Ogilvie Interactive Marketing VP Rohit Bhargava started a two-part post describing the top 10 overused (and improperly interpreted) metrics of 2007, and what metrics people should be focusing on in 2008.
Earlier this year, there seemed to be a big shift among Web analytics researchers, who’ve now decided it’s more insightful to look at user engagement, which Web Analytics Demystified defines as “an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set of goals.”
Among Bhargava’s top 10 junk measurements:
- Technorati Authority – As tempting as it is to use that neat little number beside every blog as the ultimate ranking for a blog, doing so can give you a false idea of the prominence of a blog and unjustly tip the scale against blogs that deserve a higher ranking.
- Comments – Another element that many people are starting to look at on blogs and online videos is number of comments. The problem with this is that it fails to qualitatively look at comments. If you get 5 spam comments, 3 comments calling you an idiot, and another three that are nothing more than linkbait … that’s not 11 comments, that’s 0 useful comments.
- Time Spent (searching) – Time spent on a site is a metric that marketers love to use, but it is only partially useful. Often, the time spent on your site is not an indication of engagement, but rather a result of a poor or confusing user interface. When a user has to spend 5 minutes trying to figure out your navigation, that’s not good news or something to consider a success.
- Page Views – No list of useless metrics would be complete without mentioning an old favourite for the online world … page views. This is another metric that most forward thinking marketers are getting rid of (or have already) and are replacing it with something like unique views to avoid capturing multiple views from the same person and double counting them.
Read the full post at Bhargava’s Influential Marketing Blog and tune in tomorrow for Part 2.