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In other words, my logs show twice as many one-time visits from google searches on terms other than my primary keyword.
Is this typical? It seems to indicate that my site is not well-focused or targeted.
joined:July 19, 2001
My stats show similar distribution, and also the distribution varies depending upon which search engine the search is from.
My host provides reports by WebLog 2.2, so that's what I'm using to analyze my logs. There is a report called Referring Keywords report. It says: "This report logs the keywords used by visitors to find this site in the various Internet search engines and directories."
The report looks like this:
50 secondary keyword
20 other keyword ...
1 minor keyword
1 another minor key
1 yet another minor key
1 etc. (about 200 more lines like this)
I interpret that to mean that 100 people used mainkeyword to arrive at my site. And 200 people used 200 different various other minor keywords to arrive at my site.
On the other hand, if none of the terms below your top 3 or 4 are actually relevant to your content, (i.e., your pages are getting returned for some obscure random matches)then there's probably more you could be doing to broaden and improve your keyword referral base.
I good way to get a handle on it is to take all the terms that only show up a few times and run a position report on them. That will help you pinpoint A) what specific pages visitors are landing on and B) where those pages rank.
Pay particular attention to the terms that come back in the report as "Not In Top 30"
If you are getting a handful of visitors a week from a term that you rank in the top 5 for, then you are probably getting all the avaialble traffic for that term.
If you are getting a handful of visitors a week from a term that you rank 63rd for, then there is a very good chance that there is quite a bit more traffic to be had for that term.
I did some comparisons last summer between Goto's numbers and Googles "search returned XXX pages" numbers and found some good kw's. I had to go through 3-4k of words to find a dozen that had good searches to pages ratios, but it was worth it.
Yep, you can expect to put in a lot of time but not seem to get much out of it until those new phrases start to produce. However, the process can be fun...uncovering hidden gems.
Ditto what Ian said, word-for-word, particularly the good sign, you are not dependent part. I make a very concerted effort at harvesting traffic from obscure searches that I'd never specifically consider. I even buy content and try to have as little interaction as possible at the "detail" level so that I won't bias the writer's style or choice of phrases. On occassion, I even give them a free hand at choosing the topic, as long as it's within the theme I need. IMO, there is a huge SEO safety factor to be gained by spending your time on optimizing secondary phrases. I don't sweat out every re-indexing cycle because no more than 1/4 of my traffic is really at risk. The arrival of PPC ranking has made this even appealing because it also means that a significant portion of traffic comes from an array of searches that are never going to be competitive individually.