My latest hobby horse is focusing on the basic difference of median vs mean. My belief is that for content based sites who make their revenue from ad sales (like YouTube, Yahoo, Gawker, Newpapers etc…) a focus on optimizing the median page views per user is far more important than optimizing to increase the mean. It is worth noting that sites like Google (where the goal is to get you to leave the site by clicking on a demand fulfillment ad), eBay or Amazon this is not true.
I am going to try and post a number of articles with data from my own sites that show this but I am going to start with one simple post that quickly gives two examples of median vs mean page views per user and resulting revenue per user.
My AVERAGE (mean) page views per user on paperairplanes.co.uk is 4 (it’s gone down a bit since I’ve focussed a lot on videos) and it’s pretty stable.
My median page views per user is only 2, half the mean:
My AVERAGE (mean) page views per user on cocktailmaking.co.uk is 8 (it’s gone down a bit since I’ve focussed a lot on traffic generation in the “cocktail name” space where people come in, view the cocktail then leave) and it’s pretty stable.
My median page views per user is only 1, 1/10th the mean:
Revenue per visitor
Paper airplanes has a revenue per visitor of 2.1x Cocktail Making and hopefully through the coming posts I will be able to prove to you that this is due to the fact cocktail making has a lower median page views per visitor than paper airplanes even though it’s mean page views per visitor is 2.5x that of cocktail making.
Perhaps this is all very obvious to you and if so I apologize… don’t read the series but if this is all so obvious why do none of the big analytics providers include median by default into all their metrics?
- The key to understanding your website
- Diminishing return on user value against page views per user
- Cume vs GRP in offline media and what it means for internet marketing
- How to optimize for the median
I hope you stay with me and read them all :)