If you haven’t figured it out, I don’t post information about the back end or business stuff on my main site because I don’t want to bore readers with the details of running a website. I’d rather bore them with the details of traveling.
This is where I bitch about my website.
For the last six months, I’ve been trying to play the Google game and get my site ranked high for the term “Travel Blog”. At one point in June I was ranked #5 and currently I am on the front page. There are over 400,000,000 pages ranked for that term, so hooray for me.
Something didn’t seem quite right. Even when I peaked at #5, I got a whopping 26 visits to my website from Google. Just because the keyword has a lot of sites doesn’t mean a lot of people search for it. As I noted in my previous article on traffic, spending time and effort in ranking for something hyper competitive with little traffic is a suckers game. Getting beyond #5 also seems really difficult as the sites above that are Lonely Planet and TravelBlogs.org.
So if not “travel blog” what else?
A recent thread on Griz’s Make Money Online blog (one of the only ones in that genre I enjoy. Most are garbage) got me thinking about what keywords I’m targeting. Ranking high for a crappy keyword is like not ranking at all.
I have an account on SEOMoz.org where they all sorts of tools you can use to check keywords and other metrics. One item they link to is free keyword tracker, which tells you how many searches are done per day on various keywords. In the last 24 hours, here are some of the stats: (The difference between specific and general is specific is the literal string, and general is any keyword search with those words included)
|Keyword||Specific Searches||General Searches||Different Search Strings||Number of Sites|
|Travel Around the World||206||263||11||25,800,000|
If you actually looked at the Google results in addition to this, the answer is pretty freaking obvious what I should be working on: Travel Around the World.
I’m not going to undo what has been done. Much of it is out of my control at this point, but there are many advantages to this approach.
1) Less conflict with other travel bloggers. That isn’t necessarily their niche. None of the bloggers I know are ranked high, and I’m not sure that they even would want to target that keyword.
2) Should be possible to reach #1. I don’t think it would be possible given my current efforts and budget ($0) with “travel blog” and who the competition is.
3) More traffic. More targeted traffic. My best readers are those who want to go on a similar trip or dream of doing so.
So, if you are reading this and have a link to my site, please change the anchor text to “travel around the world” 🙂
My rank for “travel around the world” was #151 before I did anything. After writing this article I changed the title of my site and rearranged some words so the keyword fit on the description paragraph on my site, and then put the keywords in bold. This morning, about 12 hours later, I am ranked #38. I have also changed the text linking to my site on this page and another blog I run, but those haven’t been indexed by Google yet.