Back in school, statistics, or anything that involved digits and analytics really, was probably one of the most dreaded areas of study, especially for us creative types. But needless to say, a lot of emphasis has been placed on statistics and analytics in the context of virtual presence in our business – something that we’re all involved with in one way or another, creative or otherwise. There is no escaping it!
Thankfully though, almost any virtual platform now provides users with simple complimentary statistical and analytical counters. For instance, WordPress provides a succinct but highly informative summary of visitor profiles to blogs or pages hosted under their domain. The same can also be said for pages (not personal accounts) on Facebook and YouTube. Besides listing visitors by the day, information can also be found on the popularity of your profile, based on the geographical locations or age of visitors, or reasons why and how they actually arrived at your page! As you can see, an exhaustive amount of information can be extracted through the use of statistical and analytical counters yet most of us probably don’t pay as much attention to them as we should.
Besides “in-house” analytical and statistical counters, there are many readily available counters for use on the internet. What makes it even better is that most of these counters are free of charge and customizable which means they can be used by anyone in any way they want, be it in a professional context or even for personal blogs. One of the names that come to mind the most readily would be Google Analytics, but other providers of similar services include Tiny Counter or the very aptly named, simplehitcounter.com.
These statistical and analytical counters usually involve signing up or registering with the host of your choice and then obtaining a code to attach to your website. Of course, instructions on how this actually works, and how to apply them to your own virtual platform, are far better and clearer and professionally sound than what is written here – so be sure to do a thorough research to figure out what suits you or your objective(s) best.
In summary, here are two reasons, out of many, for why they are especially important when it comes to analyzing the value of our presence in a virtual context.
- Statistics allow us to narrow in on groups of people that should be focused on.
As previously mentioned, a lot can be found out through statistical and analytical counters. One of the most useful things would be to ascertain the demographic of the main pool of visitors to your virtual platforms. Sometimes, the perception of a business’ audience may not tally with the actual audience it has – this is where the statistical and analytical counter comes in. It sheds light on the real crowd, whether you like it or not, that your virtual platforms are pulling in!
- Statistics also allows us to fine-tune the material that should be on your virtual platforms.
Once you have a better picture of the types of people visiting your virtual platforms, you can then fine-tune the material being featured to cater to your actual target market. If you feel that the current crowd drawn is not going to engage your business the most effectively, tweak the strategy for your online presence to be more appealing to your intended target group.
Granted, this is a lot easier said than done. So, besides detailed and meticulous planning, practise patience because it would take several rounds of trial and error in terms of strategizing before you hit the desired target. But with these two factors in mind, a better overall plan can be constructed to effectively utilise your resources and bring your business’ virtual presence to greater heights!
Irene Gomez, Corporate Media Services , Singapore