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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Importance of Statistics


There is an interesting conversation going on over at ProBlogger. Darren asks his readers if they could only check one statistic, what would it be?

I thought about that for a little while before I added my two cents. Anyone who runs a business of any sort on the internet, has to depend on statistics in order to get an idea of how well their page(s) are doing.

A while ago, I didn't think statistics were all that important. I think the reason was I had No Real Staistic to speak of. That combined with a Page Counter that really gave no pertinent information, tainted my view on the value of keeping stats.

Since I changed my PageView service to StatCounter, I have seen the value of stats, mostly because there is value in the information they provide.

Probably the biggest advantage to StatCounter over my last service is that I have stats for all 5 of my pages in one place, with only one log-in. I can compare one page to another without having to log-out, write it down, re-log-in for each page.

The biggest drawback is that you only get 100 pageviews to determine what is working. That sounds like a lot of pageviews, but the more popular your page becomes, the smaller the number seems. (You can upgrade for a fee).

I don't want to start sounding like I work for them, but I am happy with the service at this point.

The reason for this whole thing is to try to explain that Statistics are important, they are the way you can get a feel for your prospective clients. You can track where they came from, what keywords were used to find you, how long they stayed, which pages they viewed, what city.

These are all ways to target your audience. You can concentrate your efforts in some of the weaker areas. Or you can put forth a greater effort in areas that are successful for you. How and where you advertise depends on what you know about your prospective clients, and statistics are a very good way to determine the best strategy for targeting them.

Now, I pose the question to you. If you had only one statistic on which to base your strategy, what would it be?

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