This is somewhat a strange topic for Moneytized but I would love to get it off my chest.
STOP LOOKING AT YOUR FUCKING STATS!
There, I said it! Happy now? See what you did there!
Joking aside, I’m serious. Looking at your visitor statistics and trends can be a good experience and it will surely give you insights on what to pay attention too, but it can be very time consuming.
I was a stats junkie for years but now I am clean! And if you keep reading, you will find out how you can too! ( see what I did there??? ;) )
I love statistics. I love them so much that one program to track my visitors is not enough. I usually use Google analytics on everything I create. On my main properties I also use PIWIK. It’s a very good realtime analytics application. Spending time on analytics is a very enlightening and rewarding experience. You setup goals and see who converted, why it did or why it didn’t, you can do split tests and measure the results etc. Joking aside, “Internet marketing is the art of split testing™” and good use of statistics is the key to unlock your site potential. Always of course in moderation. :)
At the beginning of my journey with Internet marketing I was watching my stats every morning with my coffee. And that was good. Later on though, I became obsessed, not only looking at my stats five or ten times a day, but also checking who was on the site at every given moment! I wasn’t interested in how great a post I created was, but I cared more about the curve in my analytics account; more specifically the visitors count curve. If I saw an increase I was happy, otherwise pissed.
It became a numbers game and it shouldn’t, it’s a people’s game. How many people you can affect, how many people you can help, how many people’s life you can change.
So as you can easily guess, I became a social media zombie. I just needed visitors and the best place to go was to Social Media! For months I befriended everyone, exchanged digs, likes, thumbs, you name it; just to make my accounts “power accounts” so I could have a better impact when I submitted something. And I achieved it. My submissions became very powerful. What have I lost in the process? Everything else!
I spent so much time on social networks just to socialize, that none of my projects moved forward, no new features, no new posts, nothing. Just visitors. It doesn’t really matter how many visitors you have, its what you do with them and for them that counts.
Hitting a digg front page will bring you thousands and thousands of visitors but from those visitors, there are only few people that will hang around and become engaged. The bounce rate is ridiculously high and most of those visitors will stay less than 30 seconds on the page.
After loosing quite some time in that endless loop of “hunting” visitors, now I care much more about the impact that I’m making, rather than constantly fluctuating stats.
Loosing the stats addiction will help you:
- Write about the stuff that will help people and not just bring more visitors
- Become creative once again
- Free you from the attention disorder that stats checking gracefully provides
- Focus on connecting with people
- And so much more…
So my fellow junkie, as an recovering addict, this is what I suggest to you to help you overcome your addiction.
If you are having a habit of checking your stats in the morning when you wake up, try switching it with something more productive and/or relaxing. It’s not good to start your day with heavy number calculations and worries. Compile a list of the best blogs you follow, including this one (hopefully ;) ) and subscribe to their RSS feed with your google reader. Using this method, every morning you will have a good amount of new posts to read with your morning coffee. Reading posts in the morning is productive too. It helps you stay up to date with your industry’s developments and changes, it helpc you stay current with what’s happening in the world around you and it keeps you entertained. In fact it will help you start your day in a much better mood.
Allow your self to look at your statistics only once a day, if not less. I would suggest you look at the analytics right before your close your computer at the end of the day. That’s because looking at statistics creates more questions, therefore looking at them in the middle of the day might distract and/or discourage you. Don’t waste your day trying to figure out why and how something happened.
Stop paying attention to the number of visits count and look only at the greater picture. Is bounce rate smaller? Is the average amount of time spent on your site higher? That will help you focus on other figures that are actually more important than the number of visitors. Focus on other things like comments on your blog, requests for help through the contact form etc. Focus more on the people and less on the numbers.
If anything of the above doesn’t work, then give your analytics account password to someone you trust, make them change it and tell them to give you access once a week. That’ll do the trick.
Do yourself a favor : stop looking at how many people visited your site and start thinking of new ways in which you can make people appreciate your work.
Hope I helped,
Now this is one different post out of all the posts I have read in a while. I totally agree with all the points you have pointed out, although I am always checking my stats too. I feel, i should stop it !
Out of all the points, the best one of them would be ‘Write about the stuff that will help people and not just bring more visitors”. I will be writing down this point on a paper and will stick it in front of the computer ! Great post angel!
Thank you for the comment Mushfique! It’s true, the more someone looks at his stats, the more he’s more obsessed with visitors and nothing more. Great idea (the post-it), will do it my self too! Cheers ;)
To be honest I didn’t think I was an addict until I read this. I would check my analytics account every morning and then a couple of times a day. The worst thing for me is a sudden jump in visits. I will end up staring at the stats for days to see it happen again and you are right, I wouldn’t pay any attention to the bounce rate, returning visitors, page views or time on site. Stumble can be the worst for it because they can send you thousands of hits but some of the worst bounce rate, yet getting thousands of stumble hits has me focusing all my attention there and not on imporving the site. Very helpfull. Thank you.
Thank you Hank for the comment! Stumble has made me look soooo many hours on my stats screen you can’t imagine!
Now I’m only trying to check on my stats just before I go to bed.
Everything you said is true! That’s why I’m here. I’m actually wanting to know if I’m already addicted and if I am, I want to STOP! You’re right, I should care about quality and people from now on. Thanks for sharing!