Sitting In the Stat Seat

In working on OWNER magazine, I’m paying attention to stats really closely so that I can try things, tweak things, and see what works and what doesn’t. I feel like Christopher S Penn, but when I say that, please know I’m joking. I’ll never be 1/114th as clever as that man.

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I’m looking at my bounce rate (how long someone stays on site before they drop off and leave), which is around 65% (not great, but not hideous).

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I’m looking at what they click, where they came from, where they go. And with this, I’m testing. I’m asking what I can do to improve time on site, what kinds of offers are interesting and useful and which aren’t, which networks are currently serving me my most traffic (twitter) and where I need more amplification (LinkedIn). I spent $100 promoting a post on Facebook to see if something would come of that (so far, not really, but that’s likely me, because I’m not as smart as Amy Porterfield).

What’s fun is that I’ve not “had” to do this at [] for a while. I know who you are. I know what you’ll do. I know what makes you happy and what bores you. I ignore a lot of what the stats tell me. But this is different. I’m approaching OWNER magazine like one should: like a new business. I’m working on knowing the guts of it inside and out so that I can help prospective partners who want to do business with us to understand who exactly are on the site, and what they most want.

How I Normally View Stats

I have two metrics that I measure numerically and one measure of qualitative analysis. The qualitative measure is just how people react and respond via email replies and comments and other feedback. The two numerical metrics are # of subscribers and $ of revenue per active subscriber. That’s it. Because my business is a media business, that’s all I need to REALLY pay attention to most days.

But then, I like finding those stats for any business. If I ran restaurants, I’d be very attentive to $ per guest (average order) as a metric for my servers. I might be attentive to pounds of waste with my cooking staff. And for planning, I’d want to work on margins and attendance.

To me, there are a wealth of stats, but I only usually need a few to figure out the “hinges” of the business. If you’re liking the magazine, my other metrics fall into place without me needing to know the guts and the details. If I’m still trying to figure out ways to grow my numbers (and I am), I’ll have to see what you’re clicking and what you’re not, how you’re searching for me, and how you’re not, etc. But then, when it gets rolling, I’ll use higher level dashboard metrics than that.

What stats do you follow for your business? How much of what you run is numerical? What do you do to tweak those numbers?

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