MyBlogLog is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it gives you fantastic up to the minute site usage information for a economical $3 per month fee, and a curse because it causes you to always second guess what you are doing, what you are writing about, and how other services are accounting against your site traffic.
I have previously written about the disparity between Google Adsense‘s accounting of ad clicks vs. MyBlogLog’s outgoing click counts. But with that aside, (and today it’s a 18-3 deficit!) MyBlogLog’s accounting of search terms can easily, and in my case does, leave a content writer and website owner quite confused about what to write to maintain a connection with his or her most popular readers.
Today alone I have over 250 unique incoming searches from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live and the like. I say unique because many of them have 2-3 searches on exact like search terms. When you consider each search has an average of 3 keywords, that’s 750 non-unique terms to sift through to determine what is most popular on my website today. That leaves me to judge the content that was viewed and determine how I can possibly alter or re-write more relevant content keep those readers on my site longer.
This week I listened to Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics Evangelist, talk about the long tail, and how to purchase Adwords to convert those viewers to customers. In the blog world viewers are customers as well, but in my case, a conversion is getting those readers to read more of my site, and potentially click a relevant ad. So how do we do this? By using a lesser considered side of SEO, (Search Engine Optimization) tailoring articles prior to posting to capitalize on organic search results from major search engines.
The first thing to do is to take a look your articles. In this case we will investigate the top 10 articles on my website today that have had less than 20 page views each.
- 2007/ 05/ 22/ world- of- warcraft- on- vista- tips- 2
- 2007/ 06/ 25/ tversity- ps3- perfect- streaming- media- player
- 2007/ 10/ 27/ os- x- leopard- time- machine- seems- unstable
- 2007/ 11/ 07/ get- dvds- onto- your- ipod- touch- for- free
- 2007/ 10/ 10/ iphone- ipod- touch- games- and- apps- no- hacking
- 2007/ 10/ 30/ mac- os- x- leopard- after- a- week- spaces- is- the- killer- app
- 2007/ 10/ 29/ ipod- touch- and- iphone- dont- play- nice- with- apple- wifi- sharing
- 2007/ 01/ 28/ missing- dvd- rw- bug- in- windows- vista
- 2007/ 10/ 29/ the- dark- side- jailbreaking- the- ipod- touch
- 2006/ 11/ 08/ amazing- 3d- icons- huge- gallery- for- web- and- application- developers
So let’s point out a few things about these articles and how we can capitalize on their existing popularity, and make them not only grow in popularity themselves, but also grow popularity of other existing articles and new articles on similar topics.
I am using a related posts plug in for WordPress that does a decent job, but it’s not bullet proof. In doing some simple analytics on these articles I can find some interesting trends. Despite being nearly 6 months old World of Warcraft on Vista is still a hot topic. Perhaps instead of writing more on this topic, or simply modifying my existing article with more current information, links to other relevant information and editing the copy to be more aware of the keywords I have seen in my analytics data would better capitalize on this articles existing "Google Juice," and provide more kick than writing a new article from scratch. Sure blog articles are date stamped, but who said they have to be static, right?
All of us bang out quick blogs, but if you look at a blog as more of a rough draft, consider that you can and should be your own editor and try to maintain the utmost quality on your blog posts instead of writing and forgetting.
Notice that of these articles, four of them are in reference to the iPod Touch. I see, if I view these articles quickly, that my related posts plug in does a decent job of finding these articles, but that’s not enough. Consider editing your copy to include relevant and timely internal links to these articles. Don’t spam your own articles, but make sure that in appropriate places, you mention the topic and how it’s related to the current topic. In this case it would create three alternate places your reader can go within your own site in case the reader closes the browser after scrolling to the bottom of the article and no further.
Of course there are instances where writing a new article is prudent and even necessary, but do not consider your articles to be dead upon posting. Let them take on a life of their own and be sure to pay attention to them after they have had their initial life expectancy on Digg, Stumble or the like.
The last case I want to mention is the final article in my top 10. Web and Application Developer icons. This article is over a year old. It’s still getting quite a few page views so what do I do? My idea in this case is to write a "Top 10" or "Hot Places" to download icons and be sure that I have created a h1 or h2 sized link to this article at the very beginning of this article. In this case I don’t want to be subtle, I have gotten this reader’s attention initially, now I want to show them that I have understood what they are looking for and gathered a more valuable collection of information for them since this article was written.
Of course it will take me days to put these ideas into effect. But if you want to really see how it works, consider trying some of Google Analytics nifty Conversion Goals to see how it really does work. In the case of the Icons article, I could create a goal to see how many people initially came for the old article, and ended up on the new one.
All of these ideas truly are common sense, but if you put them into practice religiously, you will find that you can turn your less common readers into your most popular.