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If you have been around or talked to me, you know that analytics is my love language. With analytics comes vanity metrics, which really provide no value to you or your business.
I love to look at, analyze, and make changes based on facts and data. Vanity metrics don’t give you anything to react to. They are there to make us feel good but provide no real measure of success.
So let’s dig into analytics and metrics that matter. This article will call out a few you should measure and some you really should just sideline.
What are Vanity Metrics?
The short answer: Metrics that don’t matter
The long answer: Vanity metrics are often at the forefront of our minds but really won’t lead to sales or business growth. These are typically the metrics displayed to you in easy to find places on Social Media and other applications.
These little numbers in disguise distract us from what is really important for our business. That is growth and sales.
So what should I measure?
So no matter where you are with your business ignoring vanity metrics and concentrating on the right things is a concept that can help you dramatically. Ask yourself, “What are the most important metrics I need to improve to bring me closer to my goals?”
Then focus on those specifically. The cool thing is, it doesn’t just apply to Pinterest or Social Media. You can use the power of analytics to measure your goals in ALL areas of your life.
So what are these “vanity metrics” you should avoid? Let’s look at some areas of your business, what you should look at measuring, and what you should avoid.
Most businesses concentrate on the “Open Rate“.
At first glance, this seems like a super important metric to measure success; after all, you want people to read your emails. This leads to businesses concentrating on subject lines and, if desperate enough, leads to clickbait. Let’s avoid that downward slope.
The truth, though, is that if your audience values your content, they will open your emails no matter what your subject line says. There are a handful of people that I look forward to their new emails. Why? Because I know those emails are packed full of information, I want.
So what should you be measuring?
Click through Rate. Typically speaking your business content should be short and lead your audience to additional information or products/services. To measure if you succeeded, measure how many people click on the links you give them in your emails.
Pro tip: I recommend Mailerlite for email, and you can check out what I think of FloDesk too.
Most business owners tend to focus on the first metric they see. This is impressions / monthly views. That is because Pinterest displays this on your home feed and your business hub. However, as you guessed it, this tells you nothing important.
This metric is how many times your pin showed up in someone’s home feed. You know that place on Pinterest with 1000’s of pins you never click on. It doesn’t really matter if your pin showed up on a feed if no one did anything with it.
Don’t be so tempted to grab that first metric. Instead, look at all the metrics available and pick the ones that get you closer to your goals. For most of us, the goal is to drive traffic somewhere or get sales for our products and services.
Analytics that support these goals are the ones we need to be measuring.
So if we apply this principle to Pinterest, we are probably using the search engine to drive traffic somewhere. So what metrics support that?
With this in mind, we should really be looking at the number of saves (which gets us more eyes on our pins) and the number of outbound clicks (bringing traffic to our content).
Pro tip: Want someone to manage Pinterest for you? Check out my Pinterest Services.
Which blog analytics are important really depends on your goals. This is an area that people are going to disagree on what is most important. So pick one or two that really mean something and track those.
Some ideas of what I track are:
- Average Time on Page
- Conversion Rates to Lead Magnets
- Bounce Rate
- Traffic Sources
Vanity metrics for your blog are things like search console impressions and the average position of keywords. If no one is clicking through to your content, it won’t matter where you rank on Google, and you can’t expect to have impressions if you haven’t built up a reputation yet.
Depending on the site you are working with will depend on what is a vanity metric. Most platforms will have some sort of “followers” or “impressions” which would be things to not pay much attention to.
Instead focus on clicks, saves, and growth.
Vanity Metrics Conclusion
As you can see, metrics are complicated, but we should focus on the ones that bring us closer to our goals. Typically, these are statistics that promote traffic or sales. So focus on finding items related to saves, clicks, or moving people down your funnel.
After I stopped focusing on Vanity metrics, I stopped wasting countless hours. I found myself panicking about the wrong things, and you probably are too.
Now that I’m focusing on the right things, I can channel all my attention into improving the metrics that matter. Then I can ignore the vanity metrics that aren’t helping me grow.
Pro tip: Have you reviewed your business priorities lately? Are they in alignment with your goals? If not let’s look at your business and life priorities so you know what to measure and focus on.