It’s easy to get wrapped up with the “arms race” that is website traffic and social media following. After all, these items on your long list of business to-do’s can be increased on a daily basis and you have immediate satisfaction knowing you’ve added to these numbers.

Satisfying as they may be, it’s not about the numbers.

A business must produce a profit in order to operate. Long hours grinding away at your website, marketing campaigns, and social media engagement doesn’t do much for your business if what you’re doing is “spinning your wheels”.

The true measure of success comes from conversions.

This post has two purposes:

  • Explaining why you need not worry about numbers
  • Keeping you focused on the prize

A gentle kick in the butt is a good reminder to keep your nose to the grinding stone.

Forget the Numbers

Twitter followers, Facebook fan page likes, website traffic, LinkedIn network, impressions, click-through, on and on and on. These numbers fill our dashboards and we obsess about them on a daily basis.

It’s easy to become wrapped up in monitoring and tracking your numbers because they can be examined and picked at in real-time.

We, as humans, are naturally addicted to the constant stream of information (think about those obsessed with watching market gains in the stock market – even if they don’t really play it).

The numbers, though they are quite useful for optimizing your website, are a double-edged sword and on the sharp end is a never-ending “nag” that you could be doing something better.

You strive to double your traffic and followers, you want better open rates, and each new advertising campaign must perform at a greater level else you feel like a failure.

Stop it.

The numbers are slowly driving you insane and, worse, it’s distracting you from complete your goals.

What good are the numbers if no one engages with your message? After all, it would be far more beneficial to have a solid core of followers and community members constantly buying your products and promoting your brand than double the amount where you get no response, at all.

You’ll get on track and retain your focus when you forget about the numbers.

Your time and energy will go toward the larger projects that matter (ones that earn you an income) rather than obsessing about one more like or follower. You could always dig into these numbers in an allotted time throughout the month but doing it daily, like checking your weight during a diet routine, can discourage you when you don’t hit your market. So, instead, spend that hour or two you dump into number tracking into your projects, plain and simple.

Make Conversions the Primary Focus

The number that does matter is how many sales you’ve generated.

The numbers can only give you a cold, robotic look at what your website visitors are doing; the better way to understand your visitors is through asking them (directly, survey, etc) and examining their motions using tracking tools such as CrazyEgg. These tools give you real-world and visual explanations and it’s through these two methods of tracking that you’ll be able to increase your conversion rates based on logical, direct feedback (not just a spreadsheet of digits).

Kissmetrics has explained a great way of increasing conversions:

This is what you should keep your attention on.

More followers and website visitors will certainly allow you to grow but there need to be a customer base and, more importantly, you need to know what your visitors want. When you’re solely focused on increasing numbers – you forget about cultivating the community.

The early days of your affiliate marketing business are the best times to garnish feedback and support; it’s these early moments when you can interact with your community and align your goals rather than overloading yourself with too many numbers and statistics.

Forget the numbers and grow from the core customer base; learn as much as you can from them about their user experience, buying habits, personal goals, and brand perception. Knowing the what, why, and how will have a phenomenal impact on your affiliate profits from the get-go and doubly so when you begin to increase your reach, online, because you’ve created a solid foundation for your work – one that goes for the conversion, not the number.

What are your thoughts about numbers vs. conversions? Share a comment below.