At a presentation last night to the assembled journalists (and a few randoms like me) at the Knight New Media Center online politics seminar, Politico.com editor Bill Nichols mentioned in passing that in March, the Politico site had six million page-views and two million unique visitors. That ratio really jumped out at me, since for most sites, the average reader hits two-ish pages per visit — sometimes painfully less, and for sites like YouTube on which people browse extensively, significantly more.
Doing a little math, Politico’s averaging three page-views per UNIQUE VISITOR for the entire month — in other words, their average reader only looked at three pages over the course of the whole month of March. Not the healthiest of ratios! Why does this matter? One classic measure of a site’s long-term success is its “stickiness” — the extent to which it keeps people on the site for long periods and also keeps them coming back for more. So far, at least in terms of traffic, Politico’s not looking so sticky.