his website views. However, yesterday I got 19 views and 10 visitors. Today I got 28 and 9. That got me thinking: Which is better: views or visitors, which is more important to have?

Visitors. By extension, a high number of views from a constant number of visitors means you have a group who's reading through the story, rather than bouncing in and out again.


Each one is a reader. You will collect higher numbers of views as your story grows. But readers are the important part.

Visitors aren't necessarily readers. They could just take a look at the layout of your site, then leave again without reading anything. Which is why I get more excited about a high number of views, personally - those indicate people are actually reading.

Views. Kinda. Similar logic to Chrysalis.

Consider 30 views. If those come from 30 visitors, that means each visitor looked at one page of your site, and moved on. (And for all I know, that's some bot, because I'm not aware of how that stuff tracks.) They may never be back. But if the 30 views come from 2 visitors, that means those two people were engaged enough to read several pages each (or one person was REALLY engaged). There's more chance they liked it, and might return.

Alert people will notice I said "views" then did a comparison on "visitors". That's because implicit in the question is what do I want MORE of - which, logically, is views. You can never have fewer views than you do visitors. Along the same lines a it's LOWER number of visitors = higher engagement by them (your core audience). Basically, it's the RATIO that you want to improve (1:1, not so good, 15:1, great) - and to work that out, first you need both things (so neither is "more important"), and second, you need to be comparing them long term against yourself. Not daily checks. Hence, if we're going daily, I'm sticking with views. Heck, there's probably a reason Wordpress defaults to views unless you click into the enhanced stats.

My logic may also break on audience people like me, who can never remember exactly where I left off, and thus end up clicking a bit randomly, plus clicking back to a previous part to double check something before writing a comment... throwing off all the ratios. Oops.

Low visitors/much higher views means some visitors are looking at more pages (not necessarily reading them, though if you see a bunch of pages going up in views in sequence over time you can probably say they're reading). High visitors but equal views can mean more people go into a page from a search engine or a link and then leave without looking at anything else. I think in the absence of really comprehensive stat tracking (wordpress' is somewhat rudimentary) you need both together to make assumptions so you gotta watch and care for both. In the end it's probably better not to get too obsessed with those numbers until they start getting significantly higher than normal though. Give it time for trends to develop.

We've got five opinions in two camps, but I think we're all hitting the same notes:

- High views from a lower number of readers means people clicking through the story rather than bouncing in and out.

Mathtans put it best: you want that high-views-lower-visitors ratio.

Views / visitors = readers (Mathtans, check that math for me!), which is what you're after. So - uh... both, I guess. :)

Both is my answer too.

Having a lot of visitors who hit your site on update days is good even if they only hit your update. The rest of the week it's best to have a lot of page views from people reading through it for the first time.

It's tricky for both of them, because not all visitors (and not all views) are human.

A bot crawling through your site will count as a visitor and a view for some stats engines (Google Analytics is pretty good about filtering those out, which is why their stats are usually lower than other stats engines).

Also, long-time visitors will have fewer views per visit, so situations where you have roughly analogous visits and views don't necessarily mean people are looking at your site for a second and leaving. It could just be that the people visiting your site have already read through your archives, and are only reading the new content.

Views, because that's a bigger number and big numbers trigger the gamification centers in my brain and get me to write more :)

Sure I could spend the evening gaining a level in Guild Wars 2, but I could spend that same evening editing a chapter so that my overall views go up by hundreds! Combined with all the pretty charts and graphs I keep of wordcounts and book lengths and things like that, I barely have time to game at all anymore. Too busy leveling my Maddi character's writing stat to OVER 9000!

lol, totally need a serial writer level system. AE is elminster and Wildbow is drizzt.

In the views camp over here (though this is partly because I don't have many visitors, and my views number is larger which makes me feel better about myself). :)

But, more seriously, I have thought about the views/visitors from my own perspective as a reader. With stories that I really engage with, I tend to spend a lot of time on the sites looking at a lot of pages. With the ones I'm less interested in, I'll look at one page or two and then be done.

And I think we all need a serial writer level system. I'd like to know when I can level up. :)

Its not the level up that is important but the stat points and perks received. Maybe even level up skill unlocks.

I think I need to do some serious grinding on most of my stats.

Wonder what the perks and skills would be like.

(You have unlocked the fast writer skill. 20% writing speed)


You have unlocked skill "Spell Check". reduce typos by 90 percent, but also reduce typing speed by 5% and add 1-6 swapped word typos to each update.

That one is a double edged sword. Would have to grind the hell out of it. I'll bet once it gets mastered it turns into pure gold.