Using an analytics tools such as “google analytics” is a great way to understand where your visitors come from and what they do when they visit your site (among other things). However, I’ve noticed that a lot of folks are obsessed with their analytics, they check it daily or multiple times a day…why? Analytics is a great way to monitor your site progress and traffic fluctuations but there is just no reason to look at it multiple times a day or even daily, you’re going to drive yourself nuts!
Constant analytics checking can actually be discouraging and disappointing. Let’s say for example that you took the time to write what you consider to be a great post, you put it up but then notice that nobody is really reading it. You spent all that time writing a post and nobody cared about it! Now you are a bit upset and discouraged, well don’t be.
I used to check my analytics all the time and then realized that it was extremely counter productive, I became infatuated with little numbers instead of with the conversations and existing visitors that I already had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for using analytics and I do think you should check it, but perhaps less frequently. Try checking your analytics weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly.
Here’s a little trick that I use for myself. I set up goals for myself in between my analytics checking periods. For example, I tell myself I won’t check my analytics for 1 month. During that one month I promise myself that I will be a more active participant on other industry blogs. Perhaps I promise myself that I will spend more time researching my post topics, writing guest posts, tweaking my tags, changing my site design, etc. Once I set these goals for myself I don’t check my analytics data until my set time period is up. So far what I have found is that in that one month period my traffic always goes up. This is because I spend more time actually improving my blog, instead of freaking about my traffic.
Spending more time focusing on the blog (and the readers) itself, allows me to really concentrate on the things that matter. I keep my head down and stay in the trenches, every now and then I poke my head out to see how things have changed. Setting up goals and timeliness have really helped me improve my blog, increase my traffic, and focus more on my community. I don’t get discouraged anymore, in fact when I see my traffic numbers rise, I get pumped up and excited to keep writing! For a blogger it can be tough to find motivation to keep writing, especially when you’re traffic isn’t growing, or worse, is declining.
To sum up, using and analytics tool is a great way to monitor your blog and understand where your visitors are coming from and what they are reading. BUT, give yourself a reason to check your analytics, only check your data when you have spent a good amount of time making improvements. Use your analytics checking as a reward for the hard work you have done to improve your blog!
how often do you check your analytics? do you set goals for yourself?