If you’re tracking [page views](http://heisel.org/blog/2008/11/18/what-is-a-visitor/), [visitors](http://heisel.org/blog/2008/11/18/what-is-a-visitor/) and [visits](http://heisel.org/blog/2008/11/19/what-is-a-visit/) then you can calculate the next important metric in our jaunt down jargon lane… pages per visit.
This one is just what it sounds like — the average number of page views generated by your visitors during an average visit.
It’d be easy to assume that more pages per visit would be better? After all, [more can quite often be better](http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/my-kingdom-for-a-glass-of-milk/).
But you have to think about the goals for your site. Take Google — they want to get you to the information you’re seeking as fast as possible. So they’d prefer a low pages per visit. But since they’re hoping that the experience will tempt you back for more, they’re probably also hoping for a high number of visits, with a low pages per visit.
If your site makes money from (display) advertising, and you’re not an aggregator like Google, then you probably do want to concern yourself with pages per visit.
Why? Because if your design and content can tempt folks to linger and “turn” more pages after they start their visit you can make more money.
Snagging users can be costly, building and retaining a sizeable audience on the Internet is difficult?
Why? Because, if I can paraphrase the [Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy](http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker’s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Chapter_8):
“The Internet is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly [hugely mindbogglingly big it is](http://visualgadgets.blogspot.com/2008/06/graphs-and-networks.html). I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to the Internet.”