In Tribute to Orwell’s 1984, I’m Watching You!

Credit Mattox at SXC

Okay, not really.  My spy satellite is down on Earth for repairs.

But I am watching what you’re searching for.  Not in that creepy stalker way, but so I can better provide what you want.

There are two types of searches that website owners should be monitoring:

  • The search terms people use to find your website or blog
  • The words and phrases people search for on your website or blog

This way you’ll know what people are looking for when they find you, and what they’re trying to find once they’re on your website.

What Visitors Searched for to Find Your Website

There are several ways to monitor what people are searching for in the search engines that refers them to your website.  I use both Google Analytics and the Stats Plugin.  Google Analytics provides more information but Stats is simpler and appears on my dashboard when I log in so I check it more often.

What can I do with this info?

  • write additional posts around these topics
  • optimize the posts on these topics to polish them
  • add a promotional offer to the popular posts either for an appropriate product of mine or an affiliate product that’s directly related to the topic

What Visitors Are Looking For On Your Website

The second search you need to be monitoring is what people search for when they’re on your website.  If a visitor doesn’t quickly see the information they want in your navigation options or sidebar, they’ll use the search box.  Ideally, the search will return the perfect post or article to answer their question.

You can help the search box out by monitoring it to track:

  • the words and phrases frequently searched for
  • the searches that don’t bring up any results

With search monitoring you can pay closer attention to the exact phrasing your visitors use to look for help on a topic.

For example, I might write a post about how to “convert” a website into a WordPress blog.  But my visitors might be searching for how to “switch” their website or “transfer” instead.  Instead of “formulate a marketing plan” my visitors might search for “how to write a marketing plan.”  Once I know that’s a phrasing they’re using I can be sure to include it in my writing so we’re both speaking the same language.

My next post will show you how to install a simple plugin called Search Meter so you can monitor what visitors search for on your WordPress site.

If you’re using a platform other than WordPress, or just want another option, check out Google’s custom search.  You might also like Lijit Search.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Wise. Jeff Wise said: RT @michelleshaeffr: Blog: In Tribute to Orwell's 1984, I'm Watching You! #blogboost […]

  2. I agree, it is quite interesting to see the search terms that lead people to my blog. Lately I have realised there is a certain pattern to these searches and it usually goes hand in hand with new movies for children. The most sought for info at the moment is for a post I have already done in 2009
    and I also realised that there is quite a lot more I can add to this post after all these months.

    The searches on my blog itself can sometimes be quite baffling… why anybody should search for weight loss products on a party blog, I will never understand. However, a friend of mine suggested that I can use this particular search to come up with some healthy eating habits and snack recipes for kids.

    Sometimes we can find inspiration for new posts in the most unusual ways. I think it is just a matter of looking at it from a different angle.

  3. […] I do stalk my readers!  I blogged about it right here.  But I might be confused again… I think Lisbeth is blogging about a different kind of […]

  4. […] 35. Use Lijit Search or Search Meter to see what your visitors are searching for. […]

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