Most good blogs (and indeed websites) will have some level of analytics installed, which tell the site owner how many people are visiting, what they’re doing while they’re on your site and how they moved about.
On a big, international site like, say, Amazon, this can be a critical piece of insight. Knowing where your users come from, what they do on your site and how they interact with the page can be the difference between a poorly-performing site and a billion-pound turnover.
Analytics on a blog are a slightly less critical affair, but the most important insight they provide is what content people are reading – which (in theory) allows you to tailor your content more towards what works – and perhaps avoid the stuff that doesn’t.
A site like mine isn’t exactly in danger of setting the internet alight – I get a relatively small number of visitors, I know roughly where they come from and I like to keep an eye on what traffic I get – and we’re talking hundreds and thousands rather than millions.
One thing it DOES help me with is finding out what my most popular posts have been – and working out why. So, in order to share that process with those of you who might not be familiar with the thrilling (!) world of analytics, I thought it might be nice to share what my most popular posts have been – and a guess at why it might have been that way…
My number 1 post of all time (by quite a significant margin) was my semi-love-letter to my wife and her colleagues in the teaching profession. When I originally posted this, a lot of teachers I know shared it on their social media – though it still gets at least a dozen visits to this day, over a year later. Weirdly, when you check what people type in to find my site, there are some VERY peculiar terms which lead visitors to this post. My personal favourites are “Can you marry a teacher?” and “How do I get a teacher to marry me?” :O
Another post which surprised me with its popularity, I put this quiz together 2 or 3 years ago, and it still attracts visitors to this day. In fact, with the quiz being fairly out-of-date now, I had to go back and add a disclaimer, because I was getting people complaining at how some of the questions were now inaccurate!
This one is probably the popular post which I’m most pleased with, as I really like the topic. If you didn’t read it at the time, I’d definitely urge you to go back and have a read now – the Finnish government really DO treat parents right. A lot of other countries could learn a lot from them…
My fourth most-popular post is another quiz, this time a light-hearted number of Cbeebies. If there’s anything my fellow bloggers can learn from this, it’s that people do seem to love a quiz. Hmm, maybe I should have called this post “I bet you can’t guess which of my posts were most popular?”
This is another example of a post which gained a lot of traction on social media, with many readers taking it upon themselves to share it with friends who have been caught out by this sort of scam. Whilst only tenuously-linked to parenting, this post worked well because it explained something that a lot of people don’t understand. Or at least that’s my take on it.
So, those are my top 5 posts. But which of my post DIDN’T work? Well, I won’t embarass myself by giving you the bottom 5, but I will share the number 1 most unpopular post I’ve ever written – if nothing else it might give it a second chance at life…
Well, there you go. Clearly a fast-forwarded video of me doing chores in the garden isn’t the internet-breaker that I clearly imagined it might be, back in 2011. Who would have guessed it?! :D