I’m just sitting around today killing some time by putting WordPress through its paces. I’ve been digging through my blog stats.
My #1 post of all-time, by far, is My list of top five angry songs. It is second only to the home page.
Curious, I went and messed around in Google a bit. I finally found that my blog is result #10 for the phrase: angry songs
Wow. If you think about it, that’s pretty good. And it must certainly explain why that particular piece of tripe is my #1 post ever.
Making the top ten results in Google means you are on the first page of results. That is huge.
I’m no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist, but I have learned a thing or two in my travels.
Consider the phrase “angry songs” that I mentioned above. What is so special about it?
First, it is rather generic. In search engine terms, generic means something broad rather than something specific. If you have high placement for a specific phrase, that’s nice, but nothing to get too excited about. If you have high placement for a generic phrase, however, then it might be party time.
For example, right now, my little blog is the #1 result in Google for the search term: tweeturbation. One reason for that might be because I invented that word. (Sadly, though, that same Google search shows someone else invented it, too. And a bit earlier than I did. Is there no such thing as an original idea any more?) Unfortunately, that search term is extremely specific, so my #1 placement isn’t much to get excited about.
Another consideration is the popularity of the search term or phrase. It is no good being #1 for a search term if no one ever looks for it. Obviously “angry songs” must have at least some popularity or else my placement for that phrase wouldn’t make my post the most popular one I’ve ever written. This was, of course, entirely by chance and certainly nothing I ever planned.
Going back to WordPress stats I then displayed my my popular search terms. The phrase “angry songs” has been #1 six out of the last seven days. On the other day the #1 term was “angry songd.” (Most likely because “s” and “d” are neighbors on the keyboard. This shows the importance of misspellings, too.)
If I look at “all time” search terms “angry songs” is again #1 and about four times as high as it’s next closest competition “whatever happened to joaquin phoenix.”
From all this I surmise that two things are very important to my traffic. The first is having regular readers who visit my blog multiple times. To me, that is my bread and butter and is also the most meaningful traffic. That is the traffic that I really care about. But also, getting good placement in Google (and other search engines) for popular search times can really impact the amount of traffic my blog receives. Maybe one out of every couple of hundred random visitors will decide to subscribe or make a comment. Then I have a chance to convert them into a regular reader. If that happens often enough then the sky is the limit. :)
I also think posting every day is important, like it somehow keeps that snowball growing and growing. My stats have leveled out a bit of late so I’m hoping persistence will pay off.