How To Show Off Your Popular Posts On Your WordPress Blog

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Do you ever wish that more visitors could see your best content but they’re buried deep inside your WordPress blog?

One way of getting new visitors to see your best content is to display a list of these posts somewhere on your blog – usually in your sidebar.

You can do this manually or you can use a plugin to do so if you wish.

If you do this manually, you’ll need to check your analytics to determine which posts you want to display whether it’s the most visited posts, most commented on posts or most shared posts. You’ll then have to add them to a widget in your sidebar.

Doing it manually means that you’ll need to update the list ever so often. You’ll have to keep checking your analytics and replace links in your widget.

Using a plugin is a more automated way of displaying your best posts.

One of the best plugins to use for analytics is Monster Insights. The plugin takes your Google Analytics data and displays it in a more useful way inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can use this data to find out which posts on your WordPress blog are performing the best.

Monster Insights just recently added a new feature that lets you display your most popular posts on your WordPress blog using your analytics data.

Displaying your most popular posts can help users find your best content hence boosting pageviews, lowering your bounce rate and increasing your user engagement.

In this post, I’ll show you how easy it is to setup this new Monster Insights feature on your WordPress blog so you can get more out of your content marketing efforts.

Why Use Monster Insights?

If you’re already using Monster Insights then the best reason for using the plugin to display your most popular posts is the fact that you don’t need to install yet another plugin.

You already know that Monster Insights is a very useful plugin and it can be even more useful if you let it show off your posts.

If you’ve never used Monster Insights though, you’ll love this plugin as an alternative to always having to log into Google Analytics and searching for the metrics you need to see. Monster Insights displays your Google Analytics data right in your WordPress dashboard and you can check metrics with the click of a button.

There are many useful features available for WordPress users that you won’t have using just Google Analytics alone. Here are just a handful of examples.

  • Track author stats
  • Track affiliate links
  • Enhanced eCommerce tracking for Woocommerce
  • Page level analytics
  • GDPR compliance for Google Analytics
  • Integration with popular WordPress plugins (like Yoast SEO)

You can get started by adding Monster Insights to your website or blog as a free WordPress plugin through the WordPress repository and unlock more features through a pro upgrade.

What You’ll Need To Display Popular Posts

In order to show off your most popular posts, you’ll need two things.

While the free Monster Insights plugin is awesome and will give you basic data from your Google Analytics, a paid upgrade can unlock a host of very useful features. You’ll need to be a pro user to have the ability to display your most popular posts using the plugin.

The pro upgrade is the most popular paid upgrade for Monster Insights users and is great for ecommerce sites and websites that want big results.

As a pro user you’ll have the ability to use the plugin on up to 5 websites at a time and unlock features such as ecommerce reports (if you use Woocommerce), form conversions, track affiliate links, track categories and tags, track author performance and a lot more. You’ll also be able to add custom dimensions which is the feature that lets you display popular posts on your website.

You’ll do this by adding the Dimensions Addon available to pro users. Just install and activate it and you’re ready to go.

Setting Up Monster Insights To Display Popular Posts

After you’ve installed Monster Insights, you’ll need to authenticate it with Google Analytics, enter your license key to unlock the pro features and also add the Dimensions addon.

When this basic setup is done, you’re ready to configure your plugin to display popular posts on your website.

Step 1: Add Custom Dimensions

The first step to doing this is to add custom dimensions inside Monster Insights. You’ll find this by going to Insights > Settings > Conversions. After clicking Conversions, you can scroll down to the section that says Custom Dimension.

Click on “Add new custom dimension” add then select “Post type” from the drop down menu. There are other dimensions that you can add, some of which require integration with other plugins. To display popular posts on your website though, the right dimension to select is “post type” which lets you track performance for posts and pages.

Monster Insights also has documentation on their website on how to add custom dimensions in both Monster Insights and Google Analytics so you can check out those if you need.

Step 2: Wait 24-48 Hours

If this is the first time you’re setting up post type custom dimensions, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours for the the data from your Google Analytics account.

Step 3: Decide How To Sort Popular Posts

To show off your posts, you need to sort them by popularity. There are three options for doing this. Navigate to “Insights > Popular Posts > Inline Popular Posts > Sort by” and choose the curated option.

sort popular posts graphic

Once you’ve selected the curated option, click inside the box under your selection and select the posts you want to include from the drop-down list or start typing to search. Selected posts are automatically added to the text area and you can remove them by clicking on the small x inside the border of your selection.

There’s also the option to automatically add your top 5 posts from the past 30 days from Google Analytics. Once you’ve selected the curated option, just toggle the button under “Automated + Curated” to fetch your popular posts. Hit the check data button and if everything is set up right (you’ve waited 48 hours), you should get a success notice telling you that popular posts can be added.

Where To Display Your Posts

You can display your popular posts in a couple of ways.

The first way is to add them inside a blog post. If you have a Woocommerce site, you can add popular products to increase your sales.

By adding your popular posts inside your posts, readers can easily get to see them and click through, reducing your bounce rate and increasing time on site – two factors that can improve your website’s visibility in the search engines.

You can also use a popular posts widget to add your popular posts to any widget area such as your sidebar, footer or after your posts. For Woocommerce, there’s a popular products widget.

Monster Insights can let you customize the way your popular posts appear allowing you to edit fonts, colors and more to match the look and feel of your site.

Conclusion

If you’ve ever wanted to add popular posts to your website so that your visitors can see your best work, then this is one option that works well.

Monster Insights gives you a way to make your Google Analytics data even more useful by letting you add popular posts to your articles or in your sidebar or even popular products if you’re involved in eCommerce.

You must have the Pro version of Monster Insights to achieve this so download Monster Insights today and upgrade to get the most out of the plugin.

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