WordPress offers some basic stats that let me know a few things about how many people view which pages of my blog. I requested a quick “page views in the past year” report and discovered that my HOME page was most visited by nearly 10x — which makes sense.
I also confirmed that a freak post I did which I titled “Onions” blew all other posts out of the water with its popularity. It was not popular when I posted it, however. I became popular when a rugby player named Onions become quite the topic of interest and the more people who accidentally hopped to my blog to read what had to be a disappointment, the higher that post rose in Google searches for “onions.”
What interests me is which pages are most visited other than the HOME page and this freaky onion popularity. Here’s the top…19. If you are swayed by popularity, you could use this list as a way to catch up on what everybody is reading. Of course, you can see that in some cases “everybody” is limited to 100 people or so. Likely less since some people may come back a second time to view a video a second time. And people could have been looking for something else and didn’t actually read much of anything when they arrived to find whatever-it-was not there.
When I was first blogging and used Google Analytics on my blog, I did so as a way to learn what metrics are collected and to grow in my understanding of how to read the charts and how to subsequently interpret the data. I still have a lot to learn.
My brain likes to look at this information and draw some possible conclusions. I use more than just this data — I also have some information about WHEN people have visited these pages, and where they’re from geographically. And it’s helpful to know when someone has posted a link to a certain blog on their own Facebook page or in some other ways shared it.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes, for instance, to deduce that people are looking for information about Bible Study Fellowship on-line — my BSF posts are not only almost all among the top 20, they occupy 3 of the top 5 (after HOME and Onions were eliminated, as explained already).
This is all a little bit like having mirrors on two walls in the bathroom so you can see yourself from the front and the back at the same time. Using these tools can be beneficial and smart, but obsessing over them can only serve to make one paranoid and self-conscious or arrogant and self-centered. Hmmm. I need to remember that.