Patrick Meninga, who has a great blog on overcoming addiction, asked a question over at the Authority Blogger forum about how to make his blog stickier for readers who found him on search engines. He’s getting a good amount of search engine traffic, but they don’t stick around.
This was a simple tactic I proposed to him, and it struck me that the rest of you might find it useful as well.
Capturing the search engine reader
Let’s say your blog (or Web site or Squidoo lens or whatever) ranks pretty well for the search term, "How to make organic dog food." When the people who search on that term find you, do they stick around and make themselves comfortable, or do they hit the back button and try to find something more relevant?
If you’re getting a lot of the latter, try this. Create a post called How to Make Organic Dog Food and then provide a simple, clear and reasonably complete answer as the body of your post.
Your only goal with this post is to answer the question the reader had when she typed the term into Google. Don’t comment on why people might want to make organic dog food. Don’t summarize the state of the organic dog food community. Don’t tell cute stories about your dog. Just answer the question.
You may, of course, want to provide some links to other resources, if that helps provide a better answer. For this use, if for no other, I recommend that you use a _blank tag to open those links in a new window. The point here is to keep some traffic for yourself, not to turn yourself into a portal for organic dog food makers.
For extra credit, I might juice that post up with a tiny bit of easy SEO, something like a Squidoo lens or a short ezine article.
Finally, add links to other posts on your blog that organic dog food makers might find interesting and useful. And while you’re at it, go back to the older posts that originally ranked well for the term, and add a link to the new post you’ve created. I’d add that link to the top of the old posts, not the bottom, so the search engine user immediately sees a link to the answer she’s looking for.
Why it works
What you’ve done is created a post that is highly search-engine optimized and that answers the question your searcher is looking for, but that also introduces your searcher to the wonderful world of content that is your blog. And you’ve done it without any spammy tricks or manipulation–just by making yourself useful and creating a single, highly focused page that answers a common question.
I won’t claim this is a dazzlingly innovative tactic, but I don’t see it used very often. If you try it, will you leave a comment and let me know how it works for you? I think I will give this one a shot myself.