Much like doing laundry or walking the dog in sub-zero temperatures, analytics are a necessary evil.

They’re a bother to track and can be pretty dull (unless percentages really do it for you), but they’re also the foundation for a whole lot of your business and audience development strategy. Avoiding them can leave you with a big pile of… crap.

Understanding what’s happening in that digital space can inform the types of content you share, the products you sell, or the things you write about. But what numbers matter most?

To get started, track these key metrics each week:

Pageviews: How many times a page on your site was loaded by a browser.

Visits: The number of times a person came to your site from literally anywhere else on the internet.

Unique Visitors: The number of individuals who went to your website in a given time period — they only count once, so if they went to your site 100 times in a week, they still just count as one unique visitor.

Pageviews/Visit: The average number of pages visitors loaded while on your site.
Did they click around through pages or products?
Check out your About Me?
Or hit up your Contact Us page?
Those all count.

Time Spent: The average amount of time each visitor spent on your site.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who left your site after only checking out one page.

Referral Traffic: How much of your traffic came from other sources — ideally, you’d break this down by what those sources were (social media, other websites, partner sites, organic search).

Once you get a feel for these numbers, you’ll have a good idea of how people are using your site. That way, when you make changes, you can track whether they’re helping or hurting engagement.

Who knows, you may just develop a love for percentages after all.