Odd Search Engine Traffic

September 21, 2011

General

I thought I would write a quick post about how my high hopes were just recently and quickly (as in the last 5 minutes) completed dashed! :-(

Ok it’s not all doom and gloom, there is a positive to the story and I’ll get to that. But firstly, this post will highlight a lot of wishful thinking on my part and may even make me look slightly (ok alot) foolish. But who cares :-)

Here’s what happened

So over the last few weeks, I noticed that whenever I checked my Google Analytics report for a particular website, one of the top 5 searched keywords was a competitive generic term. With a big smile on my face, I thought I must be be ranking quite well for it, top 20 I assumed, as it was bringing in traffic. Bearing in mind I had not at all attempted to target this keyword. Now, I only check my Analytics for any one site about once a week (don’t be checking more often than this it is useless and will drive you crazy).  Each time I checked I saw how this search term was brining in traffic. Check the screenshot below!

google images traffic

Here’s the ODD bit

I also use a program called Rank Tracker to monitor my search engine positions. When I checked my rankings on there or even searched manually, I noticed I wasn’t ranking too well really. For this particular search term, I’m ranking 64 to be precise!

I found this extremely odd wondering how I can be ranking so low but be getting decent traffic for this single keyword.

So I wanted more out of this search term!

With my wishful thinking, I though it’s time to develop a fully blown site targeting this keyword and to go big! I assumed my site was actually ranking much higher for most people, and that the search term gets much more than the 20,000 exacts Google is showing.

Imagine me pumped up, rearing to go, getting excited…that was the picture not very long ago. I felt like taking on the world!!! :-)

BUT

It occurred to me something was not right! I looked a little deeper into the traffic, and my mood completely changed – no longer a superhero, but have my feet FIRMLY on the ground ;-)

This traffic for the search term was coming from Google Images! I’m sure some of you would have guessed. I’m actually number 1 in Google Images for the search term and that explained everything. I’m not getting any traffic from the website listings.

But it’s not all that depressing…

Because it taught me something. Google Images is a great way to get some extra traffic. If people are looking for a certain product then they may be tempted to look at pictures of what they want first (ok this again may be wishful thinking)…but you get the idea. Any extra traffic can’t do harm. All I did to get number 1 in Images for this competitive term was have alternative text, that matched the keyword. Simple.

Google Anlaytics is also showing me that people that find my site through this image ARE browsing the site and checking out other pages. If only one person uses my affiliate link to buy in a month, that is a sale I would not have otherwise had.

So here’s what you should do!

SEO your images. Fill in the Title and Alternative text attributes (make them different but accurate). Do this for all your images. Not only does this help your site in the listings for pages, but will also boost your site to rank well in Google Images.

Hope this was useful :-)

Kamran

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