In an earlier post I said “If you can’t measure it, then don’t do it.” I stand by that saying and believe all true marketers should do the same. That saying however poses some problems when new web technologies come into play. For instance, my company gave my department the “go ahead” to rewrite our web systems and tools in FLEX. For those that don’t know, FLEX is a web-authoring language similar to FLASH. It allows developers to create rich Internet applications. FLEX applications can do some amazing stuff.
The bad part is that the traditional web metric, the pageview, doesn’t work for FLEX applications (or AJAX applications for that matter). FLEX and AJAX do not create pages per se; therefore, pageviews don’t exist and therefore aren’t recorded – even though a user may be interacting with the site. This fact has kept me searching for a web metric that would allow me to measure the effectiveness of our new systems once they are implemented. comScore seems to have addressed my worries.
comScore is adding a new metric, “visits” – which the measurement firm defines as the number of distinct times people visit a site per day, with at least 30 minutes between each visit – could potentially replace the pageview as a key advertiser metric.
Whereas pageviews generate a raw number of how many pages on the site were hit in a given period, visits point to a user’s engagement with the site. Tracking visits, comScore says, will give a picture of how many times the same person comes back, indicating the level of loyalty toward the site.
With more and more web sites becoming Web 2.0 sites, the pageview will quickly become an outdated metric.