Especially in regards to WordPress.com blog posts.
When I was setting up my blog, it asked me if I wanted my blog to be found via online searches. Of course! I was blogging to share with the world!
It’s hard to actually tell how many of my page views come in from online search engines. Well, that’s not quite correct. I get the number, but I rarely get to see HOW they’re finding my blog. The analytics software that the free version of WordPress.com uses isn’t great.
In 2015, I had 43 page views attributed to search engines (out of over 2,500 total views), including Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and live.com. Out of those 43, it recorded these search terms:
- life and other near-death experiences (2)
- review of life and other near death experiences book (1)
- book reviews life and other near death experiences (1)
- Unknown search terms (15)
The primary search terms were from people looking for book reviews, primarily my review of Camille Pagan’s Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.
A search of my own using these terms brought up these results (I’m going to search Google and Yahoo):
- “life and other near-death experiences” Yahoo #35, Google #8
- “book reviews life and other near death experiences” Yahoo #6, Google #6
A majority of the time, I don’t think people use search engines to find book reviews, knowing that Amazon or Goodreads is loaded up with them. But it’s nice that the people who DO use the search engines are able to find my little book reviews! Naturally, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is not a bestseller or anything. It does carry 2,000 reviews on Amazon, but I personally attribute a big part of that to the fact that it was offered as a free download for Amazon Prime Kindle First subscribers (or, how I got my copy). So people using Google to find book reviews isn’t particularly surprising in this case.
What I hate is that stupid “Unknown search terms” right there. I do pay attention to the daily stats as they come along and take a guess on which blog post they were led to via a search engine (usually, I had 1-2 hits on a book review, so that tends to be it), but it would be so nice to know for sure.
What words are these people using to find my blog, and how can I continue to tweak that so more potential followers are directed here?
I really only took a big interest in all of this on Monday, when I noticed that someone found my blog via the words “things that come with sleep deprivation.” They found their way to my blog post Good Things Come From Sleep Deprivation. Well, I sincerely doubt that my post is what they were looking for, but cool! A different search term!
I decided to see how high up my blog came with that search term, and surprisingly, this is what I discovered:
Both Yahoo and Bing had my blog post come up as the #1 result. WHAT. Google had me down on the 5th page, which makes a load more sense.
I guess a lot of it comes from the phrasing of the search. “things that come from sleep deprivation” shares 5/6 of the words in my blog post title. Searching simply for “sleep deprivation” did not bring up my blog post within the first 10 pages (which, honestly, is at least 7 pages farther than most people would go).
I’m still just kind of shocked at how well a free blog fares in online search engine searches. I never figured that it would be that way. When I checked the box to allow my blog to be found via said search engines, I didn’t think it would direct any traffic to me.
But it does!
This is something I want to continue digging into a little bit. I’m not going to intentionally change things in my blog in order to appease the general population, but I just want to play with some stuff. Tags especially. See what comes up.
In the meantime, I’m working on up towards my goals so I can purchase the domain for this blog. Then I can have an actually useful analytics software that can track this stuff more accurately. No more of this “Unknown search terms.” I have 6 so far this year.
We’ll see what happens!
I one time heard that the “unknown search terms” means that someone in a foreign country searched something and came to your blog, but they use different browsers/system or something so it doesn’t show. Not sure if this is real, but seems like the only explanation. Maybe WordPress explains it somewhere! 🙂
Interesting! I’ll look into it and see if that’s the case!
Interesting information and congratulations on such a huge number of reviews. I have 6 reviews 🙂
Oops, I now see how that can be confusing. Life and Other Near-Death experiences isn’t my book. I just wrote a book review on my blog about it. 🙂
But hey! Congrats on your 6 reviews!
Wow, all this is really interesting. I’ve only just started my blog and don’t really have enough traffic to warrant such investigation, but I guess the info is out there to find, if you want it!
You said you have a goal you need to complete before you can get the domain for your blog so you can use analytics software. Is it about cost or something else? There are days when search is the #1 source of visits to my blog. I’m finding that the key is what tags I assign and the title of the post.
I’ve got the money, I just want to make sure it’s a good investment of it. I’ve been tracking blog stats since I started. I’m pretty sure I’ll hit said goal by the end of February.
Thanks for the tip on the tags. That’s definitely what I was thinking.
Search words have always mystified me. Once, someone searched for “the soul wandering in the tea” and landed on my blog. I have no idea how or why 😀
Really great details! Thanks for sharing, that is really helpful! You have been nominated for the Sunshine award on https://free52174.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/the-sunshine-award/ 🙂 Have a great day!