Analytics: The Music in the Math

Post written by Matthew Egan. Follow Matthew on Twitter.

We all use Analytics to track the progress of our Internet Marketing.  Whether we use Google Analytics for our PPC or our SEO, or we use something like Web Trends or my favorite getClicky, we’re all watching the page views, the bounce rates, tracking conversions, following the math of SEO.  The numbers, up or down, good month or bad.

Analytics is like dancing to a song you’ve never heard before.  Maybe you’ve heard the band before, or you quickly pick up the tempo, but predicting the next cords, predicting the next section or melody is simply impossible.  If the musician did his job, the music will surprise you, the music will be unpredictable.

This dance, this instinct, this guessing game that we play with the math of SEO is everything.  No one knows exactly what to do on every SEO project.  Sure we put our Keywords in the Title Tag, we optimize key pages for specific keywords, we build links, we create content, we make our best educated guess as to what will work.  It’s still just guessing.

Anyone that gets up and says they have the secret, the math down, the one size fits all approach is simply lying.  No one has a partnership with Google for SEO, no one has an in that lets them change the rankings, Google’s algorithm is this brilliant fickle thing that just like a song, keeps right on going whether you’re dancing to it or not.

In SEO, whoever guesses the best wins.  It sounds awful, to think that we’re all just doing our best, pushing along trying to roll with our mistakes and adjust our strategies to succeed.  It’s the truth.  We’re trying to guess better than the other guy, but the fact remains the same.

At the end of the day, Analytics is the tool, the tempo of that song, that helps us correct our methods, improve our own rythm and God willing keep us from stepping on the poor girl’s toes.  All we can do is trust our instincts and learn from our mistakes.

It’s just like Jason Fried says in his book Rework; “Planning is guessing.”

My job is to be a better guesser than the other guy.  Any fluff, head in the clouds “guru” “expert” “visionary” crap is just that, fluff.  Filler.  Buzz words.  It’s about as useful as the best site ever with no backlinks.

Get out there and make your best guess, then follow up with Analytics and correct accordingly.  It’s not a secret, it’s just a little faith and an educated guess.

Matthew Egan is the President of San Antonio SEO consulting group Image Freedom. When not dancing to the blues, Matthew helps web pages like yours get more traffic through content driven Search Engine Optimization.