Sometimes Analytics Are Meaningless

Understand
Sometimes Analytics Are Meaningless is the kind of headline that I try to avoid because it puts me to sleep but there are moments where it makes sense to be direct and not try to capture attention with traditional link bait.

I stumbled onto a discussion today in which people were talking about importance of having detailed analytics for every part of their blog and I rolled my eyes.

That was because it was clear that the person pushing it didn’t understand there is no point in tracking information unless you understand what you are looking for and why it is important.

For example I can provide you with links to what Google Analytics says are the top ten posts here for the last month (based upon traffic) but that information lacks some substance.

Why Do We Care?

A list of the top ten posts based upon traffic doesn’t answer the question about whether this is useful or significant information.

A list of the most heavily trafficked posts doesn’t tell you what happens after people end up there. It doesn’t tell you whether people read and respond to a call-to-action or if they just click their way through to something else.

It is like eating a salami sandwich with two pieces of bread and no salami.

Show me a list like that and I’ll ask if the posts are the ones we want representing the site. I’ll ask if they promote the right brand image/messaging or if they lead the reader in a direction we’d rather they not go.

It is nice to have numbers but far too often we waste time looking at numbers that don’t tell us much of anything important.

If the idea is to provide content that is useful, entertaining and or educational so the readers will choose to spend time on our sites we need to be smarter about how we use our analytics otherwise we are just wasting our time.

Why should we care is one of the first questions I ask when I look at the homework my children bring home. It is followed by what purpose is it serving and what are they learning?

That is a topic that deserves it is own post so we’ll let that one go for now.

This Is Not A Waste Of Time

You don’t have to be a Led Zeppelin fan to appreciate the video below. It is definitely not a waste of time.

What do you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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2 Comments

  1. The Rookie Dad February 22, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I look at my analytics but I don’t live or die by them. It’s about studying them and finding out what is working and what isn’t. It isn’t all about pageviews but engagement. I would take more comments and people talking about my post than more pageviews any day.

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