I never thought I’ll be getting this much traffic to my blog from search engines (mainly from Google). I can’t call myself a SEO guru, although I do know the essentials of optimizing a website for Search Engines (mostly by working with titles, meta tags, clean code, good content and efficient use of keywords in the text).
However, I’m not concentrating too much on picking great keywords when writing articles for this blog or devising the headlines. I’m writing for humans who read my blog, not for bots.

Same thing goes for my headlines. There are many useful articles on the internet where other bloggers teach us how to write effective post titles. What influences choices for my blog headlines is my personal perception of what I think looks interesting, intriguing enough to get the readers attention and sometimes descriptive to save a guessing game what the story is all about.

I must admit though that in the back of my mind I’m aware of using proper keywords in my content and devising catchy headlines, but it’s kind of built-in, coming more from professional experience. Something like when I read a magazine, and even when watching the movie, I’m always paying attention to the fonts that were chosen for the article or movie credits. I’m sure that my headlines are far from being perfect, but then I’m not teaching you how to write newspaper like headlines, am I?

Nonetheless I’m getting quite a traffic from various search engines. What I find incredible is some of the keyword phrases that people are searching for and ending up on my blog. Take a look at these 8 keyword phrases that I’d never imagined to be found with:

  1. But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that. – who knew, that my post on 5 ways to get inspired will show up as #3 when someone was looking for a famous quote from one of my favourite movies One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
  2. who sang when you re smiling – I mentioned this Louis Armstrong song in one of my comments, not even in a post, and it shows as #6 on Google.
  3. i want a website that actually works – I never thought that my post on Traffic generation tips would be an answer to that person’s prayer.
  4. grown children that don t work – sorry for disappointing you, but I wrote about 8 Entertaining Bits for Kids & Grown Ups, not sure why Google picked my post as #5 answer to your search.
  5. Amazingly, these two keyword phrases what do you appreciate about people? and bloggers who respond to their readers were very close to my article’s topic
  6. what i wish i knew before blogging – just look at this phrase, someone else was wondering about exactly the same 8 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging
  7. art for a social cause – another close-call keyword phrase I had in my headline CANstruction – When Art Helps a Social Cause
  8. nico di mattia nexx – I would never guessed that so many people (over 200) will be searching for him when I posted his speed painting video.

As you can see, sometimes people will find your articles with the keywords that never would’ve crossed your mind. So, I’d advise you to not be concerned with keywords so much and write what interests you and your readers, and you’ll be rewarded with more readers than you expect.

What are some of the unpredicted keyword phrases are you getting from people’s search?

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16 Insightful Bits in response to “8 Bits of Unforeseen Traffic From Search Engines”

  1. I’ve been getting more and more visitors via organic search (mostly Google) over the last couple of months. I’m not really getting large clumps of visitors from any given keyword or phrase though. My stats tell me that my bigger keywords are “photography” and “photo editing tips”, but I’d be surprised if my site even showed up in the first 50 pages of a Google search for those terms. Maybe it counts them if they’re part of a search string — I don’t know.

    Like I said though, my organic search has been steadily increasing. It almost looks like an exponential curve, but it’s kind of early to tell. I think I need to be more mindful of keywords when I’m writing, but I must be doing something right if my search traffic is increasing at a much higher rate than any other method.

  2. ibit

    Yes, stats count the keywords whenever they trigger your pages to be indexed and found by search engines. ‘photography’ is a very competitive keyword. If I search for ‘inspiration’ I can’t even find my blog in the Google results (gave up after checking 10 pages), although my stats did show that my site is showing up with that keyword.

    But did you have any non-photography related keywords that bring people to your site?

  3. Search Engines really give me good traffic these days.

    I am surprised to find my own blog in the first page of Google search results for things like vectorizing online, recommended firefox extensions, etc. Keywords surely help!

    LOL :D Like you, I too find people landing on my blog for irrelevant queries!

    People who come via search just read the post and go off. The number of RSS Subscribers is not increasing bcoz of that. May be I’ve to provide them with more good content!

  4. ibit

    it’s impossible to please everybody, but having a good content definitely helps :-)

  5. I’ve got many strange or funny searches landing on my pages. Take this, for instance: “I don’t have special cat shampoo”. So what? Do you want me to go buy some for you? Or “I don’t trust psychics”. Nether do I. :)

  6. LGR

    My odd keyword phrase this month is “free teleseminar”. It must have just been for one day, but I have quite a few visitors from it. Wonder if any of them came back?

  7. ibit

    I wonder the same thing, LGR – would any of them come back?

    Ha, Simonne, your blog post shows up as #1 for “I don’t trust psychics” phrase, that’s something :-)

  8. Some of my strange key phrases were “monkeys on parade”, “crazy steep trail china”, and “land cruiser 130 series”. I think they were all from the blog searches because I don’t see my site on the search engines for those phrases.

  9. ibit

    ha, I tried searching on Google for “monkeys on parade”, there’s actually a blog with such name – the recent post is featuring Michael Jackson :-)

  10. My personal site shows up #2 on Yahoo for “door to door magazine sales”. I find this odd because that post was pretty much a mockery of a recent sales attempt.

  11. ibit

    but that key phrase is a word for word copy of your post title. Yahoo and other bots can’t recognize the mockery :-)

  12. Jess

    I think Google Blog Search is really helpful for new blogs, I usually use Google Blog Search for blogs, but sometimes I just use Google.

  13. Bes

    Thanks for sharing the tips Vivien! :) I guess I should also start focusing more on how people arrive at my site. Congratulations on the growing success of the site, btw.

  14. I like this game. Here are a few of mine:

    how to talk and stand up your self I can’t even begin to think what that would be a search for!

    I’m actually quite chuffed about this one. Number 1 spot for: let the children bob dylan

    For the bizarre: baby hand flapping Eh?

    And for the distinctly uncomfortable: always looking for sex. I don’t have a link for that one because I’m pleased to say that I can’t reproduce the results.

  15. Vivien

    WOW, that Bob Dylan search is pretty cool, the others are strange indeed.
    haha @ the last keyphrase – well, you talk a lot about family on your blog, so you must’ve mentioned sex there as well :-)

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on