Daily Statistics: Stop Using Them Right Now!

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It’s fascinating watching those numbers turn over, isn’t it? I’ve been blogging for years now and I still like to watch my stats. But I learned early on that it can become addictive. Checking your stats every day, or sometimes every hour, can add up to hours you could have been using for more productive things – like writing articles or starting a newsletter or writing your first ebook. But, I know, you’re excited and you’re afraid you’re going to miss something. So let me explain why it’s OK to stop checking your stats daily.

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There are millions of factors that can cause a jump in your numbers, at any given time, any day of the week. That same factor probably won’t be in effect the next day, the next week or ever again. Trying to figure out what caused the blip and then sitting there waiting for it to happen again is just a big waste of time.

It takes more than an hour’s worth of data to be able to recognize a trend worth exploiting. Let the traffic roll in while you work on something productive and analyze the data later, when there’s actually some data worth analyzing.

By checking your stats every day or every hour you’re not really focusing on anything in particular. You’re looking at everything and you can’t see the forest for the trees. Check your stats at the same time, once or twice a week, and look for specific key performance indicators. Don’t try to take in the big picture all at once. This way, you can set specific goals and chart your progress. When you achieve those goals, move on to another KPI.

You’re not going to miss anything. If you’re using Google Analytics you can pull up stats for at least the past year – daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. You can even narrow it down to the hour. Your time is much better spent working on new content or marketing or promotion. If you really must check your stats every day, make yourself a pact: You can’t check until you’ve completed your daily to-do list. Once you see how much you accomplish when you quit staring at those stats, you’ll have to remind yourself to look at them.

Which is really just another way of saying: If you’d stop checking your stats and go take care of business you won’t have to worry about your stats.

That analytics page is just like Facebook or Twitter or WOW. It’s a time suck and you know it. Staring at the numbers does absolutely nothing to increase your traffic. The only thing that brings in traffic is you and your elbow grease. So stop checking your stats every day!

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  1. Tom Le Mesurier

    I am terrible for this – I find the stats mesmerising and will gaze at them for ages – slice them up in different ways, check hits of specific pages, see who gave me most referrals today, and who received clicks from me. I will try to wean myself off the daily stat check – if I gave up smoking then I should be able to manage this :)

    1. Tom, analyzing stats is interesting, but doing it extensively is pointless… It doesn’t grow your blog or your audience

  2. Andrea Naomi

    Great point Steven there are so many awesome features on there that I usually get stuck looking at all the different reporting options. Total loss of an hour at best. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It’s so easy to get stuck in all these reports… I understand what you mean Andrea.

  3. Howard

    I check my stats about once a week, primarily to see which posts pull the most traffic in the last week. It gives me some feedback about what is working and what isn’t.

    The other thing I check for is indications of scriptkiddie attacks. When I seen a spike in that sort of traffic, I make sure that everything is updated, and change my passwords — even the one on the dummy admin account.

    1. Howard, you change the passwords every time you see a spike of traffic? And I thought I was too careful…

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