Analytics are an unpredictable and potentially dangerous thing. Yes, that’s right, I said dangerous. It might seem hard to believe that statistics could be considered perilous, but it’s absolutely true when it comes to marketing statistics.
The real danger doesn’t come from the numbers themselves: the danger comes from your reaction to those numbers. The internet is a fluid, ever-changing arena, and it’s virtually impossible to make any judgements based off of one week or even one month of numbers. In order to be properly understood, statistics need to be evaluated over time, and the direction your numbers are trending can be more important than the actual numbers themselves.
But then again, even that isn’t always enough; trends can be misleading. For instance, your leads might be increasing by 100 percent every month – but if you started with 1 lead two months ago, an increase of 100 percent every month means you now have 4 leads. All of a sudden, that percentage jump doesn’t look so impressive, does it?
So what’s the answer? You have to monitor your stats on a weekly basis, and give them some time to establish trends and patterns. And most importantly, never place too much emphasis on a single stat or trend. You need to evaluate all of your analytics over time, to give you a truly accurate picture of how your marketing campaigns are performing.
Here are six of those analytics you should be tracking weekly:
Visits – This is one of the most critical statistics, and one that isn’t hard to understand. Your visits represent your total traffic, and they should be steadily increasing over time. More traffic means more lead opportunities, and you need leads to make money.
New visits – These are the visitors that haven’t been to your site before, and new visitors means new people to market to. If you have the same people coming to your site every week, you’re really limiting your lead opportunities. You need plenty of new visitors.
Leads – It’s pretty easy to understand why leads matter: leads are one step away from becoming sales, and sales are what bring in money. It’s vital to remember that most lead conversion rates are pretty low: 2.35 percent is considered average. Therefore, you need to have as many leads as possible to improve your chances.
Lead conversion rates – This is a number you need to take with a grain of salt. If your business is small, you probably won’t have a lot of leads, so even 1-2 conversions can make the rate jump significantly. Therefore, although you should examine this number weekly, it needs to be monitored over a long stretch of time, because it can fluctuate wildly.
Open rates – Email marketing is a vital component of any inbound campaign, but your emails are useless if no one is reading them. Opens help you track how effective your subject lines are, and quality subject lines are often the difference between an email being read and being immediately deleted.
Click-through rates – Unfortunately, it’s not enough for the email to just be opened. I’m sure you read plenty of emails once, then never interact with them again. Click-throughs tell us when a reader has actually interacted with the email, clicking a link inside. Those who click through are interested by our emails, and make great potential leads.