The other day I was talking about one of the concepts that is becoming “fashionable” in the world of web analytics: vanity metrics or vanity analytics, i.e. those metrics on your website that are great for showing off, but which serve no purpose whatsoever.
Read: total visitors to your site, average time of visits on your site or average page views per user.
Careful. This does not mean these metrics do not matter at all. If your business is to sell impressions or clicks on your site, undoubtedly those metrics would matter, because the more views and hits you have, the higher you will be able to sell the CPC or CPM.
But if you have eCommerce, those figures will not matter as much as others.
A practical example, a full physical store
Imagine a physical store visited by 300 people each day who each spend an average of 5 minutes there, but in which only 3 people buy. That conversion rate of 1% would be the most important figure to you.
You would also want to know why they come to your shop, only look and don’t buy.
That is difficult to determine with analytics, but you would have an idea of the following:
– the flow of the pages they visit and where they go
– if they come from competition websites or Google searching for “product name + price”, they are comparing prices
– if you have a bounce rate of 70%, you can assume the problem lies elsewhere
The One Metric That Matters (OMTM)
The point is to stop worrying about figures that do not provide anything and concentrate on those that do. Ideally for this you need to find the One metric that matters (OMTM). For example, what would the OMTM be in an online store? The number of sales + the average ticket or conversion rate.
How do I know that that is my OMTM? Because that is my business focus. If I concentrate on selling pears, the OMTM will be how many pears I sell. And my entire online strategy will be based on that objective: selling pears, selling more pears, selling all the pears I can.
From that OMTM, we can configure the other matrices which add something to our business, such as:
– How many pages does a user see until they buy a pear?
– How much time passes between the user entering my store and buying a pear?
– In what step of my purchasing process do users become stuck?
– Which of my homepage highlights do users click on the most?
– Which pear I am selling the most?
– Which pear I am selling the least?
– Does someone who buys one of my pears return?
– Where do the people who buy my pears come from?
All those questions can be answered with metrics and are important questions for your online pear business. Improving the results of those questions will help you sell more pears (OMTM).
So, concentrate on what matters and answer this question: what is your most important metric?