Search Engine Marketing Fun

Periodically I like to take a look at the search phrases people are using to find my blog. With Google Analytics, I can see the exact words someone used to get to a particular page on my site. Most of the time, the searches are just what you would expect: “social marketing,” “what is social marketing,” “spare change,” various combinations of my name and company, and other phrases that are clearly related to a topic I’ve written about on the blog. Would you believe that one of the most frequent searches the blog turns up on is for information on Jack in the Box commercials? There must be a lot of JITB fans. And apparently there is a movie out called “Spare Change” because there are quite a few searches for that (as well as a Spare Change hip-hop group).

But then there are other more interesting search terms that somehow led people to a random phrase or unrelated topic I included in a post. In these cases, my peeking at the search engine results feels somewhat voyeuristic, like I’m viewing something that the searcher did not intend for another person to see. But since it’s all anonymous, I’m going to share some of the strangest search terms I’ve seen in the past couple of months with you. Apologies if anyone recognizes your own search in there!

Some of them are questions you might never have thought to ask:

  • would Jesus use multimedia [The Sermon on the Mount would have been so much more effective accompanied by PowerPoint.]
  • is it ethical to change name to got milk [What? Someone wants to become “Got Milk” Goldstein?]
  • why the cello squeaks
  • how to make a jack in the box head
  • reasons why you should save your spare change [how about because it’s money?]

Some make me wonder why they think I would have the answer for them:

  • best places to get colonoscopy
  • I want to change my religion
  • should I learn cello or piano
  • how do you say goodbye in Chinese

Some of them are just plain creepy:

  • movie about a sex change at a science fair
  • drug use on the set of bionic woman [Not Lindsay! No!!]
  • rubber hands
  • painted overgrown toenail pictures
  • drinking and driving is fun
  • I change the giant puppets

Some combinations of words are puzzling:

  • the number 24 [is this a dyslexic Douglas Adams fan?]
  • king ding a ling
  • juggling lose weight [the new fitness craze that’s sweeping the nation!]
  • we agree to change spare
  • panhandlers second life [I guess the SL residents that haven’t bought land yet are the new homeless problem]
  • celebrity infant car seats
  • homeless kids fire swallowers [hopefully only in Second Life]
  • yoga fundraising [is that related to Presentation Zen?]
  • change fruit
  • healthy munchies stoners [hey – at least they’ll get their essential vitamins and minerals while they get wasted]

And then there are the painful human dramas:

  • games and activities for a 4 year old with asthma
  • can my son change from being gay by using medicine
  • how to create a flyer for a child with cancer

So what’s the social marketing lesson here? Perhaps that it can be hard to predict exactly how people will find your website or blog, so you need to make sure that your pages/posts have enough relevant words in them to increase the chances that someone looking for your information will find you. And make sure that if someone arrives at a random page on your website, you have enough navigational information — or even suggestions of related content — on each page that they will look around to see what else you have of interest. I’m not a search engine optimization expert, but there are plenty of other blogs and websites that you can look at to get some guidelines. And if any of you with a have some interesting or strange search phrases that you’ve come across on your own site, please share!

Photo credit: wagg66

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