Wow. In my blogging class, we talked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog. It’s all about using certain words that people frequently type into search engines, so that your blog will show up when those words are googled. I understand the concept, and even learned about ways to do it.
I just…didn’t. This blog has never been about getting a lot of readers. I write because I want to document my life and share it with friends and family so I don’t have to have individual contact with them. (Kidding! Although I do hate talking on the phone, with a few exceptions.)
I’ve never written about this, but I’ve always been fascinated with the analytics part of blogging. How many people are reading? Where did they find this blog? Do more people click through from Twitter or Facebook? What links in the blog do they click on? I’m sure this fascination stems from my professional endeavors in email marketing. Whenever I do an email send, I usually spend the next hour hitting refresh on the tracking report to see how the email’s performing. It’s really validating to see that people are reading my work. I would imagine it’s common to want to see this information. How many people click on those spam links on Facebook that claim you can see who has viewed your page?
Yesterday I wrote about OldManSearch and Norman’s quest to find Shirley Tarnow. The topic in itself had built-in SEO. Since a big part of the story is someone trying to find someone else on Google, naturally people would be curious about if Shirley exists. And when people do Google her, my blog post about it shows up sixth. The links that show up before my post are the actual OldManSearch Twitter account and a Facebook page for someone else named Shirley Tarnow (who probably isn’t the one we’re looking for, but who has probably gotten a lot of friend requests this week).
LOTS of people have been googling Shirley Tarnow. In the past DAY, I’ve had more than 300 blog hits that were straight from Google. And that’s a lot more than my normal blog posts get. Most people only looked at that one page, but I’ve had more clicks than normal on the “About Me” and “NYC Bucket List” pages. A few people have gone through and read other posts.
It feels kind of weird knowing that a bunch of strangers have found my blog (even if they only read one post). I never write anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a future employer or my Grandma reading (and both have read it), but there are definitely some posts on here that are more personal than others. And lately, they’ve been about a part of my life that hasn’t put me in as positive of a light as it might have a year ago.
It makes me want to go back and proofread all of my posts, because I don’t always do that as well as I should before I click “publish.” It also makes me think about whether some posts are too personal or too boring or too off-topic from what this blog was supposed to be about. But I’m probably not going to change it. Because that’s not what this blog is about.