Confession time here, I am a total numbers junkie. I am that person who has a spreadsheet for just about everything from keeping track of my Pinterest Group boards to managing all my accounts with usernames and passwords to tracking my blog stats (website traffic, social media engagement & email list) to managing my bills with a payment schedule and budget (super exciting, I know). So it is no surprise that I LOVE exploring and making the most of Google Analytics.
Before we go any further, I want to make sure that you have Google Analytics installed. If you aren’t sure or need help, I wrote a pretty extensive blog post on how to install Google Analytics on your blog where I walk you through how to do it on both Blogger and WordPress as well as the one thing you must do to get accurate traffic!
So go do that now if you haven’t done so already!
I wanted to write this post now because many bloggers, myself included, like to do a post that features their most popular posts for the year. If you love reflection type posts like that, you will now know how to find that information.
Why Knowing Your Most Popular Posts is Important
Aside from the “most popular blog post” type post, there are several things you can do with this knowledge.
- Prioritize which posts you should add content upgrades to first: Reasons for having content upgrades are a whole other discussion for another day, so lets just assume that you are planning to add some but don’t know where to start. Your most popular posts are exactly where you should focus your energy first. Why? Because they are getting the most traffic! Your time is important and you don’t want to waste your time creating content on posts that aren’t getting any traffic.
- Create similar content: You already know that this topic is resonating with your audience, especially if a few of your top 10 posts are on the same subject. How can you expand on it? Can you create more content around it? Or is it a certain type of post that is doing the best, such as how-to posts, round ups, lists, etc. If that is the case, then you know the type of post that really gets your audience excited. Make more of those type of posts. You just need to look at your data and see what trends it is showing.
- Repurpose the content: Okay, so hear me out on this one. Repurposing your content is great because it attracts different people and expands your potential reach. Turn your blog post into a slideshare deck, a YouTube video, a podcast episode, there are so many possibilities. For more ideas, check this article out from Melyssa Griffin.
- Monetize the post: Just like with adding content upgrades to your most popular posts, you should see how you can monetize them. Say your most popular post is about why you love your hosting provider so much, make sure you become an affiliate and add links to that post. Are you a fashion or lifestyle blogger whose outfit posts practically go viral? You better be adding affiliate links when listing out your outfit details. Don’t miss out on these opportunities. When it comes to monetizing and using affiliate links, just make sure you disclose –click here to find out why.
Now that you know why your most popular posts are important, let me show you how to find them.
Where to Find Your Most Popular Posts in Google Analytics
Step One: Login to Google Analytics, set the date range you are interested and then click on Behavior.
When you login, Google Analytics automatically defaults to the Audience Overview tab. You can find the date range in the top right corner. You can set a completely custom date like I did above or chose from some presets such as Today (which might not be totally accurate yet), Yesterday, Last Week, Last Month, Last 7 Days, or Last 30 Days. Once you set the date range, select Behavior from the left side menu. Technically you can set the date range at anytime, but I always forget so I like to set the date range I am interested in looking at first.
Step Two: Select All Page from under Site Content in the Behavior tab.
There are many things you can look at in the Behavior section of Google Analytics, but for this purpose we are interested in looking at ALL pages.
Step Three: Take a look at your most popular posts.
This defaults to showing the page URL. You can sort by pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, etc. So you can find more information on just how popular that page is. For example, if you have a post that is by far getting the most pageviews but people aren’t spending any time on it, then it probably isn’t worth adding content upgrades or monetizing or anything yet. You should look for the posts that have high pageviews and a high average time on page.
If you would prefer to see the name of the page, rather than the URL. Just click Page Title, and you will get the same information in a different view.
Figuring out your most popular posts using Google Analytics isn’t as hard as it might sound but it is a very important step if you want to take your business to the next level. You become more knowledgeable about the type of content and what topics your readers are interested in. You can use it to attract a larger audience with less effort by repurposing your content. Remember, if you just have Google Analytics installed it won’t do you any good. You actually need to dig through the data and figure out the most important metrics!I know how to find my most popular blog posts, do you? Find out why it is a crucial step! Click To Tweet