I’ve been reading a lot of “2012 in review” posts from my favorite bloggers. The best ones have included their top posts of the year, which I personally think is brilliant. I think it’s awesome for the reader, as they are listed neatly in one post (because, let’s face it, we may bookmark that post to read later, but sometimes later never comes).
And all these bloggers collected their top posts via some sort of analytics tool- I’m assuming the majority used Google Analytics.
And this is where the genius comes in for me- if you’re also a writer (furiously waving my hand in the air), it forces you to want to generate your own list and take a long, hard look at your own content. That’s immediately what I did. And let me tell you, generating that list is eye-opening. It may surprise you. It certainly did me. BTW- The benchmark I saw most often was number of pageviews, so that’s what I’m using here.
Step-by-step guide to find your top posts using Google Analytics:
- Log In.
- Scroll down to “Content” and select Overview.
- Click on the dates box in the upper right hand corner.
- Select Custom Date Range and specify your dates (I picked 1/1/12- 12/28/12).
- Click Apply.
- Scroll down and you’ll see the top posts by number of pageviews. You may also see non-blog post items such as other pages (About, Contact, Hours, etc.). But you’ll know what your posts are 🙂
Your list gives you tremendous insight for the future- so you can write content your readers want
And no matter what they say, writers really do want people to read what they wrote. I know I do. Even a quick scan of my list allowed me to see the topics or types of posts (problem/solution, Q&A, etc.) that readers valued. So do you think this gives me great ammunition for future post ideas? Darn Tooting. My mottois- “If someone takes the time to read what I wrote, then I’ll make it worth their time to read.” This approach certainly helps lead me in the right direction.
Obviously, you can do this search any time of the year and the information is still just as valid. It just seems the most common time is year-end.
Here’s my “Top 5 posts of 2012”, ranked by number of pageviews, along with commentary about why I thought they hit a nerve with the readers:
13 Creative Uses of Pinterest for (insurance) marketing– this post exploded for several reasons, but I think the biggest reason is that it was truly one of my most content-heavy posts. What I mean by this is there was very little theory and tons of real-life examples. Screenshots of actual boards from actual insurance folks, along with actionable, realistic suggestions. I basically gave away a blueprint of how to use the platform and I think it really helped out a lot of people who were struggling with this new platform.
So when IS arson covered under a homeowners policy?– I think this post answered a question that many people are curious about, but hesitate to ask. They probably think if they ask it, they’ll look suspicious. So they just keep wondering. I gave them an answer in a safe environment.
PROBLEM SOLVED! One way to make sure you get matching siding or roofing after a claim– one of my biggest weaknesses is coming up with a title for my posts. I struggle. This time, I think I hit the nail on the head. And this is a common problem with insurance claims. So I think the combo of the “perfect” title, along with the problem/solution approach really did the trick.
Animal damage isn’t covered by your property insurance policy- what they destroy and how to keep them out– the worst time to discover you have a problem is AFTER the claim. Again, the problem/solution approach works well here- I uncovered a problem most people didn’t even know they had and offered solutions to prevent the problem.
Car insurance and deer accidents. Who’s at fault and what happens next?– in this case, I wagered that since my customer had this exact question, many other people were asking the same thing. So I answered the question. I also offered up tips should you come upon a deer, educated about the claims process and even walked the reader through the process we use at my office. Again, real-life examples.
How to be the worst salesperson. EVER.- this post makes me smile every time I think about it. This was certainly a “rant” about crappy salespeople, offering up multiple examples about what not to do (based on my mistakes or the mistakes of others). But I especially appreciate being able to combine my sarcasm with humor to get my point across. It’s just such a true post- anyone in sales can appreciate the message and will hopefully use it to avoid making the same mistakes.