See that headline? That’s a headline that’s sure to get noticed by search engines. Why? It’s not because the search engines are flattered that I’m mentioning them. Search engines aren’t that vain. In fact, they’re coldly rational.
The headline actually resembles something someone could reasonably use as a Google search when looking for search engine optimization, or SEO, tips. Notice how I wrote both “search engine optimization,” and SEO in the same sentence? Ca-ching! Yes, every once in a while I slip in some Google bait.
Not that it will work here. The Web is saturated with the topic of SEO, and it’s highly unlikely someone searching for SEO will find this post. Write about a more specific topic like Mérida, Centro, or “Gringo Gulch,” and you’ll have better luck.
Now, a few days back I blogged that I was tickled by a commercial in which two guys learned Spanish during a long road trip. It was funny, but also spoke to me because of my attempts to improve my language skills. This morning, my analytics chart revealed some search engine queries that led to this site in the last day and a half:
- commercial where guys learn spanish in the car to mexico
- tv add 2 american men car 13 hours no music learn spanish
- tv commercial volkswagen pssat 2 guys on a road trip
- funny commercial spanish language tape roadtrip
- 2 guys on roadtrip+learn spanish
- car commercial where 2 guys learn spanish
- passat tv ad about spanish lessons in the car
- commercial with 2 guys listening to learning spanish
- commercial 2 guys learning spanish
- commercial two guys spanish tape in car
- welcome to spanish in the car
Even with the bad spellings, those queries put up my page on the first string of Google results this morning. Now, you can’t be too calculating here. You’ll be surprised, if you read your analytics, which minor posts prove evergreen. I have another blog about art, and a year-old post about an exhibit on the Negro League of baseball gets a hit almost every day. Alternately, ham-fisted attempts to get traffic will often be met with disappointment, and if you go too far off the rails, your site has lost its focus. Just like I have here. What does this post have to do with Mérida?
There’s a small hook here: The Latin American Bloggers Conference is coming up, and I’m trying to think of something constructive to say.
I’m just going by all the conventional advice on how to build a blog, but if this isn’t your bread and butter, you might ask why is it so important to build an audience? Because as another blogger once told me when I left her a comment, “I eat them up like little tacos.” I like getting comments, and I enjoy meeting people and engaging in conversation with expats.
And comments tend to open up when you write your site to be visible on Google.
Imagine a fatal fire in your town, and it’s covered by the local paper. A headline for the printed ink-on-paper edition might be something like: “Family heartbroken after fire destroys precious heirlooms.” Words like “heartbroken” and “precious” set a tone for what’s sure to be a tragic story.
But the “Web head” — written to attract people looking for the story, has to be a lot more pedestrian, even at the expense of heart: “Smith family loses heirlooms in Wabash Street fire.”
If you want to invite new voices to your blog, think of the “key words” that will help them find you.