Doing your keyword research and optimizing your posts for Google is good, but no matter what, traffic comes and traffic goes and to a large extent this is out of your control.
While doing your best to optimize, making sure you have the right keywords in the right places and at the right density, you can’t control how Google is going to rank your pages, nor can you control just how many people are going to search on each keyword either.
Just one position higher or lower on the front page of Google can make a big difference in traffic, and a news story that results in a surge in search requests can make a difference too. It’s all to a large extent out of your control.
A case in point are my two top traffic lenses for many months, My Pet Peeves and Religious Jokes. About six months ago I could guarantee to have over 2,000 visits a week to My Pet Peeves, and between 1,500 – 2,000 to Religious Jokes. I just did, week after week, for month after month.
Then for no apparent reason, My Pet Peeves began to lose traffic. At first I couldn’t see why, since I still got a lot of traffic from Google, but I realized that I had lost the edge on the main key phrase “My Pet Peeves” and most of my Google traffic was now coming from “Pet Peeves”. Now it seems “Pet Peeves” has lost it’s edge, and my visits are down to under 250 a week, leaving the lens well down in the 2nd tier in Squidoo, not firmly in the top tier where it used to be.
Religious Jokes did the same for a while, and despite attempts to revive it’s position, it’s struggling to get into the top tier with between 900 – 1,100 visits a week.
On the other side of the fence, I have two lenses that have not done well for ages, and these are suddenly showing a resurgence in popularity for no apparent reason. It’s not because I have made major changes to them, but maybe it’s small changes in the wording of the intro module that have been enough to make a difference.
The first is Top 25 Tom Hanks Movies, which is currently showing almost 400 visits this week, with more today than any other lens, and 90% of the traffic is coming from Google.
The second is on a similar theme, Top 15 Leonardo DiCaprio Movies, which is approaching 300 visits this week. Just how much traffic is coming directly from Google and how much is as a result of visitors to my Tom Hanks lens I don’t know, but I am hopeful that these retain Google’s favor for a long time to come.
A little tweak here, another there, or just some re-positioning at Google’s whim, you are never completely in control of how much traffic you are going to get and where it’s going to come from.