Improve Your Blog’s Metrics in One Easy Step

How long do people browse your site when they visit? Less that 15 seconds? For me, this was the overwhelming average for the first four months of this site’s existence. What’s worse, typical visitors were only visiting one page of the site, almost never clicking through to an internal page.

Sample graph of blog traffic dataThese crappy metrics were a major motivation behind the layout of my new design, and now that I’ve got a few weeks’ worth of data, I’m pleased to share some foolproof information that will help you connect more directly with your visitors. Hey, it might help you make more money, too!

How much is a click worth?

Although most of you probably take it for granted, it’s actually pretty special when a reader clicks on a link on your site. A simple action like this speaks volumes – about your content, about the reader, and about your design.

  • First, you’ve written something engaging enough to intice your reader to commit to clicking on something that you’ve more or less recommended to them.
  • Second, you’ve clearly captured the reader’s attention. Ninety-nine percent of the time, clicks are intentional gestures – they only come about because a reader has committed to your recommendation, and they’ve decided to follow through with a click.
  • Third, your design is obviously structured well enough not only to draw attention to the content, but also to instill a certain degree of trust in your readers.

If you can’t generate clicks, you can’t get readers to delve into your site and explore your body of work. Pearsonified version 1.0 was a study in poor click generation, with an average of about 1.4 page views per visitor. I don’t have any information on average page views across the web, but I’m betting that 1.4 is hideous, comparatively speaking.

I had a sense that this was something that was keeping me from taking this site to the next level, so I decided to do something about it with pearsonified v. 2.0, which is what you’re seeing now (edit: version 2.0 is a thing of the past as of Oct. 2, 2006, but the teasers live on!).

You see, on my old design, I featured my newest post in its entirety on the home page. Most of my visitors would read the new offering, decide that my mental barfing wasn’t worth commenting on, and then exit the site. Who could blame them? All the new stuff was right there for them to read, and there was really nothing else to intice them to delve deeper into the site.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably clicked through my main page to get here. In the process, you’ve made me extremely happy by showing me your dedication, and you’ve also likely noticed that I only show you “teasers” on the front page of the site. Of course, this is completely by design, as I want to get you in the habit of clicking (and hopefully commenting) while you’re here.

Well, after almost three weeks of blogging in this new design, I’m here to tell you that the teaser strategy works. It works like a champ. In this amount of time, my pageviews have increased nearly 500% daily, bringing in around 5.2 pageviews per visitor. Once again, I don’t have any statistics to compare these numbers to, but I’d be willing to bet you that 5.2 pageviews per visitor places me on the happy side of the pageview spectrum.

Still not impressed? Think of it this way: if I had ads placed on every page of the site, I would be getting almost five times more ad impressions than I got under the old design. On a really popular site, like this one, that could make a huge difference in income.

So, let’s try this again – how much is a click worth, anyway?

I say it’s worth a lot. A click is a vote of confidence in your site, and I’ll take all of those I can get!

The bottom line

If you’ve got full-body posts on the main page of your blog, change things up a bit and try implementing teasers like I’ve done here. Your pageviews ought to increase dramatically, and I think this approach will also inspire you to write more creative, more interesting opening paragraphs for your entries!

Update: On April 7th, my pageviews per visitor hit an all-time high of 6.6! I’m telling you – the teaser approach is MONEY.

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25 comments… read them below or add one

Ben April 8, 2006

I have found that teasers work very well at my personal blog. They also make the page look less intimidating if your posts are usually very long.


Evan April 8, 2006

People like snacking on information more than consuming an entire meal. It’s all about being able to efficiently scan the page. If a user catches a visual wiff of something potentially appetizing, they’re more likely to bite (you know, just like you are at the buffet line).

However, I think there could be other factors at work here. More so than excerpts, well-thought-out headlines are of paramount importance.

Notice this post’s headline, “Improve Your Blog’s Metrics in One Easy Step.” It’s a great headline. It’s clear what clicking on the headline will do for the user — improve their blog’s metrics. It answers the “what’s in it for me” right up front. You keep running with headlines like this and you’re going to experience even more pageviews per visitor!

this guy posted some quick headline tips about a month ago. I’d consider running the same experiment with headlines and seeing how that effects your traffic.


Chris P. April 8, 2006

Evan, my good friend Brian over at copyblogger has posted a couple of times about headlines, and he drew much of his insights from master marketer Seth Godin.

It’s interesting that you compliment this headline, because it’s actually the third one in my recent push to write more captivating headlines. It’s sort of a traffic experiment, but it’s really just a personal effort to become more well-rounded and appealing.

So far, I’m happy with the results, and I believe enough in the system to pursue it further.


Aaron Brazell April 9, 2006

Excellent point, Chris. Blog architecture is a big thing I’m wresling with right now. I think if I could take half my ideas and get some decent level of design intuition then I could get something done… sigh


Evan April 10, 2006

It’s interesting that you compliment this headline, because it’s actually the third one in my recent push to write more captivating headlines.

Intrigue is good, but self-interest is best. The best headlines, to me, have that element of self-interest. This post’s headline is well crafted in that sense.

I must admit, too often I don’t put enough thought into my own headlines. The dillemma to me is how to satisfy the no-nonsense need for SEO brevity and the want of writing captivating headlines. Since we still get a lot of Google traffic, I put more weight on the SEO side right now.

And, I’ve been to Copyblogger before but have now added Brian to my RSS (good job on the design btw).


Rod May 11, 2006

Holy mackerel!

I’m going to try this approach. I will get back to you as soon as I implement it and get some metrics…



Sammy from TrepNetwork May 26, 2006

Well written and very interesting results.

You got me thinking…

When I blog, I list the entire post. Don’t know why(guess I’m guilty of being part of the herd), but when I read other blogs, I prefer snippets of more than just one post. I may be more interested in an older posting and click on that one. How could I not realze what I was NOT doing…? I think I just had a “duh” moment. Thanks.

(please excuse my blog. I just moved over to WordPress, so it’s very plain at the moment.)


Brian June 29, 2006

This is a great idea. Does anyone know how to do this in Typepad?


Doug October 3, 2006

I like the idea, but isthere any way to implement it on

Also, just a noye on Cutlines on Wordpress; I can’t get my blogroll to work in it. I tried your Pressrow theme, and the blogroll works fine. Actually, if the font of titles in pressrow were a bit smaller, I’d like it as much as Cutlines.


Chris P. October 3, 2006


I’m not sure whether or not you can simply show excerpts on the front page of your site. I don’t use — I use a full-fledged version on my own server that allows me total control.

Also, since you are running your site on, I am sorry to report that I have no control over the Cutline theme as it installed there.

Please report your issue to the support staff, and I’m sure they’ll have you fixed up in no time. This is a pretty serious issue that affects a large number of users, so I suspect they would fix this right away.


Doug October 4, 2006


Thanks Chris. I tried again today and everything works. Since I just read your response and didn’t talk to Wordpress, someone else must have.

I like both your Cutlines and Pressrow themes.

THanks again for your kind response.



Anthony October 13, 2006

hmm……I’m not seeing how to do this.


Chris P. October 13, 2006

Anthony: Since you’re using WordPress, all you need to do to create a “teaser” is to employ the use of the <!--more--> tag. Wherever you want your teaser to end, insert that tag, and voila!

You’ll get teasers just like I have on the front page of this site.


Anthony October 13, 2006

Excellent………thanks again!


Chris December 26, 2006

Oh Man!

When reading this post, it was like a revelation to me. Before I had ‘100m long posts’ on my main page and was wondering, why so few people click through to the actual post pages. So easy solution but yet you have to realize it first, right? What a revelation! ;-)

As I didn’t want to rewrite/edit every post yet, I started with the ‘Post Teaser Plugin’ @

which is doing the job automatically for you. A bit manual optimizing (with the ‘more’-tag) can be more appropriate though.

Will monitor for the next few weeks for now and see what then….

Thanks for that article!



JasonM January 24, 2007

Teasers are a great idea!

A click is a vote of confidence in your site, and I’ll take all of those I can get!

Definitely agree thanks Chris


davidvogt February 2, 2007

Your article is very informative and helped me further.

Thanks, David


Ed March 8, 2007

Interesting post. And great success with summaries.

We use Rapidweaver and the summary function is standard issue for blog posts. We took it one stage further. On our homepage we place snippets that take you to full articles in different blogs on our site. As the articles are usually not too long, we post the newest articles in their entirety. Then the summaries of the latest posts of the week appear below that main post.

The results: we write three main articles a day, (a tech post, entertainment story and a quirky news story), and generally we get 2 out of 3 read by our visitors. We are happy with that at the moment, but always consider modifying the approach. 5 page visits is something to aim for.

Our biggest weakness is lack of comments, which is related, i believe to the structure of the posts. ie I don’t ask enough questions! So we are working on the problem. What do you say to that?


Stephen April 14, 2007

Increasing page views only increases your income if you run CPM ads, which only the major media sites do. If you depend on AdSense of CPA/CPC, you only make money one time per visit, not per page.


James Chapman September 26, 2007

I have only recently started a business blog, so the idea on this post appeals to me quite a lot.
I have read your post carefully, but I can’t see the difference between short posts on the main page and then clicking through to archived posts and ‘teasers’ on the main page and click through new posts on other pages as you suggest.
Surely it doesn’t make any difference as long as the headlines of the posts at attention getters.
After all I got to this post because of the headline.


TheYoungGuy June 18, 2008

I believe that this idea goes hand in hand with having category lists for your top 3 or 4 categories in the sidebar. Having a “teaser” for readers to see will increase length of time on the site for sure, its just a matter of weather or not you can write interesting enough posts to keep them there. So if its not working, think about what you are writing.



Jack March 17, 2009

Now to come up with some good teasers… or maybe i need to learn some basic CSS.


julius November 12, 2009

haha! i like the way you write man :D thanks for sharing this. :D


spleeness November 18, 2009

This is great! Thanks so much for all the info. For the record, I think I’m in for more than 6 page views. There’s so much great information here that I’m bookmarking it so I can suck it all down.

I also love your “about” page — I have a TI-85 too. I still use it, but now only to balance my checkbook. (I still like the way it feels in my hands though.)

Great site. And I am totally checking out Thesis. I use Blogger for my blog and would like more control over widget appearances.


Chris Pearson November 18, 2009

spleeness — Thanks for stopping by and checking out the place! If you’re gonna take a look at Thesis, make sure you watch the video at the top of the DIYthemes homepage; I think you’ll love it!


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