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.