Google Analytics is one of the most valuable tools available to all bloggers. Unlike a lot of tools, it’s not limited by blogging platform so?you’re able to utilize it on Blogger, WordPress or Squarespace. It’s been shown to be a lot more accurate than built in analytics tools that are standard to Blogger or WordPress which is great news because it helps get a truly accurate look at your viewers. Google Analytics isn’t something to get wrapped up in and obsess over, rather it’s a tool to use to analyze the effectiveness of your blog posts and continue to help your blog improve.
Aside from being able to see your every day traffic and stats, Google Analytics can give you great insight into which of your posts are the most popular. This is the best way to see which of your posts receive the most pageviews on your blog (something social media analytics an’t tell you).
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics yet, you’ll need to do that first! I recommend this tutorial from Blog Ambitions to set up Google Analytics. It will take some time for your stats to show so I recommend adding Google Analytics and then coming back to this post in about a month. Pin this?to come back to!
For a lot of bloggers, Google Analytics can be a bit overwhelming to read and understand at first. Here are the basics:
Pageviews: Amount of times a single page is viewed
Users: Amount of people who have had at least one session during the time frame
Sessions: Amount of interactions during a given time
All three of these interact with each other. Here’s an example: When you land on my blog homepage, you might click on this post and then click on a link to learn more about bounce rate. That would be three pageviews, but only count as one user and one session.?Users are usually the lowest amount, followed by sessions and then pageviews is the highest amount.
After you understand those basics, it’s time to set up a filter, essentially, that will tell you which of your posts have the highest pageviews over a given amount of time. When logged into your Google Analytics account, click on customization at the top. Click new custom report. Set up your new custom report as follows:
Title: Popular Posts
Metric Group: Add Metric- Search and select pageviews under users
Dimension Drilldowns: Search and select page under behavior
Click save. Your popular posts will load!
You can choose to view your popular posts in any time frame. I recommend comparing the last 30 days to last 90 and all time. It’s interesting to see if there have been trends (for example recent holidays or even a recent change to your blog design) that may have caused an increase in views of a certain post. To change the time frame you’re viewing, click on the date in the upper right hand corner. You can select a preset from the drop down menu or click one specific date (example June 1), then a second date and apply to select a range.
The best part about setting it up this way is you can always go back to your customization menu and your custom report will be there. With plugins or other ways to view popular posts, it’s not easy to look back on trends and those analytics can also be skewed with lots of spam pageviews. Google Analytics does a great job with weeding out some of those spam views and I love how easy it is to compare months or other time periods.
Now that you have a list of your most popular posts, you can add a few of those popular posts to your sidebar, create a popular posts page or share these popular posts on social media! You can also use this information to figure out what type of content you should share next.
Have you ever looked at your most popular posts? Did you notice any trends?
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