Effective Page Count for your Website

Page Count: Completed Website Screenshot

Previously, I introduced the concept of effective page counting. That is, counting the number of pages that contribute towards your website success.

Installing WordPress code does not make a website. You have claimed your Internet Business Address, but you do not have a website.

Publishing your first article does not make a website. You are starting to invest in content as a business asset, but you do not have a website.

In the previous post, I explained that a website is around 50 to 60 pages, depending on your intentions. Now we look at what effective website pages are, and how to count them.

Effective Page Count

Simply publishing a post or page does not increase your effective page count. It’s like buying raw materials for a manufacturing business. You must have it, but it does not contribute to your business until you sell it. Once you have finished products that potential customers can see, then you can consider the production stage is finished. My experience tells me that a page becomes effective when it appears in search results. There might be exceptions if you plan to advertise your web pages online or offline. In that event, I would count pages that were being advertised.

Marketing through search engine results is a low cost form of advertising. In the current state of the Internet, Google brings the highest search audience. Therefore, I base my page count on the pages that Google shows in search results. Clearly, this is not a precise measurement, but it is good enough to provide good feedback on how we are progressing.

To get to your numbers,go to Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), Search Enquiries, Pages. The default filter shows web search hits. This is good for most websites, though you might want to include images, or focus on them, if they are important to your website purpose.

Page Count: New Domain

Page Count: New Domain Screenshot
Page Count: New Domain

Here we see the effective page count for a new website project under active development. Physical page count numbers add up to 21 posts and pages. We might count higher by adding author, tag, category and other archives. These pages, and especially attachment pages can significantly increase the total page count.

However, we can only count them when potential visitors can see them. GWT Impressions are the number of times our pages appear in search results. That does not mean we have captured a visitor, but it does mean that the pages are visible in the real world.

In the real world, I can see that only 13 of my website pages are effective. I know that I have not yet done half the work I need to, so I am not worried yet. It is unfortunate that total Impressions have fallen, but I expected that as I made great progress in November, but very little in December. It is too early to interpret the results shown here, so I will continue to publish content and review when I’ve doubled my current output. I know this project is not a website yet, but it is a new, growing, domain. That is a great start for an online business, but things don’t always go so brightly…

Page Count: Failing Domain

Page Count: Failing Domain Screenshot
Page Count: Failing Domain

Contrast the new domain of project 1, with the numbers from a failing domain.

Here we see over 80 effective pages, but they are only attracting less than a thousand Impressions a month, and rapidly falling. I include this just to point out that publishing over 50 effective pages is not always enough. They are only effective if you keep renewing interest in your website. I will cover more of that in my Improving Website Traffic posts. Sometimes you can revive a failing domain and regenerate it as a successful website. In this case, I decided to abandon this project.

Page Count: Completed Website

Page Count: Completed Website Screenshot
Page Count: Completed Website

For my third project I would like to have included a newly completed website. The figures shown are from a website that has been completed for some time. I will use this website to explain practical examples of website traffic growth in a subsequent article. In that article, I will look as some useful refinements to the basic page count.

Significantly, you can see that with almost 500 pages, I have a substantial website to manage. There is steady growth in the number of impressions, with better improvement in the number of clicks. That is as expected, as I focus on improving click-through rates whilst exploiting topics related to successful pages.

The page count for this project matches my intentions for the website. It is time to look at improving the website. I will look at the numbers in more detail in the next article. Having achieved the expected page count, it is time to review the project for website traffic improvements.