Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Statistical Intoxication

I have a small confession to make. Recently, I have found myself acting in a manner that runs contrary to my previous thoughts about not caring about this blog's statistics. It all started with an innocent little glance after a particularly well received post.

Suddenly, I found myself treating stats like email; peeking in my moments of thoughtless wandering.

How could this have happened? Actually, the answer is rather easily.

The reason is stats can make us feel good. They give our ego's a nice massage and provide a feeling of security about what were doing or saying. Further, statistics can give us something to cheer for. Can I beat last week's number of page views? Let's find out.

However, don't be mislead. Does an increase in the number of page views actually translate to better work? More influential work? Is my work really more credible if my blog is the first result on Google? Does an increase in time spent on your site prove that the new ad campaign is working?

Not really, but our brains make that jump for us. As marketers, we must fight this urge to read too much from the unknown.

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