If you know what you’re doing right, you can do a lot more of it. For example, if
you write a blog with scathing political commentary, and your readers flock to any
article that mentions gun control, you might want to continue exploring the issue in
future posts. (Or, to put it less charitably, you might decide to milk the topic for all
the pageviews you can get before your readers get bored.)
To make decisions like that, you need to know what content gets the most attention.
A Facebook Like button (page 419), a WordPress.com Like button (page 421), or
Polldaddy ratings (page 423) may help you spot popular posts, but a more thorough
way to measure success is to look at your traffic. On the Stats page, focus on the
Top Posts & Pages box, which shows you the most read posts and pages over the
past couple of days.
The Top Posts & Pages box gives you a snapshot of the current activity on your site,
but to make real conclusions about what content stirs your readers’ hearts, you
need to take a long-term perspective. To do that, click the Summaries link. Now
WordPress lets you compare your top pages over the past week, month, quarter,
year, or all time. Just keep in mind that bigger timeframes are often biased toward
older articles, because they’ve been around the longest.
If you analyze a site on WordPress.com, you can also check out the Tags & Categories
section. It shows you the categories and tags that draw the most interest. You can
form two conclusions from this box: Popular categories may reflect content your
readers want to keep reading, and popular tags may indicate keywords that align
with popular search terms.