I’ve chosen to keep the website url anonymous because it could affect the brand image of the site but I thought it’s important to share this lesson.
They say, ‘ignorance is bliss’. You can’t be stressed by something you don’t know or don’t think about. So here I was, living this wonderful stress-free life, happy and content with everything going on with my real estate website because I had a few sign ups here and there and things “seemed” to be going alright. When you’re in such a state, there will come a time, and hopefully reading this article will be that time, when you realize that this ignorance of not tracking or measuring key metrics can be the cause of many a pain in the future…
Even though I would consider myself to be quite tech savvy and also aware that keeping a tab on your stats is important, I never really got down to looking at any of my site’s stats for a long, long time. I was only looking at sign ups, sales and enquiries and the numbers always used to be volatile, so nothing struck me as being abnormal. I was not aware that the traffic to my site had actually been on a steady decline. I was slowly losing rankings for my key terms. A few of my older articles had links to sites that did not exist anymore (I later realized there were 14 broken links spread across 173 of my blog posts).. In short, things were not going well and what’s worse, I didn’t realize any of this.
Then, doomsday struck. Suddenly signs up just reduced to such a “consistent trickle”. There was no volatility anymore, it was consistently getting worse. It’s then when I had to start investigating. And it’s only when I got into my Google Analytics and my Search Console, did I see the stats that I should have always been looking at.
So essentially, my website was getting 20,000+ unique visitors a month and it had dropped to less than 2,000! I was ranking in the top 10 for most of my target terms and now was in the 3rd page for most terms. And the metrics I was looking at (sign ups, daily listing revenues, enquiries etc.) were just totally misleading.
I wished I had tracked my rankings. I wished I had done regular audits of my site to find these easily fixable issues on my site. The problem was I took things for granted. And that’s the worst thing you could do to your web business.
Luckily, my referral traffic and direct traffic was consistently growing. So that was a good sign. However, it was not enough to prevent the losses I had to eventually suffer because of this not so sudden decline.
That’s when I realized, it’s super important to always keep a tab on your key stats. It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week. Just every couple of weeks. But don’t skip these checks for months altogether, you could just end up regretting it. If I had to calculate my lost revenues, it would be in the range of $70k+ spread over 6 months. It’s difficult to regain lost ground when you come down to close to nothing. It’s easier to regain lost ground when you can see that things are on a downward trend. You still have time. You won’t need to panic, like I had to. When in panic, you can’t think straight and you make stupid decisions. So you don’t want to put yourself in that position. EVER!
I did eventually manage to get things back on track but only after many, many months. I’ve now realized the importance of always keeping a tab of all my metrics and doing regular checks of my site. That’s where a tool like Mondovo has come in handy.
I track my search rankings. I track my traffic patterns. I also get to monitor my social profiles. And I run a complete audit of my site every once in a while to check for any issues that may have crept in. This is a sample screenshot of my rank tracking summary right now. I have yet to track more target keywords, will be doing so shortly.
I can’t recommend this enough but do track your stats and keep a regular tab on them. Whether you use a tool like Mondovo or anything else to monitor your stats doesn’t matter, just make sure you’re doing it. It’s also important to know how you track your rankings, check out this article on “how to really measure your rankings?“
I just wanted to share a practical use case of when and why you should track your metrics and how you can avoid making a blunder like I did.