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Are you crazy about Analytics?


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Are you driven by numbers and charts? Do views, impressions and clicks mean everything to you?

I have seen webmasters too much into analytics data. They always think of ways to improve it and work on the same. Are you one of them? Does it actually give results?

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This is such a good topic, so thank you for opening it up for discussion. 

I would actually argue that most independent and hobbyist admins don't look enough at analytics. There's a certain rigor and discipline that comes from consistently checking analytics, when most independent forum admins tend to 'do whatever and whenever and if I have time.'  Analytics can help you confirm whether or not your community objectives and tactics are yielding results - I don't try to aim for specific metrics, I think it's more important to see if those metrics are trending in the right direction. 

You also don't need to look at ALL metrics, or to obsess over it.  I pick one or two key metrics that align with what I'm trying to push on for that period of time (eg. if I'm building a new resource section, I'd like to see that there are actually new resources being added, there are people viewing those resources or interacting with those resources, etc)

I'm a big believer - both in my professional life and in running a community as a side project - of the following quote:

Peter Drucker quote: What gets measured gets managed.

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Even when your website is your hobby project, don't you want people to visit your website and engage with your content? What is the primary aim of running a website, to provide information/entertainment and let people share their views, right? I am very much concerned about data and I analyze data to brings traffic and also generate revenue.

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If you know how to analyze the data, I do not think numbers will guide you to the wrong path, numbers will actually help you understand what path is appropriate for your community. Creating topics that member are interested in rather than creating topics that you are interested in can be a path to bring more engagements.

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Taking a look at your analytics can help you see the numbers and how things are going but I also feel that when looking into analytics, you tend to as a forum admin set goals that have high expectations and when those do not get reached, you tend to feel like you failed when you have not. 

I periodically look at my analytics but I wouldn't say I look at them daily. 

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On 3/1/2024 at 4:31 AM, Shortie said:

you tend to as a forum admin set goals that have high expectations

One thing that I consistently see among a certain subset of forum admins is that they only focus their goals on members.  More members is better! And when they fail to reach their lofty goals for members, they feel bad.  

That's entirely the wrong approach to goal setting.  Set objectives that you personally can control.  You can't control how many members will join in a timeframe, but you can control an outreach campaign, or a promotion campaign, or a new member campaign, and how quickly you can implement these initiatives.  Focus on activities that you can directly control, and you'll be able to set expectations that actually match what you can do.  

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Having more members in your community or having a lot of activities in your forum do not imply that your community is thriving. What is important is you receive organic traffic, people should be visiting your community through search results.People should be interested in joining the discussion. Analyzing data will help you reach your goal.

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