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An Introduction to Insights, Your Newest Stats

Here’s an overview of Insights, the newest tab on your blog’s Stats page, and tips and ideas to help you make sense of your own posting activity.

This post focuses on your new Insights panel, which you can access from wordpress.com/stats. If you prefer, you can access your original stats page with this link format:

https://YOUR-WORDPRESS-SITE-NAME-HERE.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats

Last month, the WordPress.com team introduced a new tab on your Stats page called Insights, which provides new stats to keep track of in addition to the ones you already follow. If you haven’t yet explored the Insights panel, here’s a quick introduction from Simon Ouderkirk, a hospitality evangelist and member of the WordPress.com support team:

We’ve published resources in the past that help you make sense of your stats, from our Annual Report recap to our Stats Wrangling series at The WordPress.com Blog.

So, let’s tour the Insights panel in a bit more detail and brainstorm how these new stats can help inform your blogging.

Insights, section by section

Posting activity visualization

The top section of “posting activity,” which Simon refers to as a heatmap, displays your overall blogging activity across 12 months. The darker boxes sprinkled throughout this calendar represent your most active posting activity, and you can hover over a box to access the exact date of a post.

posting activity-insights

Why is this helpful? With this visual yearlong view, you can immediately spot long-term trends in your blogging behavior (for example, as Simon mentioned, a “dip” in his activity in June).

You can use these patterns to help you create an editorial calendar, or schedule seasonal content in advance to fill in any expected lulls (such as destination travel guides in the summer or holiday DIY tutorials).

If you manage a group blog, it’s helpful to see your site’s overall activity at a glance, which makes it easier to assign posts to your contributors.

Most popular day and hour

This section displays the day and hour that mark your most views, on average. Publishing a post during this period may be the most ideal time (though it’s important to note that other factors, some beyond your control, can affect the performance of any post).

Most popular day and hour-insights

Resources to help you establish regular features:

Going Serial, I: The Power of Intervals

Going Serial, II: If You Break It, They Will Come

Three Ideas for Serial Posts

Anticipation Builders: Three Ideas for Recurring Features

Why is this helpful? If you know your blog’s most popular day and hour, consider running a weekly feature for a specific day. Is Tuesday the best day on your wine blog? Launch a “Tasting Tuesday” feature to help build your brand and establish a regular schedule with new and old readers. Is Friday a great day on your book blog? Schedule your exclusive author interviews that day to get them in front of as many visitors as possible. Then, make adjustments for future posts based on what you discover.

You can also experiment with scheduling your posts at different times to see if this has any effect. Consider your current readership, but also think about your potential larger audience. When viewing the Countries section — which you’ll find in your Days, Weeks, Months, and Years panels — where are your visitors coming from? Should you target different time zones, for example?

Quick access to your all-time views

This next section summarizes your blog’s total number of posts, views, and visitors as well as the day that you’ve had the most number of views.

all-time views-insights

The Blogging 201 course on branding and growth offers examples of goals — but we encourage you to create ones that work especially for you.

Why is this helpful? This section of your all-time numbers is the ultimate snapshot of your lifetime stats at any given time. You can set personal or internal goals for you and your team, using these numbers as markers. Do you want to publish 50+ posts in one year? Do you want to break your “Best Views Ever” record before 2015 is over? These numbers not only keep you on track — they can push you to reach your goals.

These all-time numbers can also be useful when talking about your blog in professional and networking scenarios: in bios, About pages, and resumes; at blogging events and conferences; and for book proposals and correspondence to potential agents and editors. How many total views and visitors do you have? How many posts have you published on your topic of expertise? It’s a snapshot of your blog’s success so far.

Today’s stats

The “Today’s Stats” section is pretty straightforward — it displays your views, visitors, likes, and comments for the current day.

todays stats-insights

Why is this helpful? Drilling down to your stats for the day is different but equally helpful: while you want a bird’s eye view of your blogging activity, this daylong cross-section can help track the performance of your newest post (or an old post resurfaced and shared on social media), and offer ideas on where your engagement is focused.

Are you getting tons of likes but no comments? Lots of views, but from a few visitors? These are good questions to ask, and these numbers — combined with more specific stats in your Days panel (such as your Posts & Pages and Referrers stats) — can give you a sense of what’s going on.

Latest post summary

In this section, you can see information about the last post you published:

latest post summary-insights

Why is this helpful? Here, you get a sense of this post’s shelf-life and staying power, with its total views, likes, and comments. The reminder tells you how long it’s been since you last published on your blog, which acts as a motivator.

If you click on the bar graph icon in the top-right of the box, you’ll see the Stats page for this specific post, laying out numbers over various periods of time.

What about my other stats?

At the bottom of this Insights panel, you’ll see other sections you probably recognize: Comments, Followers, Tags & Categories, and Publicize.

The other tabs you have on your Stats page — Days, Weeks, Months, and Years — house other stats you’re familiar with, including Posts & Pages, Countries, Referrers, Clicks, Search Terms, Authors, and Videos. You’ll find general information about these sections on the Stats support page and our Stats Wrangling series.

How do you use the Insights panel? What’s your favorite new stat to follow?

If you have additional feedback on Insights, please join the ongoing discussion in the support forum.

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  1. Is it accurate that views still do not include those followers who read on the reader feed – unless you only excerpt part of the post and the have to “click” in to get the remainder?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a nice development. but my follower stat is a kind of confusing cos on my site homepage, it displays 59 followers while on my dashboard, i see only 25. I’m somehow confused.

    Like

    1. Hi catdiggedydog,

      When logged in to WP.com, go to wordpress.com/stats. Here, you will see a list of your sites. For example, click on one of your sites (eg, catherinezhang.me), then click on the Insights tab (the left tab in the top menu). You will see the “Posting activity” section for this site here.

      If you switch to another one of your sites, you can access its Insights panel (and its heatmap) in the same way.

      If you are still having trouble seeing this, you can troubleshoot and get additional help in the support forum.

      Like

  3. I must say, even though this isn’t about how wp changed tje way you browse a new post in your reader that I cant comment on blogs that have .com at the end from my computor any more. That was really a lousy “uppgrade”. And there are a whole lot more to wish for in the new set of writing a post in wp. The old admin panel is way better and have much more options.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Julie — I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but you can access your “Totals, Followers, and Shares box” in your original stats page at https://thereluctantbaptist.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats

      Is that what you mean by “shares stats”?

      Like

    1. Thank you for asking, but no, this isn’t good practice (unless the link you share directly relates to the post and the discussion).

      My colleague Ben recently compiled a bunch of our blogging etiquette posts, in case you’re interested:

      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/blogging-etiquette-roundup/

      Within the list of posts, this one on commenting is most relevant to your question above:

      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/stop-plugging/

      Thanks for joining us! You’ll get the hang of things 🙂 We’re here to help.

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  4. While reading this, an idea popped into my head – a widget that displays posts from a particular day, in a different year. I’ve seen a section like this in a newspaper, called ‘This day, that age’. Not sure how relevant it would be for a blog, considering that there are other widgets to display posts but a ‘wayback machine’ or a ‘blast from the past’ may come in handy for those who are on a blogging sabbatical, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool idea! I think some people might find this useful for sure, though I’m not sure how popular/in demand it’d be.

      You’re always welcome to drop ideas for WP.com features in the “Ideas” section of the support forums:

      https://en.forums.wordpress.com/forum/ideas

      Other users share ideas like this all the time, and both staff and regular volunteers read these suggestions.

      That aside, you bring up a good point about bloggers who might take a blogging break from time to time. How can they keep their sites fresh, or resurface older material? I’d written a few posts somewhat related to this, if you’re interested:

      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/traffic-to-archives/

      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/repurposing-evergreen-content/

      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/repurpose-with-blockquotes/

      These ideas aren’t using widgets to display older posts (as you suggested), but are other options to think about.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person