Search Engine Optimization  - SEO

Whether we have a website or a blog, we often ask ourselves, “How can I get my site found?”.

We either learn SEO (search engine optimization) or hire an expert, begin using it and carefully choose search terms relevant to our content. We sit back and anxiously wait for the traffic to start rolling in.

Ironically it’s often not the well thought out search strings that drives traffic to our blogs/websites.

Sometimes it’s the unexpected.

Today’s Lesson

Recently I was analyzing my statistics to see how people find my blog. One would think common search terms would have something to do with “blog”, as I have the word “blog” twice in my title and blog about blogging, but that’s not always the case.

Here are some recent search strings that brought visitors to my site.

“color me gone – color me gone” This search string took this person to a post I did when I was being interviewed on Jeremy’s Day’s blog, Insight Writer. The name of my post is “Color Me Gone” which announced to my readers I wasn’t here, but could be found on Jeremy’s blog.

“frisky libriarian” Although the person using this search string may be looking for something more erotic,  it takes them to any of my posts when a commenter who uses the online name of “Frisky Librarian” responds.

“lazy people” I’m not sure why someone would be searching for lazy people, however the post they landed on would have taught them how to get “Increased Search Engine Traffic For Lazy People” – a guest post written by Catherine Lawson.

“twitter why do i care?” This sounds like a search I would do. In fact, I wrote a post titled “Twitter – Do You REALLY Care What I’m Doing” asking the same question. Since then, I’ve joined Twitter.

“the hunter who doesn’t do his homework” I had to giggle at this one. I was puzzled why someone would use these particular words, but they did land on a guest post written by Hunter Nuttall titled:Twitter – Social Media’s Hidden Gem. It’s a fabulous lesson on Twitter, so even if they didn’t learn anything about hunters, they got to meet a guy named  Hunter who did hand out homework to those who read the post.

“candy store layout” I’m assuming this person either has or is interested in owning a candy store, however I’m sure they were disappointed when the landed on the post  Blog Visitors – Like Kids In A Candy Store where we discussed the navigation of our blogs and if is easy for visitors to find previous posts we’ve written.   The article may not have helped them, but I did include a photo taken inside a candy store.

“when to tell if your bff likes you” This search string puzzled me. BFF stands for “best friends forever”. Wouldn’t you know your best friend likes you? Unfortunately my post BTW Your BFF Is ROTFL @ Your SERPs wouldn’t have answered their question, but they would have learned more online abbreviations.

“husband don’t show affection to wives” Here’s a search string that can be interrupted read several ways. 1) Husband – DON’T show affection to wives!!! – as a command. 2) A wife isn’t getting affection from their husband, or 3) I’m looking at the “s” on “wives” and wondering “are they talking about multiples?”  Hmmm…. Anyway, what this person landed on was my post titled. Wife Sues Husband’s Blog For Alienation of Affection, a hypothetical situation where a wife feels abandoned by her husband because his blog takes up so much of his time.

When I look at how people conduct online searches, I realize there are millions of possibilities. We often get hung up on using search strings WE think should be popular, when in truth, we’re only guessing.

Today’s Assignment

How are people finding your blog or website?

Is it what you expected?

Or do we have search engine optimization all wrong?

Please feel free to share your findings. I’m guessing the results will be interesting.

.


Photo Credit: Danard Vincente

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  1. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I used to get weirder stuff, but search engines seem to have gotten a good idea of what my site is about by now. Most of the search that led to my site nowadays either have something to do with puppet making, or videos/events I’ve recently wrote about. For a few weeks I ranked #2 for hot glue gun safety tips, but I’ve long lost that since the post is no longer new and I don’t write about the topic consistently (who does, really?).

    Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..Review: Chen Kuai Le Puppet Theater (Taiwanese puppetry) at Music Center

  2. LingNo Gravatar says:

    Depends on what your plans are. To develop an enduring flow of visitors, you need to focus on creating timeless content – like recipes and history. If you want a rush of temporary tarffic, then you need to tag along with the news.

    So basically, its all about your plans. Be good at what you do, and the visitors will follow. As for fooling around with optimization, well, don’t. If you look at it theoretically, you’re artificially pushing up your position to reflect an expertise which your content doesn’t actually have. That’s morally wrong, if not legally wrong.

  3. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Most of the time I get what I write about. then I get ones
    like “pentru” or “verde” or “latte” or “click”…. crazy as they seem, they may find what they are looking for.

    I am no expert in seo by any means. Is there a different side than what we are taught to do?

    Linda´s last blog post..Fuel Cells and More

  4. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    This is the perfect example of how simply learning a little about SEO and not ignoring it figuring it means if you add SEO to your site/article/blog then you must somehow automatically produce crap content, can help both you and visitors get what you/they want.

    What you will find is actually learning SEO has two great benefits:

    1. It helps you to focus your article and not stray so far off topic that 200 different search queries will find you.

    2. You’re helping people find you when they are actually looking for you.

    Of course nothing is full proof and you’ll still get weird queries that land people on your site, but you can use this knowledge to see how Google and Yahoo are reading your website and that will give you some clues as to where the important parts of your site is in Google’s eyes.

    I do get some weird queries but for the most part people find the pages they are looking for in Google when they come to my site. My problem is I’ve written a lot of articles (like real estate investing) which really does nothing toward creating profits. But that’s ok, I like the fact that people enjoy articles I write.

    John Hoff´s last blog post..Understanding The Psychology Of Your Website Visitors

  5. One of my core coaching concepts is encouraging people to make a fresh career start, usually by seizing the freedom of self-employment. So I often get good action on terms like, “starting over” “starting fresh” and “how to start over.”

    Sometimes those terms pull greater than traditional career type terms. Probably because the career search terms are much more crowded. So strategically it may make excellent sense to exploit this opportunity to be a big fish in a much smaller pond. I’m looking forward to hearing the real SEO experts chime in on this one.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Personal Relationships and Business Support

  6. I’m surprised that John didn’t confess to being the one who searched for “the hunter who doesn’t do his homework,” since we all know it was him! I’m sure he also searched on phrases like “the hunter who fell asleep in class” and “the hunter who got detention.”

    I think Tom had the right idea about some search terms being much more competitive than others. If you do a Google search for “blog,” ProBlogger doesn’t show up until the fifth page. That keyword is relevant, but highly competitive!

    However, more specific keywords can be even more relevant, and they’re much less competitive. BWAB is on Google’s second page for “blogging in a candy store!”

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..The Arizona Cardinals Guide To Winning The Super Bowl

  7. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Whatever Hunter! You know I was looking for searches like “How to cause trouble and blame it on Hunter”!

    By the way, there is a plugin out there called Search Meter which allows you to view queries people typed into your blog’s search box — f.y.i. (in case you’re wondering what people are looking for)

    John Hoff´s last blog post..Understanding The Psychology Of Your Website Visitors

  8. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I do use some SEO on my Haw Creek website and the results are pretty much what I expect.

    On my Exit78 blog, though, the search results are all over the place, though.

    I don’t worry about SEO very much, though. It’s one of those things I keep putting off.

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..The Sun Has Lost Its Spots

  9. I haven’t looked in quite a while, but I’ve been amazed at how the terms match what I write about.

    I don’t do anything to attract traffic via SEO, but when someone (more than one someone) was looking for monogrammed note cards, they travelled to my blogs. There must have been something about the name of the blogs that drew them in, b/c I’m guessing they were looking to buy the cards, and I’m not a retailer. (My cards were part of a “holidays by hand” project I did w/a few other bloggers).

    It’s fascinating stuff . . . and some of it will always remain a mystery!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Show & Tell: Nothing to Show OR Tell!

  10. One of my recent favorites was “is my brother anti social”. First, how would google now the answer to that. I know why anti social found my site and I have written about my brother but I have never mentioned him and anti social together.

    I also have two older articles about converting videos – they are the most popular due to search engine hits but they don’t have very many comments. I’m still trying to get a handle on what people really want to know – but on the other hand I can only write about things I’ve researched and worked on.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..February Special: 15% off All Services (I Love My Clients)

  11. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Great question. I’ve actually been rather bad at my SEO lately. I see what people are searching for and I haven’t fully addressed these posts which is resulting in some wasted opportunities for me.

    Most people are finding my site based on searches about the economy and how to save money. Some have ofund my article Financial Predictions for 2009. I’m not sure if my advice was what they were really looking for.

    The most surprising search is the one looking for the ‘If it’s not Scottish it’s Crap’ Mike Myers SNL skit.

    Neil´s last blog post..One Hundred Pushups

  12. Hi Barbara – We get most of our searches from “passing thru” keywords. The second most popular search term is for Chief Hole in the Day. Who knew when we wrote about the quirky place name we pass on our way to the cabin? And we still get traffic from searches for phrases in Christmas carols from our series we did in December.

    I know I have a lot to learn about SEO. I think it would work better for us if we had a more specific niche.

    Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..FINDING VALUE IN UNCERTAINTY

  13. Well, Color me fascinated! You done made me actually go into my Google Anaylytics. And it seems Stumble Upon is sending me a lot of traffic and I’m not even set up with them in an account. How is that?

    Here are the more interesting phrases that landed folks on my site…

    — golden bras
    — lightweight drunk
    — advanced placement essay naked
    — brainwashed by Sarah Palin
    — ass kicking bunny poem
    — cash in my bra
    — contortionism
    — how to flounce
    — I have lost my Jannie
    — milking a cow poem
    — migraine guitar lesson.

    YEP – that’s my blog in a nutshell!

    Oh dear me… why have I waited so long to check my stats??

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Doing It

  14. That’s funny, Barbara. 🙂

    Some of my most common ones recently have been

    Pink Ink
    pink blog
    Pink’s karaoke contest

    As for my horror fiction blog –

    she squished him

    brought someone over.

    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..If You Had to Live The Same Day

  15. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    I am often amazed at the search strings which bring people to my site. My most interesting was “naked Oprah”, I understand why it took someone to my site “The Naked Soul” and I have mentioned Oprah and at least one of my posts. It is just very strange. I am sure this person was disappointed to not find a naked Oprah on my site.

    Mark´s last blog post..Rich Man, Poor Man and Our Spiritual Journey

  16. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – there’s some hilarious ones there. I haven’t checked my stats in a long while but I was getting a lot of searches for “best ass on the internet”. I think Betsy’s ass is definitely famous by now.

  17. One of my most popular searches of all times was my post on Dirty Dishes in the Sink.

    I get searched all the time for dirty dishes. Who knew there were housewives/househusbands the world over looking for tips on how to wash dishes?

    I have to tell you. SEO goes over my head. I have read a lot on it.

    But I am still amazed at how people actually find me.

    Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirationa´s last blog post..Field Trip

  18. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    I learned SEO late in the game. Having said that, I don’t pay attention to stats at Blogger Dad. I haven’t looked at them in months. Heck, I might not have any readers left!

    I have started to use smarter subheads, though. I used to use terms which were clever and fit with the writing. Now I try to use terms which serve the dual purpose of working with the content and also helping people find my site.

    I did pay close attention to traffic coming in to my comic, Todd and Penguin, though. The ways in which people found my comic never ceased to amaze me. Several people did searches for penguin and sex and porn and somehow, despite the fact that my comic is G-rated, they got links to my comic.

    Why people would search for penguin porn is beyond me.

    I think for most blogs, word of mouth is still the best way to get discovered. However, if you are selling something and people are searching for it, SEO should be a priority.

  19. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve recently migrated to the a spot right in the middle of the fence that separates SEO and non-SEO. I resisted SEO for the longest time, but now try to have fun within its boundaries. I’ve written a specific SEO piece for WD each Wednesday for the last month, and I’ve had a lot of fun with them. I think it’s just another skill. It should be used when appropriate and not abused.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..The Blueprint is Here

  20. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Other unexpected things can do it, besides strange searches (of which I’ve had plenty).

    I got an email asking me to part of a promotional campaign for a movie – I went ahead and did 4 posts about the movie (because I agreed with the thrust of the movie), and now I get heaps of searches for the movie – I come up on the first page of a search, because blogs rate well with Google. A totally unexpected turn of events.

    Robin´s last blog post..Guy Finley Followed By An Illustrated Meme.

  21. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I just checked my Stat Counter and one of my most popular posts is “How to Eat a Pringles” which will land you on a silly video of Peanut eating a couple of pringles. I hope they enjoy the show.

    I keep wondering if I should try to do a better job of writing SEO. I’ve never really researched how to do it. I just write what I want. If I talk about a place or item that can be linked to (like Disney World) I will do that. I don’t know if that helps with traffic or not. I’ve tried lots of other things people suggest, too, but I just can’t seem to get my stats to grow. It’s frustrating. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Articles, Parties, and Giveaways

  22. I do get many weird searches – I think most of us do – but SEO is about getting the traffic that will actually be interested in your content instead of immediately bouncing off your site, and in this respect, I’ve been making good progress.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Women And Body Image: Ten Disturbing Facts

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kelvin – That’s great the search engines have finally figured out what you write about. Although it’s great to get traffic from other search strings, those that land on our blogs are probably disappointed.

    Hi Ling – I have to agree. If bloggers are using search engine optimization to gain the system and the content isn’t there, it becomes an ethical issue. Quality, timeless content will win in the end.

    Hi Linda – Like you, SEO is not my line of expertise, but it’s obvious searches online will take people to sites that contain the words they type in. All the more reason to be precise when we search.

    Hi John – Thank you for the quick lesson in SEO. I’m guessing the search engines could be a little confused about my blog as I use such different terms prior to getting into my lessons about blogging.

    Hi Tom – Based on the search strings that are being used to find your blog, I’m guessing the readers aren’t at all disappointed as your content and your coaching does help others to start over.

    Hi Hunter – I love your humor. 🙂 Now all I have to do is get popular with owners of candy stores who want to learn blogging and I could raise to #1 position. Hey, maybe they’ll hire me to blog for them. You thnk?

    Hi again John – Thank you for the tip on the Search Meter plugin. I’ll check it out.

    Hi Mike – I find it interesting how on one of your sites where you use SEO you’re getting appropriate results, but on your Exit 78 blog where you don’t use it, the results are all over the place. That does validate the importance of it’s use.

    Hi Ann – Monogrammed note cards? Might you start selling them? I think you’re right – “some of it will always remain a mystery!”

    Hi Kim – That’s funny that you’re getting the “is my brother anti social” search. Like you said, it is amazing how the search engines put the terms together and then send the reader to our sites.

    Hi Neil – I agree. It’s hard to know if the search was beneficial to the reader. If they comment and say so, that’s one thing, but most often they don’t.

    Hi Betsy – Yes. Specific niches are more conducive to SEO. For those of us who aren’t in those tight niches, we’ll probably continue to get traffic with unexpected seaches.

    Hi Jannie – Wow! What strange search strings. Who knew?

    Re: StumbleUpon. You don’t need to be registered to have others Stumble your posts, but you do have to be registered to Stumble others.

    Hi Jewel – You have some fascinating searches, too. The “Pink Ink” search is ideal as that’s the name of your blog. Maybe you need to start selling pink ink pens. 🙂

    Hi Mark – “Naked Oprah” is an interesting search. Last year I was getting a lot of searches for naked bloggers. Those have since stopped.

    Hi Catherine – It’s great to see you here. I hope you’re feeling better. Betsy is getting popular, isn’t she? You’ll have to check your blog again as I remember you were getting a lot of real funny ones, too.

    Hi Wendi – That is funny you’re getting searches for how to wash dishes. Nowadays many are learning how to do things based on their searches, and with washing dishes being part of our daily life, they have to learn it somewhere. Maybe you should add an update to your post and share your dish washing secrets.

    Hi Blogger Dad – How bizarre – how people find your comic. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    I agree. Word of mouth is the best way to find blogs that pertain to our interests.

    Hi Writer Dad – You’re right. SEO does have boundaries. It helps to get us found, but can also negatively affect our writing style. I remember reading how you were going to do the SEO pieces on Wednesdays. I’ll come over and check them out.

    Hi Robin – That’s a great example of how your blog ended up getting additional traffic and the movie ended up getting more publicity. Definitely a win-win.

    Hi Debbie – “How to eat a Pringles”? Strange. I’m guessing they enjoyed the video as Peanut is such a doll.

    I’m actually surprised you’re not getting more hits on Down syndrome as that was your blogging platform. I’m guessing when we blog about a variety of topics we do confuse the search engines and instead of getting targeted searches, we get the odd ones.

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Vered – Yes, when we do use SEO, we aim to get readers and/or subscribers and not just a “hit”. Our traffic numbers may increase intermittently, but not our loyal readership.

  25. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. It is funny what people search for. On my first blog I’d get a lot of searches from people about being afraid of the dark and about what it meant when they dreamt they died.

    My new blog only has 10 published posts and a PR of 2 so far. Every day I get a few searches for “naughty quotes” in regards to my second announcement for The Quote Effect. Shame, cause there’s nothing naughty about me and my blog 🙂

    Davina´s last blog post..Shopping for Effective Attitudes

  26. Barbara,
    Good topic – one of the pain points of any blogger “how do i get found”.
    SEO is one of the techniques that i am still in early stages… Titles and Headers and Metas are all already done. But does it work?
    What’s most surprising is that after i started the practice of adding alt comments to images i started to get hits from images.google.com
    cool, huh?

  27. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    So, I took a look at where I’ve gotten the most searches in 2008:

    – jungle of life
    – lance
    – jungle life
    – don’t ever give up
    – stimulate creativity
    – thought for the day

    I haven’t spent a lot of time understanding SEO — maybe it’s time. I have a couple of posts that seem to have generated some traffic, otherwise, though, not so much….hmmm….

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  28. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    unfortunately i don’t know how people find my blog. some say through entrecard, others through google, i don’t even like google and via other blogs.

  29. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I write a lot of humor and wacky food reviews and the name of my site is “I Hate My Message Board” so I get all kinds of weird searches. A lot of people hate all sorts of things!

    Probably the search terms that bring me the most search traffic are pickle pops, slankets (and snuggies) and I get at least one search for a picture of an ascii lolcat daily. I feel bad about the Slanket people, because half of them are searching for a slanket coupon so I keep looking for one to post a link on the post, but so far none to be found.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to make SEO work for me but I think social networking and word of mouth are probably best to get the audience I’m aiming for. My goal in the next weeks is to make my site easier to navigate so people can see all I have to offer.

    And for fun, today I had searches for:

    what to use as a binder for haggis
    “asian helper” “hamburger helper”
    bacchus bomb
    what is cuttlefish penis
    ppushu ppushu
    things about me that you have to know
    i hate gwyneth paltrow
    i hate my mother
    “grupo bimbo”

  30. People find my blog via “someday” “procrastination” and “insecure people”

    There are a whole bunch of others but those are the main three. I’m good with that. 😉

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Getting through it on your own: The Deep Friar interview

  31. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I looked quite a bit – no weird ones for me. Just one that made me smile -“do dogs laugh or cry”.
    Honestly, I have had no time to dedicate to SEO – I really should be relearning some because I tend to forget things I do not put into practice 🙂

    Maya´s last blog post..The One Hundred: A Guide to Pieces Every Happy and Balanced Soul Must Embrace: Simplicity

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davina – It is funny, isn’t it? I wonder why you’re getting searches for “naughty” quotes. The only thing I can figure out is somewhere, maybe in a comment or two, the word naughty is used.

    Hi Alik – Thank you. That is cool how you’re getting hits from images.google.com now that you’ve added your alt tags. I’m guessing your readership must be increasing.

    Hi Lance – Some of your search strings are something you could build off of. For example, “thought for the day” should take them to you fabulous Sunday posts which are always uplifting.

    Hi Natural – I’m thinking a lot of your traffic is coming from your exposure in blogosphere and on Twitter. People see you commenting and want to know who is behind that humor.

    Hi Tracy – Oooooh! You’re getting some interesting searches. It does make me wonder why someone would be using a search string that starts with “I hate…” Are they trying to find others who feel the same way?

    Hi Alex – The searches people use to find your blog should land them right on target as that’s what your blog is all about. 🙂

  33. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Maya – I like yours “do dogs laugh or cry?” That sounds like someone who is an animal lover.

    You’re right. We do tend to forget about stuff we haven’t put into practice. The list is long, isn’t it?

  34. GennaroNo Gravatar says:

    Looking at the keywords from my stats it’s often unpredictable which tags or keywords will bring in readers. The main keywords are very important especially in the headline.

    Gennaro´s last blog post..Things To Do In NYC (For Free)

  35. awesome Post, Really good 🙂 Btw I am running a contest in my blog, Will Be very Glad if you’re part of it. Thanks!.

    Nicholas | Pixobyte.com´s last blog post..Pixobyte Valentines day Giveaway , Win prizes worth more than 200$

  36. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    “How are people finding your blog or website?”

    To be honest, I have NO idea. I don’t try to do anything special. I know what the inititals “S.E.O” stand for. That’ about the extent of my knowledge.

    Once in a while I get “Stumbled upon” (again, I have no idea who does this, or why). But I get a lot of hits that day.

    But when I enter “Deep Friar” into Google, my blog is the first thing that comes up.

    I guess that’s a GOOD thing, eh? 🙂

  37. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Looking at your stats like that is a great way to come up with future post ideas, that you most likely wouldn’t ave thought of before.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..January Top Comment Winners! February Contest Canceled…

  38. I get searches that are all topic specific – I mean all. It’s disappointing, and actually kind of weird. Is Google getting better at this?

    Self-Publishing Review´s last blog post..The Past, Present, and Future of Ebooks

  39. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Since I have no time to finish my Stumble upon tutorial, I am working on taxes right now!, I have not gone to look at my dashboard of information for a great long while.

    I still do not understand it – I am just writing and writing and writing and hoping folks will find my words?

    I did review a book that had ab….tion in the subtitle and I got over a 1,000 comments about how I was a murderer and should be killed myself. that was rather exciting…

    I think most come to me from comments I make on other’s blogs, which I find on other sites and when I am researching information. I have had a couple of stumbles too which raised the stats.

    Another great post…Thank you so much

    Patricia´s last blog post..Increase Your Emotional IQ

  40. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    I used the word “naughty” in a post about The Quote Effect. Part of the title was “naughty, nice and niche bloggers”. Every day I have at least three searches for this word. Too funny.

    Davina´s last blog post..Guest Post: Emotions — The Universal Language

  41. Good post and it got me thinking of some wierd term that lead people to my site. I take a teen jobs site and some terms related to that have drawn some “adult visitors” if you get what I mean

  42. Kool AidNo Gravatar says:

    Someone out there googled “I am number one and I have butterflies in my hand” and they landed at my blog. Usually I get things like “butterflies in hand” but I’ve gotten “homeschool debate,” “poop and pools,” and “he paints his nails” – all of which led to a specific post that I was writing, not just to my general blog.

    But the “I am number one…” is the one that gets me. Who in the world would search something like that? Oh, and I swear it wasn’t me! I don’t have that kind of ego.

    Kool Aid´s last blog post..Monkey’s photos

  43. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    OK, so it’s not exactly the same but it is a googlism none the less.

    A recent post of mine was titled “How to write e killer book proposal” For about a week, my Adsense ads were all Criminal Defense Attorneys and Law degrees. At first I was like, “huh?” until I figured out it was because of the titles.

    Yikes

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Self Publishing: The new American Idol

  44. I keep tweaking my site to increase my SEO results. It’s only a few months old, but I’m still under 100 unique visits per day according to Google Analytics. Time will tell if my current efforts will pay off. I just keep reading, testing, and tweaking. We’ll see where things go from here!

  45. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Gennaro – Absolutely. Our headlines are very important, and ironically, the odd search strings that I received, most of the words were in the headlines.

    Hi Friar – Haha! Yes, it’s good that you’re in first position for “Deep Friar”. Hmmmm. Maybe you need to start advertising ‘deep fryers”.

    Hi Dennis – That’s true. When we know how people are finding our blogs, by using those keywords, we’re more apt to get even more visits. (provided they are keywords pertinent to our blogs).

    Hi Self Publishing Review – Google is either getting better or you’ve got SEO down.

    Hi Patricia – You’re welcome. I know what you mean about getting people to find your blog. I hate to give you more homework, but learning more about SEO may pay off.

    Hi Davina – So that explains why you’re getting those search strings. Hopefully those who find your blog subscribe and enjoy your writings.

    Hi Blog Directory – Good point. Often when blogs are about adolescents, perverts will be looking for that information. It’s best to word things carefully.

    Hi Kool Aid – Wow! You’re right. That sounds like someone with a big ego. It wasn’t me either. 😆

    Hi George – Oh how weird. Our titles can drastically change what Google AdSense displays. Debbie Yost has a daughter who she calls “Peanut” and keeps getting ads for peanuts on her blog.

    Hi Kevin – You’re on the right path. Practice makes perfect.

  46. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting list. Now I know how to find all the hunters that don’t do their homework.

    The bulk of my traffic was search, but it massively switched to direct referral. I’m not sure why yet.

    This is the first time I checked the search strings and I was surprised to have more than 100 visits for this particular phrase “leadership is doing the right things; management is doing things right” … it seems kind of long and pretty specific.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Avoid Mental Burnout

  47. […] by the Blogging Guru, Barbara Swafford’s post last week called SEO  — Are We Getting It All Wrong,  I finally peeked at my site stats WordPress Guru, Kim Woodbridge had set up a couple of […]

  48. One core SEO concept that many may miss is that it is nearly impossible for a blogger to be found for a search for blog, blogs, blogger or bloggers because those terms are so generic and there are so many of them!

    Each blogger should focus on being found for less generic phrases that relate to their chosen niche, Small businesses should focus on being found for specific phrases related to their products or services.

    If you can’t be found for the most general phrases, try a phrase that includes one adjective. For example, I work with a gift store that sells business card holders. While that phrase would be nice, just as important would be ranking for personalized business card holders or engraved business card cases.

    To apply that idea in your site simply create a page or write a post targeting your selected phrase. Use it in the title, and the page URL, and in the text of the page. Include an image and name it the same phrase.

    The more targeted each page you write, the better the chance it will rank for any specific subject.

    Internet Strategist´s last blog post..Have a Blog? You Win By Reading This Blog Review Contest Entry on Best Blog Design!

  49. Those are some interesting search queries that lead people to your blog, but do you look at the bounce rates? Those searches are clearly not looking for your site, so they most likely left immediately after realizing this isn’t what they’re looking for. There’s really no SEO value in being aware of these erroneous search terms.

  50. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D. – Oh my gosh. How interesting that many people would type in such a long search string.

    I’m guessing your direct referral traffic is coming from the comments you’re leaving around blogosphere.

    Hi Internet Strategist – Thank you so much for the great SEO lesson.

    When I started blogging I knew this was a highly saturated field, but I love sharing what I learn, so I took the leap. Although I don’t get a lot of SEO traffic, those that visit and comment are high quality bloggers with great sites so it’s been a win-win. 🙂

    Hi Cincinnati Movers – You’re right, there is no SEO value to the search strings people have used to find my blog, but it’s fun to check what people are searching for.

  51. […] Places I’ve visited 1. Spain 2. France 3. Netherlands 4. Canary Islands 5. Ireland 6. Belgium 7. Dallas/Fort […]