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Researchers have recently completed sequencing the DNA of the virus commonly known for spreading the Black Plague all over Europe in the middle of the 14th century. They’ve been able to go back and pretty well piece together what the virus would have looked like at the time, and there have been some staggering conclusions. By this point if you’re anything like me you’re likely now wondering if in fact you’re on the wrong webpage, and just what this has to do with producing content or managing dialog. It in fact has everything do with understanding the importance of tracking your sites analytics.

Researchers found that the virus responsible for the Black Plague is actually very similar to a virus that still infects humans today, and the original virus was nothing special. Rather it seems was the conditions that made the plague so drastic. Now if your site’s analytics and associated data are similar to a continental pandemic than chances are we can’t help you, but if you’re like most people you just need a little help understanding what all this data from the past can tell you about where to go in the future.

Just like the researchers unlocking that DNA understanding your analytics can be a bit of a puzzle, but if you know what it is you’re looking for suddenly things become much clearer. Taking in all of your associated data as a whole is a much more valuable resource than simply concentrating on one statistic. If the plague researchers were merely looking at one specific metric it’s unlikely they would have made their recent discovery, and if you’re only focusing on one metric like visits, or uniques it’s also likely that you’re not going to be making any discoveries about what your audience is looking for.

Often times total visitors becomes a sort of grail for people to judge how their content is performing. Getting your content seen by as many people as possible seems to be a logical route to having that content perform well, but if you’re just fixated on just how many people see your content how can you know how it’s being received? Failing to take an in-depth look at the big picture might lead to an unexpected decline in performance if your audience has left you without you knowing it.

Taking a holistic approach to analytics analysis doesn’t sound like something you can get excited about, but finding out who your visitors are and what they are looking for does. This is exactly what we can do with a little interpretation of your analytics, and exactly what you’re missing if you’re not utilizing this valuable resource.