Are You Letting Your Analytics Drive You Crazy?

Website analytics can be a marketer’s best friend or worst enemy depending how much you let them dictate your day-to-day life. If you find yourself panicking over small changes, spending hours a day combing through page after page of data and making drastic SEO changes to your site based on a few days of analytics it’s time to stop letting your site’s analytics drive you crazy! Here are three ways to do just that:

Stop panicking over small dips in traffic. 

There are going to be days when traffic to your site is going to be down and that’s okay! A few hundred visitors difference from one day to another is no reason to panic and hold an emergency SEO planning session. (A few thousand visitors is another story, especially if it happens to coincide with a Google Panda update.)

Seasonality also plays a much more important role in SEO than most website owners realize. For instance, a company that sells snow blowers and other snow removal equipment might see a huge jump in traffic when the local weather reports an incoming blizzard. On the flip side, a landscaping company probably won’t be getting as much traffic in January/February as they will be in March and April.

Look at the bigger pictures.

Stop looking at your analytics ten times a day! It’s too easy to get lost in the minute details and lose the forest for the trees. Sure, maybe this week you’re site is generating 14% fewer leads than last week, but how does it compare to this time last year? That’s a much better measure of SEO success.

Website analytics are an incredibly powerful SEO tool—I would never make a change to my own website or recommend one for a client that I couldn’t back up using real data—but they can also be very dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to interpret the numbers. The data is only as useful as the person analyzing them! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of data Google Analytics provides, but don’t let it cloud your judgment and stop you from seeing the big picture.

Rank means nothing.

I’ve said this dozens of times before (in articles, blog posts and directly to my SEO clients) and I’ll say it dozens more—rank means very little in the long run when it comes to measuring the success of your SEO. The search engines are creating a more personalized search experience than ever before, which means no two SERPs are alike.

Searching for something on your work computer (like your company) is going to yield entirely different results than when you search for the same thing at home. Being logged into a social account (like Facebook or Google+) can also dramatically affect the results you see. Don’t worry so much about how well your site is ranking and focus more on how much traffic you are getting (overall) and how well your website is converting.

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