I am NOT a mega-mathy person so when I tell people that I know the stats on lots of my blog and social media accounts they are somewhat confused… no math but you can quote stats like a champ… what gives?
Today I am going to show you 6 ways that I obsessively track how my content is doing on my blog and social media so that I can make more things that people like!
1. Put the Popular Posts / Top 10 Plugin on your Website
The free Popular Posts Top 10 plugin counts the top posts per day/week/month in quantity overall! I have mine in my WordPress sidebar so I can see which of my posts are doing the best.
Those are the top 10 posts from my website over the last week. Now, they don't change all that much but there are occasionally breakouts like the Christmas quotes that came in at #1 this week!
Knowing these numbers is great but what should you look for?
Trends… you can see that there are Etsy SEO trends, Customer Demographic trends and SEO and Keyword trends… whoo whoo! This lets me know possible topics for future blog posts.
Outliers… that Christmas quotes tells me that people like “holiday” type quote pages. Last month I had a spike for Thanksgiving Quotes and the month before that for Halloween Quotes… hmmm think I will make some New Years Quotes! You can find pockets of goodness from your posts.
Works with itty-bitty sites too! If you are seeing those numbers and FREAKING out because they are so high, you probably have a newer site. I can remember being stoked the first time one of my posts got 1,000 hits in a month let alone a week. So set your days to 30 and keep a running total of which of your posts are doing good! This works even BETTER on little sites because you can track down quickly when there is a weird spike in traffic to a particular post.
Check that page! Okay, now down to marketing…yay! Take that Top 10 list and look at those pages. Can you add a banner to your course or a link to your newsletter signup page? Could you make a better picture and increase the traffic even more knowing that people like that page a lot already? Maybe get an affiliate link on there so you can get a little extra cash from your best traffic. Link to another article on your website so they visit multiple pages and decrease the bounce rate on your site (Google likes this).
Setting up the plugin is super easy! Just go to your plugins and search “top 10 popular posts”, install and activate. Then slide it over to the “widgets” section of your sidebar. That is it!
This is how I set up mine, not too much, not too little, just right!
When you are starting out, there won't be any info there yet, the plugin counts as you go so don't freak out if you see something like this…
In a week you will have a fun looking top 10 list like I do!
2. The Bottom of the Page Count
Good news, the second thing I obsessively track is part of this plugin so you don't have to do anything else. When you add the Popular Posts Top 10 plugin you will notice at the bottom of your blog post pages a counter…
… it tells you how many people have come by to your page today and then lifetime (from when you install the plugin).
Use this to…
- Pop in to check and see if a recent post is doing well numbers-wise according to your site. 50 might seem high or low…. you won't know until you start watching!
- See how many people came to see that page today without having to do the whole Google analytics thing.
3. Check Your Social Shares
Recently I swapped out other social sharing plugins for Social Warfare (it is free too!) They have really cool buttons that make it easy for your visitors to share you posts. #promo
But what I love is that they also have counts of how many times your post has been shared on the different social media site (with the free you don't get to see the Twitter numbers).
What to do..
- See which social sites like which kinds of content. For example you might notice that a post about DIY did great on Pinterest but not on Facebook. Or you might see one that went nuts on LinkedIn and vow to share that once a month at least in your scheduler!
- Check your sharing. I have one post that does great on Google, but when I looked at it I noticed that I had NEVER shared it on social media. Seriously?
- Check your pictures. There have been some pictures I have just thrown together and thought I will fix them later, only to find out that they were doing great getting shared on social. No sense in messing up a good thing! If your pictures are doing good, leave them be!
4. Pinterest Popularity
I KNOW, if you have a business Pinterest account you can check your stats but I don't find that to be all that helpful because I like to see things at glance.
With that in mind, head over to your Pinterest and check your boards to see how many shares each pin gets.
This is EVEN LESS scientific than most of my tips because Pinterest doesn't cumulatively count pins anymore (each new version starts at 0 rather than having a count of every time that pin is on their website).
But it is a good way to split test your pins easily. I do two versions of a pin and then Pin them at the same time and see which one does better.
For sure on this one people like cupcakes more than guys with computers.
5. Checking Instagram Stats
If you go to your Instagram account on your computer you can hover over your posts and see a quick count of how many likes and comments a post has gotten.
Checking my Glamorously Vintage Instagram I can see that the bowls picture I took in HomeGoods has 34 likes and 4 comments.
By taking sweeping checks of these I can start to get a feel for WHY people like some things more than others. Was it the…
- Light and bright picture
- Description I wrote
By watching this day-to-day you get a feel for what your followers like and give them more of that and less of the ones they hate!
For example, say selfies of you get lots of likes but you think they are dumb. You are overruled and should take more pictures of yourself so people can see what you are up to!
6. Check Your Twitter Notifications
Many of us have Twitter running on autopilot, but it is worth swinging by there from time to time to see which of your content people are pinning and what they are saying about it!
Jenn (@Unit25Creative) gave me some great feedback that my advanced content is striking a chord with marketing people. This is a great way to get feedback about what kinds of content the people of Twitter like to share (and they generally tell you why when you share it!)
Check Your Blog & Social Media Stats Wrapup
There you have it, just a few of the ways that I check my stats on an ongoing basis. The nice thing about this is there is not the pressure of something fancy like Google Analytics, instead I can just bop around and get anecdotal information a little at a time!
Note, I am not saying that you shouldn't use Google analytics or the built in stats from the social sites, just that there are other ways to find cool things out about your content that you might not have of thought about before!