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How to show popular posts on website

This blog post is sponsored by MonsterInsights(sponsored link) which is owned by Awesome Motive(sponsored link). Everything said in this post is my own opinion or that of a site that is linked. All the links that MonsterInsights asked to be included have been marked as a sponsored link.

Having website analystics on your website can tell you where people are going on your website. There are analystics which let you share the results with others and most importantly analystics tell you what is popular and what isn’t. By knowing what is popular you can spend your time trying to duplicate that success to hopefully get more people to your website (there may be a time when you have too many people), then getting them to go to more pages, then hopefully contact you and buy from you.

How do you know what your most popular post on your website is?

You will need to dive into your analystics to find out what post is popular, it depends on what analystics you use on how to find out the most popular post. It may require you to setup a custom dimension, or it may be on your analystics dashboard (like Fathom Analystics (affiliate link) has), you may only have to view the entry pages, or you may have to sort by pageviews.

Can a search engine (like Google) not just tell me what posts of mine are most popular?

Google and many of the other search engines do make this data available if you sign up for their webmaster tools and validate that you own the site with the search engine. After a set period of time (usually within 48 hours) you can see what keywords people are searching for that your website appears on. Some may even be able to tell you the exact keywords and the ranking. You have to regularly go into each of these webmaster tools to see what has changed, some do have automated emails that can go out if there are any issues but you have to set those up.

Does bounce rate affect the popularity of a post?

No bounce rate doesn’t affect SEO or the popularity of a post. Google doesn’t use bounce rate as a metric for how a post should rank, some have said that one of the ranking metrics is how many people click on the link but as Cesarino Morellato and Andrea Scarpetta found out they can’t say for sure if click-through rate is a ranking.

A high bounce rate isn’t a bad thing to have, it means that someone went to that and found exactly what they were looking for. There are many things that will lower the bounce rate so do what works for your website and your industry.

Great, I now know what the most popular post is but now what?

With you knowing the most popular posts you should take the time to figure out why those posts are the most popular. Are they because you spend money to direct people to that post, have tons of people found that post through Google, or it is your most recent post, or that the post was shared a ton on social media. Once you know this you can take this and try to use similar methods to get more views on those less read posts.

Should I promote those popular posts more?

You always have to keep promoting, one way to do this is by showing people who come to your website what your popular posts are. This way if they want to start somewhere they may consider starting there (you could give the section a title of most popular or start here). You could manually change out the popular posts but that would require you to keep going back to your analystics to see what is popular and logging into your website to change that. There are many automated ways of doing this, from MonsterInsights (sponsored link), to using a popular posts plugin, and there are many other options based on what website platform you use and what you feel comfortable doing.

If social media is how most people found out about those posts then continue to promote it on social media by using a tool like SocialClimbr (affiliate link). As social media happens quickly, if you promote those posts again sometime in the future it will get different readers. When you do this make sure to change up what you are saying in the social post and not just post exactly the same thing, change it up as different headlines may get different people reading it.

If ads were the way people came to the post then you can’t keep spending money on ads (unless you have an unlimited budget and even then you want to change your ads and adapt). You may want to see what other pages those people went to and see if there is another way you can get them back to your website (maybe if they subscribed to your email newsletter or if they followed you on social media).

Should I promote posts that have tons of comments?

On some websites having a tons of comments means there is a good discussion and on some websites it shows their are tons of bots (and that comments aren’t moderated very well). If your website has a comments section that has tons of people replying to each other and they are providing helpful suggestions then you may want to consider promoting those posts. A website may also allow anyone to comment and if the comments aren’t moderated then those comments aren’t worth promoting the post for. The decision is up to you and the way comments are on your website.

Do people want similar content?

Now that you know what content is popular you may want to create content that is similar to that and see if people come to that content as well. Or consider a topic cluster which is a set of pages organized around a specific topic so readers can find out more about the topic in general.

If you do any of this you learn what your most popular posts are, you will get to show off your most popular posts, and why you should keep promoting them.

Gregory Hammond

Gregory is the owner of Gregory J Development and he loves helping people with their websites. In his spare time, Gregory listens to music, writes (not just for the blog here), and is trying to read more often.