Share
Technical Penguins: A photo of Times Square in NYC shows a lot of billboards and people milling around.
Image © Dan Herman

Analytics: Count your audience, not your pageviews

Executive Summary

If you create content, you might get excited about a growing number of pageviews. But do those views matter? It’s important to know your real audience, and even more importantly, what audience analytics matter most to your site’s business goals.

Here, we dive in to “the problem with pageviews” and talk about how to set an audience analytics strategy that fits your business monetization model.

Details, Tips, Recommendations & Takeaways

Analytics are both a blessing and a curse. Free services like Google Analytics are powerful tools that can be wielded on the side of good, or be raised in celebration of evil.

Well, mostly they can either be “useful” or not, but you can guess which of those options falls closer to the “evil” category.

Everyone likes to see numbers go up. This is especially true in the news industry, which has had its share of downturns. Both Dan and Joan worked on newspaper websites for several years (more than a decade, in Joan’s case), and both saw a constant problem of people not knowing what their analytics were actually saying.

“Look, we got more pageviews!” executives would cheer. (“Oh, but wait, they’re from Lower Slombovia, and our ads are for local pizza shops,” said no one in management ever, but they should have.)

Analytics are great – when they’re the right analytics.

Starting in the early to mid-2000s, the business model for most newspaper websites was based on ads: More pageviews = more ad views. The people in charge of content thus thought that their mission was

This content is only available to subscribers. Login or Subscribe today.

Get more great advice

Technical Penguins is a full-service digital shop. We offer content, development, design and other internet services. Have a project you’re thinking about pursuing, but need a little help? Get in touch!

Contact Us

If you’d like to read all of our white papers (including tips and recommendations), you can either join with a content membership plan or purchase a maintenance agreement, which includes access to all content! Maintenance agreements also include discounts on all services, as well as other perks.

An illustration of a penguin in a hard hat, holding a wrench and a screwdriver, with an open toolbox in front of him.

Standard WordPress Maintenance Plan

  • We'll keep WordPress and your plugins up-to-date on a monthly basis.
  • We will ensure your site is being comprehensively backed up monthly.
  • Includes access to all our white papers, with members-only recommendations and tips.
  • Includes an email newsletter on topics such as security, updates and website best practices.

$40/month

Find Out More
An illustration of a penguin wearing a security guard uniform and hat.

Premium WordPress Maintenance and Security Plan

  • We'll keep WordPress and your plugins up-to-date on a monthly basis.
  • We will ensure your site is being comprehensively backed up monthly.
  • Full access to and use of the Penguin Pack, a smorgasbord of services and add-ons that can enhance your website. Features include image optimization, security, SEO, newsletter opt-in forms, even selling courses! This can replace some existing services or plugins you already use, and we'll get everything set up for you.*
  • Includes access to all our white papers, with members-only recommendations and tips.
  • Includes an email newsletter on topics such as security, updates and website best practices.
  • 10% discount off regular hourly rates for scheduled work performed.

$75/month

Find Out More
An illustration of a penguin wearing a suit, with sunglasses, an earpiece and a bowtie.

Penguin Pro WordPress Maintenance and Security Plan

  • We'll keep WordPress and your plugins up-to-date on a monthly basis.
  • We will ensure your site is being comprehensively backed up monthly.
  • Full access to and use of the Penguin Pack, a smorgasbord of services and add-ons that can enhance your website. Features include image optimization, security, SEO, newsletter opt-in forms, even selling courses! This can replace some existing services or plugins you already use, and we'll get everything set up for you.*
  • 1 hour of work included every month
  • Includes access to all our white papers, with members-only recommendations and tips.
  • Includes an email newsletter on topics such as security, updates and website best practices.
  • 15% discount off regular hourly rates for scheduled work performed.

$120/month

Find Out More

* Free setup only includes the setup of the new tools and services. If you need to migrate information from an existing tool or service (e.g., from a different membership plugin/program), that would incur an additional cost for the work at our (discounted!) hourly rate.