Monday, January 29, 2007

Your Posts with the Highest Pageviews -- What Do They Tell You?

by Paula Neal Mooney

Every once and a while it's good to stop blogging like a madperson, take a breather and analyze your stats to see what's worked in the past so that you can duplicate that effort in order to increase your pageviews in the future.

That's what I did this morning when I took a look at my Google Analytics stats (which though it says 7/1/2006, only reflects the top pageviews since I added the tracking code to my blog 2 or 3 months ago...StatCounter reflects a higher count) to see what story my blog posts with the highest number of pageviews had to tell me.

So here's a quick screenshot (big ups to that site that showed me how to hit PrintScreen then paste the screenshot into Microsoft's Paint -- under Accessories -- then save as pic file) and analysis of my top blog posts and what I've learned about getting high pageviews:

1 - Lil Wayne and Baby Kissing Photo…Rapper Admits it is Real - Ah...the infamous Lil Wayne and Baby kissing photo. I didn't even know who "Baby" was initially when I found out about this melee on Yahoo's Buzz log. This was a basic lesson of high demand (lots of frantically searching "ya heard me" type hip-hop heads) and little supply (not exactly CNN type of material).

Lesson Learned: Find yourself a topic that you do have some experience with (so you can offer an authentic and interesting opinion and perspective) that folks are seeking out -- one that not many other news orgs or blogs have covered and you'll have a good "pillar article" in your stable that'll keep getting high pageviews months and months after you've written it.

2 - Beyonce’s Master Cleanser Diet Fast – Is it Safe? - I caught Beyonce the first time she appeared on Oprah talking about how she dropped weight for Dreamgirls. As soon as she mumbled the words "Master Cleanser," I could hear the fingers Googling 'round the world...

Lesson Learned: Don't always look for blog post ideas from the net. If you hear something interesting on TV or the radio -- Eureka! Those mediums still exist! -- and it's compelling, try to get a good search-engine-optimized blog post out there about it before other blogs and news folks pick up on it.

Also, make sure to think ahead. The next logical question folks would ask about this fast would be: Is it safe? Always think beyond the bland titles that state facts folks already know.

3 - Carmen Bryan’s It’s No Secret - Again, I had no idea who Carmen Bryan was till I saw her name show up in the top ten search items on Technorati one night, only briefly. Once I discovered more about her efforts to raise her daughter alone that she had with popular rapper Nas, whom she had to drag into court to get child support out of, I became more intrigued with her story.

Lesson Learned: Check's popular search term list pretty often, then Google that search term to see what the competition looks like. That's the only place I saw that search term appear initially, but obviously lots of folks were interested in Carmen Bryan.

4 - - My home page. This is a crap shoot. You can't always know how people have found your home page, but there are a few tools to help you on -- once you install the code, StatCounter has this cool "Recent Keyword Activity" and other logs that'll tell you where folks came from to find you. They even give their geographical location and ISP address. (Google Analytics probably does the same thing but I haven't dug into it yet.)

Lesson Learned: Keep leaving your blog's URL everywhere you can: at the end of your emails, in comment sections and especially in HTML form any and everywhere that people can click on it. People are lazy. They like to click on pretty blue things more than cutting and pasting URLs.

5 - Ellen Pompeo Playboy Pics Reveal… This little diddy of a post was created after I read (in my local newspaper!) that Ellen Pompeo had posed for playboy, but didn't get naked. I knew a lot about Ellen already so it was a good topic for me.

Lesson Learned: It's okay to trick people. You can always count on horn dogs to search for the latest flavor-of-the-month's naked pics, but you don't have to give them that. (Can you believe they're coming up with a new XXX domain? Lord help us all!) Sure, I might've angered a few guys searching for Ellen Pompeo in the raw, but I believe others stuck around. I can tell some read the whole post because I saw the links they clicked on therein.

There's my analysis of my top five posts. Subscribe to Paula Mooney by Email to be one of the first to get my analysis of my other blog posts with the high pageviews. Right now I'd better go actually write some news reports...

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Tisha! said...

Very useful lessons darling! sorry I've been away so long I'm ill and working like a dog but always thinking of you! kisses

Mr. Biggs said...

Thanks Paula...this is great info. I like the top technorati search idea.

Very Nice!

notfearingchange said...

Oddly enough - one of the biggest google searches which hits my blog is cleansing....i did a cleanse last year and wrote my experiences for two weeks. I"m sure bored a bunch of my readers. But at the same time now i've introduced others to my CRaZy WoRlD! lol.

Thnx for the tip

Laura said...

Great post!

I think stats are interesting to read and can tell you what readers want to read.

I'm always a bit unsure about how many of the hits are caused by my own editing and posting.

insomnity said...

nice post. I learned a lot from this.


David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Jones said...

Interesting post as always Paula, I have Google analytics installed on my blog, but usually use my host's stat software to look up my info. Its funny, most of my post are about tech stuff, but the other week I made a post about "grillz" and that has been the one of the most popular every since. Your right though, those stats can be a big help when you look at what people are checking out on your blog and where they are coming from.

Paula Neal Mooney