3 things I’ve learned about analytics

Website and social media analytics reports can be a bit of a minefield for the uninitiated.

I’ve been there, looking at the numbers wondering if certain changes are as important as they appear and what a particular measure actually means.

So I decided to delve a little deeper with a course run by Adam Tinworth via journalism.co.uk and these are three key things I learned.

1. Don’t rely on one single measure

Photo by Patricia Serna on Unsplash

Hits are easy to focus on but did you know the measure is also jokingly referred to as ‘how idiots track success’?

Joking aside, hits will only tell you one thing: how many people were potentially interested in your page.

Another example is the time spent on a page. If people are spending time on a page they are more interested, right?

Yes, but only to a point. Your ‘visitor’ might still have the page open while looking at something else or they might be talking to someone or checking their phone.

There are pros and cons to all the different measures, so you need to look at a variety to get a more accurate picture.

2. Look further back

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Don’t just take a snapshot view, some content may be a slow build or a topic that gets revisited over a longer period.

Some content, news, in particular, might be pertinent for just a short period whereas less time sensitive features and opinions might build a steady readership over a longer period.

Keep an eye on spikes. It might be an anomaly or it might be that a particular piece of content is back in vogue and worth re-publicising via social media channels.

3. Patience


Photo by Ethan Kent on Unsplash


There are no easy overnight fixes that are going to suddenly bump up your metrics.

Social media and SEO strategies need time to gain traction and have a visible impact in your analytics.

Which is another reason to look at your data over a longer period so you can more accurately track changes.




One thought on “3 things I’ve learned about analytics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.