Vanity Metrics vs. Data That REALLY Matters

Roy McClean
Jul 23, 2013
Vanity Metrics vs. Data That REALLY Matters

When it comes to business and analytics we always like to see big and growing numbers for our online channels. More visits and page views. Increased time on site. Oooh. Aaaaah!

Some metrics can go straight to your head and make you think your business is better than it really is. The key is getting to metrics that REALLY matter.

Three Analytic Concepts to Hang Your Hat On

Answer these three questions:

  1. Is your online presence generating profitable sales?
  2. How is your online reputation?
  3. Do people engage with you online?

Answer yes to one question and your business might succeed long term. Answer yes to two questions and I'd say your long term success rate increases significantly. Answer yes to all three and you probably got a winning enterprise!

All other metrics can be regarded as "vanity" metrics.

So you have 10,000 visits per day to your business website. And people on your site for over 4 minutes on average? OK, but is your online presence generating profitable sales? If it isn't what good is the traffic?

If you are selling product but you have a terrible reputation how's that going to work for you in the long run? Probably not very good unless you are happy being in business for months vs. years.

Your Most Important Metric?

So what should be your most important metrics? Hits? Don't make me laugh. Visits? Time on site? I used to think they were important. Today, not so much.

Today I'm thinking I'd take a good reputation, high engagement rates and solid conversion rates over any of the other analytics numbers you can throw at me. And the fine people at seem to have a similar opinion.

Have a look at the infographic below and let me know what YOU think!

Click on the image to see a larger version in PDF format.

Marketing Metrics That Matter

Courtesy of

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