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Metrics vs. Analytics - What's the Difference?
If you've heard of one, then you'll probably have heard of the other. But more often than not, the two terms are actually used interchangeably.
This doesn't mean they're the same thing.
Firstly, a metric is the noun (which means it's a thing) and analytics is the verb, so basically the thing you do with metrics.
In other words, a metric is the data and analytics are the insights you can pull from that data.
Not to be boring, but when you start to confuse the two, your idea of data collection can get a little bit messy.
So once you're clear on what a metric is and what it means to analyse them, you can dive into what is most important for your business and how you can track them.
So, what’s the difference?
As mentioned above, we’ve realised metrics are the data you collect. This means that a metric counts for anything you can physically measure in numbers.
For example, it could look like:
- Your total revenue
- Number of new customers per month
- Views to your latest blog post
- Number of visitors on your website across a certain time period
9 times out of 10 you’ll be familiar with all of these metrics as they’re what you use to monitor business KPIs and success.
However, remember that monitoring or giving weight to certain metrics vary from business to business. Just because it might work for your competitor, doesn’t mean it’ll work the same for you.
Take the time out to understand how your sales & marketing teams operate to know which metrics work best for you.
Where does analytics fit in then?
Analytics is the name we give the process of analysing your metrics.
It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual data collection, it’s what happens when you start to give your data meaning. Then, based on your analysis you can make realistic goals and decisions.
Why are they important?
As I’m sure you’ll already know, when you try to make sense of your marketing efforts without data, you’ll never know your infographics from your blog posts.
That’s why you need metrics to see concrete evidence of what is working, or sometimes more importantly, what’s not.
But you can’t make sense of any of these metrics without analytics. An iconic duo, some might say.
When you look at the realms of data you’ve got available, you need to give yourself some boundaries. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself insane.
Analytics can help you filter out that background noise. You can start to log specific metrics that provide value-added insight into your business’ marketing strategies and as a result, your customer’s buying habits.
As long as you know what you’re looking for.
It’s all well and good setting your parameters, but it’s what you do with it that counts.
Analytics prompts you to look for trends in your metrics. Why? To understand why your customers behave the way they do.
So how do you know what to look out for?
What metrics should I track?
Choosing the right metrics that represent your business can be hard. Some are more generic, like total revenue and overall website which are pretty useful across the board.
Yet sometimes, there’s metrics that only apply in certain situations. For example, e-commerce businesses might want to look at cart abandonment, whilst marketing agencies might want to keep tabs on each blog post.
Here’s our list of the top things you could look into:
Brand Awareness Metrics
- Pages per session
- Branded search
- Website traffic
- Bounce rate
- Targeted engagement
- Inbound links
- Brand awareness
- Sales qualified leads
- Conversion rate
- Customer acquisition costs
- Quality of leads
- Customer retention
- Customer lifetime value
Analysing your metrics
With tools like CANDDi, we can take care of the hard part for you.
How? By drilling down into the individuals visiting your site.
We do this by monitoring the activity of every visit to your website. By placing a first-party cookie on every device that hits your site, we know exactly what they’ve looked at, and for how long.
But what’s the point in all of this data if you can’t action it?
Well with CANDDi, you can. We show you where every visitor comes from, right down to their specific marketing campaign. This allows you to monitor your efforts with precise attribution.
If you want to see how this could work for your business, why not try our 30-day free trial?