Analytics are an incredible asset to marketers. They give us all sorts of information about who’s viewing our websites or pages. But learning to use analytics to your advantage is something not many site owners really do.
When you’re running a website, it’s tempting to just look at the overall numbers. As long as you’re getting more visitors each month, that’s good news, and you just keep on going. But that is such a limited application of analytics. While it’s nice to see the overall trend of your page views or unique visitors, it’s far from the most valuable application of analytics.
Analytics are not just about informing us of how well our site it doing, but it’s more about what type of content is doing well. I’ll use an example from Oatboat’s history to drive home this point. Oatboat is a site that I started back in 2013 when I was only 16 years old, so the topics posted here have been all over the place. In late 2014, I wrote an article titled “the best lesser known christian bands” not thinking much of it. I was mainly trying to think up things that I could write about, not things that I thought would do well in terms of views.
This little article that I wrote turned out to be pretty popular. And now, out of over 317 million results, an article written by a 17 year old in 2014 is at the top. I think that’s pretty cool. And at the time I noticed the anomaly and adjusted my site for it.
Since this topic was obviously searched for a lot and didn’t have a lot of coverage, I played into that. I started doing similar articles which have all had a lot of popularity as well. This was actionable analytics. The analytics informed me of what people want and where are gaps to fill and I started filling them. It’s really that easy.
So what I would recommend doing is create first. Just start creating and while you’re doing it, keep a close eye on your analytics and the opportunities you might have to capitalize on. That’s what analytics are for!