Blog traffic can be overrated


View Larger Map

This is Squaw Pass Road. A Colorado Highway that connects Evergreen with Idaho springs. The trip takes about an hour, but I can half that time in my Miata. 😀 A few miles to the north, Interstate 70 allows travelers to get from Evergreen to Idaho Springs in about fifteen minutes. Thus, Squaw Pass is definitely the road less traveled. For a few months each summer, Squaw Pass connects tourist with Mt Evens Road. The highest paved road in North America. But for the rest of the year, the only reason why most drivers would be on this road, is the road itself.

While ripping up the pass on Sunday morning, it occurred to me that this highway is a great analogy for blogging traffic. Laurie Manny’s traffic numbers stirred up quite a commotion last week. I saw them in detail, and believe them to be real. But I also think they are “Interstate 70” traffic while a lot of blogs are “Squaw Pass” traffic. Which is better? I think it’s a case of apples and oranges.

Laurie gets lots of Google derived traffic. She writes Keyword Rich posts that show up on a divergent number of queries. But from what I saw, lots of her visitors were searching for something other than what Laurie’s blog was providing. Just like a billboard placed along I-70. Laurie’s blog is in front of a lot of people’s eyes. Many are going to ignore it as they drive on by, but enough will take note to make this a viable strategy.

I think my mortgage industry blog is a great example of “Squaw Pass” traffic. My blog is for other mortgage professionals, not consumers. I have never once exerted the slightest effort to place keywords in my blog posts. Frankly, I’d prefer that most Google traffic related to “mortgage” never found it. As a result, very little of my traffic to lenderama is from Google, and it’s mainly of the short tail variety. From what I can tell, my traffic mostly comes from word of mouth, my comments on related blogs or forums, and media coverage. Like Squaw Pass, my traffic wants to be here.

So is one method better than the other? Probably not in every case. But I think it would be advisable for someone who is creating a “Squaw Pass” experience to not worry so much about “I-70” traffic. I find Keyword Rich writing very annoying to read, and I bet many others would agree. Maybe it’s because I recognize it for the SEO tactic that it is. Or maybe because many posts written this way are clunky to read. My pathetic grammar skills are challenged enough that I wouldn’t be able to smoothly, and repeatedly integrate key words into my posts if I wanted to.

Before you worry to much about traffic, think about the experience you are trying to provide. Do you want lots visitors, or regular readers? That will determine who you should compare yourself to when it comes to traffic.

0 thoughts on “Blog traffic can be overrated

  1. Brian Brady

    Todd,

    As B2B marketers, we have the luxury of not having to worry about creating an I-70 experience. Professional Realtors, marketing to consumers, however, had best not heed this advice.

    Reply
  2. Todd Carpenter

    I disagree Brian. Establishing a strong readership among a small pool of potential clients can be just as fruitful, or more so, than having lots of one time visitors. This would apply as much for a prospect farm full of possible future listings clients as it would a B2B site.

    Reply
  3. Brian Brady

    That’s faulty logic, Todd. So more is more unless it isn’t?

    Content builds loyalty. Repetition builds recognition.

    Why would anyone spend as much time as we do blogging if it weren’t going to yield results?

    Reply
  4. Brian Brady

    I’ve got to speak my mind.

    The Laurie Manny article was the most commented post of your weblog. Her meteoric rise in RE.net was cited in a trackback by Athol’s feedbag; the only interview here to get such trackback recognition. She had a satisfied customer come and comment, for Pete’s sake! She is an active Realtor, succeeding in her online marketing.

    Yet, for all that success and willingness to share her success, hers is the ONLY interview that warranted criticism from you, post facto.

    Can we expect such critical thought from all of your future interviews or just the ones that bring you traffic?

    Reply
  5. Todd Carpenter

    First off Brian. You are way off base in thinking this is some sort of attack on Laurie. Take a step back friend, and you will see I called her way of doing things a “viable strategy”. I made a second effort to say that neither way would necessarily be better all of the time. You’ve missed the entire point of my opinion here. I would guess it’s because, as a member of the blog in question, and as a result of all of the attacks against it, you have adopted a bunker mentality concerning it.

    I reserved my opinion in Laurie’s interview because I didn’t want it to turn into another ugly argument like we saw on BHB, AR, and the Tomato. This blog is all about giving other bloggers a platform to share their perspective on blogging. When criticisms was being levied that all the so-called experts wanted to blow off Laurie’s success, I stepped up and gave her the very opportunity that she was supposedly being denied.

    In my interview, I gave Laurie an honest shake. I also told her were I sat in private, so she knew exactly who she was dealing with. I appreciate that lots of people commented. I appreciate that Athol linked it, (and no, that’s not the only time he’s done so). But traffic had nothing to do with my motivation to post her interview a week ago, or this post today. That’s a totally cheap shot that is completely unwarranted. If “speaking your mind” regularly includes such insults, feel free to save your opinions for your own blog.

    Reply
  6. Brian Brady

    I can accept that answer, Todd. It wasn’t meant as an insult but a question of “fair play”.

    Many of your interviews had controversial topics on them; this one seemed to be the only one to warrant such a strong opinion from you.

    I hope you continue with your commentary after future interviews; your opinion is respected and should be offered often.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Voting for this week’s People’s Choice Award is open | BloodhoundBlog: Real estate marketing and technology blog | Realtors and real estate, mortgages, lending, investments

  8. Geordie Romer

    I like the I-70 analogy. Sometimes my blog gets found by prople searching for terms like “real estate investing” (I70) but I’m really more interested in the consumers searching for “leavenworth wa investments” or “vaction property in Leavenworth” (Squaw Pass). These are the consumers that I can help the most directly. I would gladly take a dozen of these readers than 50 of the I70 folks.

    Reply

Leave a Reply