Steve Rubel gives a thumbs up for “Event Reporting” as a measure for online activities.

February 20, 2007 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

In this article at Ad Age, Steve Rubel claims that page views fail as a means of measuring website success due to several factors. He offers up three alternatives to replace page views:

  1. Events – Tracking small measuarable activities that happen during your page access and during accesses of new pages. These events could be nearly anything.
  2. Unique Visitors – This measures people to your site… but doesn’t really give you much help with what someone does.
  3. Time Spent – Now that video is such a powerful element on the internet it seems that measuring time is very important to determine what a “piece of content” is worth. Time spent, like the others does have pitfalls.

The conclusion is where I feel most satisfied.  He leans toward events as the best source of measurement.

My companies software, Tendenci,  has been measuring events for “years”. We cosider any “business critical metric” worthy of tracking an “event”. Years of watching events allow you to see content differently than a page view.

One important realization that you can discern easily from events is the “what the hell is this site about” realization. Events allow you to ignore structure and see what users do on the site. In some cases “job board” activities lead the way in event activity. In others, accesses of “news and rss”. From a page view standpoint you might miss the activity level report because you are focused a few popular pages. You could miss the “long-tail” that far outweighs the single page accesses, and goes unnoticed because of the large collection of small accesses is hard to see in page views.

I agree with Steve. Events is the way to go.

We are already past that. The next step, I believe, is determining relationships between events. For example: What is the attendance rate percentage of someone that saves a i-calendar for an event but does not register immediately?  Next, how can you improve the i-calendar file to have more attendance?

We need to continue the iterative process that takes the “technology barriers” and replaces them with “interfaces” that are intuitively giving users what they want. In short, remove the dead ends and optimize the transactions.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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