It’s a common belief that more is always better. And sure—with some things, like sales, traffic, and conversions, that’s true! But for marketing and data metrics, more isn’t necessarily better.
When we choose and track metrics, the goal should never be to simply collect as much data as possible. Instead, you want them to be highly aligned with your business goals.
As a business owner, you have a ton on your plate at any given time. That means you can’t afford to spend valuable time evaluating data that isn’t going to make a big impact on your business!
Of course, tracking your data metrics is highly personal and dependent on your goals. But generally speaking, there are some metrics that just aren’t so helpful to track.
5 Not-So-Helpful Data Metrics You Shouldn’t Focus On (& Why)
Let’s dive in and explore some of the metrics that might not be worth tracking in your business. But before we get started, just remember: none of these metrics are bad to track, and if they’re aligned with your specific goals, they could be beneficial! The most important thing is to choose metrics that are right for you.
This guide is simply highlighting data metrics that aren’t necessarily more helpful than other, similar metrics. Sometimes, these metrics are important for specific performance evaluations, but you ultimately need to decide what’s most important for your business needs!
1. Social Media Likes
When you receive a “like” on any social media platform, it feels exciting! You know that members of your audience like your content…and of course, for some platforms, this gives your engagement a boost. That engagement can help make sure that your content is showing up in your audience’s news feed.
But likes aren’t the most important metric. Why? Well, they don’t actually represent clicks to your website. When you’re spending the time creating a social media post, you most likely are hoping to drive traffic to your website. Whether that’s to sign up for your email list or to make a purchase, we hope to move people from social media to our actual businesses.
Try to craft content that drives clicks, and focus on metrics that track those clicks or actions.
2. Email Open Rate
Your email open rate can be important for specific purposes, but it’s not necessarily the best of the email data metrics. Your open rate is just the percentage of people who open your emails.
That metric can be super important if you want to evaluate your subject lines and adjust as needed! But generally, open rate as the only email metric you track is a bad idea—because it can be a little misleading.
An “open” only counts when someone lets all of the images in an email load! So just because someone opened an email doesn’t mean they read the whole thing or took any type of meaningful action.
And isn’t that the REAL result you’re after?
So you can definitely track your open rate! It can be helpful. But when you’re selecting data metrics, prioritize clickthrough rate instead. That way, you won’t just know how many people opened an email—you’ll know how people are engaging with that content and clicking through to your website, too!
3. Comments On Your Blog Posts
If you’re spending time crafting content for your website, you’re in a good position to generate organic traffic and see great results! But out of all the data metrics tied to blog posts, comments are one of the least valuable to track.
Although comments are a good indicator of interest in a topic, they don’t necessarily indicate the success of a post. Instead, you should select blog-related data metrics that correlate with your business goals!
If you want to drive sales of a product or downloads of a lead magnet, you should consider conversion metrics and clicks. You could also evaluate how many leads are generated from a post, or how much organic traffic stemmed from a blog post. That way, you can make strategic content decisions moving forward.
4. Ad Impressions
Impressions are like views for your ads. But honestly? Impressions are kind of a vanity metric.
Thousands of impressions feel really good and make you think that your ad is working. But ad impressions are really unreliable and can be inaccurate. Plus, they aren’t necessarily an indicator of ad success!
Just because an ad is garnering a ton of impressions, doesn’t mean it’s actually converting.
So, you need to also examine data metrics tied to the goal of your ad campaign! Metrics like clickthrough rate or conversions are better since they’re highly integrated with your goals.
5. Page Views
Pageviews are one of the most common (and misunderstood) data metrics. Instead of only tracking pageviews, you should prioritize tracking unique page views!
Pageviews count any time someone views one page on your website, which can help you start to understand what pages are popular. But to get a more comprehensive view, you need to look at your unique page views!
This metric refers to the pageviews a single user generates during one single session on your website—that means if someone clicks on the same page 12 times (I’m not sure why, but that happens sometimes!), it only counts as one unique pageview. And that is the much more relevant and valuable metric to track!
Common Mistakes People Make When Selecting Data Metrics
Many business owners make mistakes when it comes to selecting and tracking data metrics—and that’s okay! Being aware of these common mistakes will help you avoid them. And remember, you don’t have to figure out your metrics all on your own…we’re here to help!
Measuring and Tracking Vanity Data Metrics
We’ve briefly mentioned vanity metrics in this post, but focusing solely on these is a big mistake. Vanity metrics include things like the number of followers you have on social media. These metrics are surface-level and feel good, but don’t actually tell you anything important or strategic about your business or goal progress.
Instead of prioritizing these metrics, use them to help contextualize the bigger, more important metrics you’ll use to actually make impactful decisions!
Not Using Clearly Defined Data Metrics
When you select your data metrics, it’s important to tightly tie them to your unique business goals. Poorly defined metrics (that aren’t aligned with your goals) aren’t going to help you move the needle forward in your business.
Make sure you clearly define what you’re measuring and why! This will help you use your data to take action, rather than just measuring it for the sake of measuring.
Getting Trapped In The Comparison Game
This is super important: don’t get trapped in the comparison game. So many people get really focused on whether their metrics are lined up with others in their industry or niche.
But you should focus on comparing your data metrics against yourself! Focus on growth over time, rather than hitting some random number that’s deemed “good” in your niche. Compare your current data against your previous performance for the best insights.
To make the best decisions in your business, save time, and experience growth, you need to strategically select and track data metrics. These tips will help you narrow your focus to what truly matters.
Need a little help narrowing your focus and selecting the right KPIs? Grab our guide to the Most Important KPIs now!
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