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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Give'em What They Want Pt II - And Now For Something Completely Different: What Are Your Readers Really Searching For? Some Thoughts On Search Terms

One of things that I learned when I was a search engine webmaster was that people often use unsual search terms. Sometimes they find what they want, or something similar, or something completely different. For example, someone recently used the search term "pics of Elvis and Ginger". My Curry Elvis Cooks blog was mid-way down the first page of results. Despite that it was obvious that my result was for a cooking blog, my web server access logs say that the visitor clicked anyways.

The page that my visitor got was for my Mom's Secret Curry Ginger Paste. But somewhere on the page must have been the word "pics", too. In fact, what the visitor got was the main page of the blog, which had one post for the Ginger Paste and another about pictures and images of Elvis in peanut butter sandwiches.

None of this was intentional on my part, but it's a bit of food for thought: If you want higher readership, you must - as I've mentioned repeatedly - get on the search engines. After you have some critical mass from the engines, if your writing is interesting to these visitors, they'll bookmark you. Your web server access logs will reflect this fact by indicating that there is no referring page for some of your visitors. (In case you're not sure what a referring page is, it is the page on which the visitor presumably found a link to your blog/site. The referring page could be a search engine results page, a directory, or someone else's link to you. If, on the other hand, the visitor typed in your blog's URL directly into their browser, or used a bookmark, then there is no referring page.)

To get your blog posts on the search engines can take time (although there are claims that blogs get indexed within hours). You need solid content, for readers, with the right keywords, for search engines. But no matter how much traffic you get, if your writing is stiff and concocted, your visitors likely won't come back unless you're offering information they can't do without. More specifically, if you give them what they are searching for rather than tricking them (intentionally or not), into visiting your site, they'll come back.

It takes time to build up a momentum and get repeat customers, but you can help things along by thinking like a reader: what are they searching for? Use two or more variations of a phrase to draw in readers that otherwise may have searched on an alternate phrase and missed you. In other words, if you rank highly on the engines for a search term no one is looking for, what good is that? Here's to hoping that my accidental visitor left with some information he or she wanted, or at least got some amusement out of my post about peanut butter sandwiches with images of Elvis.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.blogspot.com

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BlogSpinner-X serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it houses the original version of my Blogspinner blog, and contains the full-text of my older entries. Secondly, the more recent entries are excerpts of the full-text entries posted over on Blogspinner V2.0. In other words, the "X" stands for "eXcerpt".

About Me
I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ web programmer/ consultant/ photographer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. This is one of several blogs that I write.

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(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.countwordula.com/