Analytics: Don’t Fixate On One Metric

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash
Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Website Analytics

When looking at analytics for your website it is important to take a multi metric view. I see so many business owners fixate on one aspect, or one metric of their site analytics. For example traffic numbers.

It's All Feedback

For several years now I have been on a fitness journey. About 4 years ago I decided to turn my life around and get back into shape. I had drifted for years and allowed myself to get lazy and overweight. Now, like most people in this position I was focused on one metric only; weight! Everything I did was around losing weight, but the scales I have come to learn, are very misleading. They are but one metric in the mix. A more balanced approach, which is the one I take today, is to use a number of metrics to gauge my progress. For example:

  • weight
  • measurements
  • how clothing fits
  • how I feel
  • blood pressure
  • sleep cycle
  • macro balance (nutrition)
  • exercise progress (weight increments, sets, etc)
  • resting heart rate

You get the picture. Focusing solely on weight doesn't give me the whole picture.

Six months ago I employed a new trainer. A body composition coach. Together we track a myriad of metrics to track progress. Interestingly enough my weight is exactly the same as it was 6 months ago. If that was the only focus I'd be disappointed, perhaps even demoralised. But in the same period I have dropped 6cms around my chest, 8cms around my waist, trimmed my legs, and grown my biceps and triceps and added muscle across the board. So, I can clearly see progress because I am measuring a broad range of metrics.

Business is exactly the same. If you are only tracking a metric like traffic from your website analytics you are in danger of misinterpreting the results. You may become overly enthusiastic or equally disappointed. Traffic alone won't tell you what's really happening. I like to think of traffic as people walking past my business but not necessarily coming in. It's important to know the difference. If you get excited by 1000 people visiting your site a day, but no one is engaging... there's really nothing to be excited about! There's something wrong, but if you're not digging deeper, you'll never know what it is! Conversely if 10 people a day visit your site and 5 of them engage, that's an amazing result. You're clearly doing something right, and if you could get more people to your site, you'd probably continue to get great engagement. The problem is, without knowing what you're doing right you could change something and the whole thing might fall in a heap.

So, you need to track a number of metrics and you need to understand what they mean. For example, you might want to track metrics such as:

  • traffic
  • traffic source
  • bounce rate
  • time on site
  • pages visited
  • where they exit
  • do they engage: fill out a form, call the contact number, etc
  • add product to cart
  • abandon cart
  • complete purchase

And so on and so on. Knowing a broader range of metrics gives you a more complete picture of what's really going on. It's important to measure. You can react and test and evaluate based on the information you're getting. The feedback. Informed feedback, not just hunches and guesses.

Keep digging my friends, there's diamonds in that data!



David Fuller

CEO - Rough Diamond Academy

For over 21 years David has been building websites for clients. In 2013 he pivoted from running a web design agency to working hands on with clients to help them build their businesses by reaching their ideal clients. Going beyond the website. The experience of working at the coal face is the foundation of The Rough Diamond Academy. Real life experience for real life businesses. It starts with building a site, but that's only the beginning!