It’s kind of strange when the answer isn’t right in front of you.
We’re so used to just popping our questions and needs into a search engine like Google that it’s legitimately surprising when we have to really research a topic.
This is over-simplifying, of course, as Google results may take some navigating, but for most straight-forward questions, it really isn’t hard to find the information you need. If you’re looking to drive traffic to a website, though, it’s in these ill-defined questions, the ones without a clear online guide established, that you’ll find some of the greatest and longest lasting opportunity.
An example: I’m an unabashed comic book fanatic and run a comic book blog in my spare time. I have an online subscription to Marvel Comic’s digital offerings, but because of the iPhone software’s widely publicized resistance to Flash, I’m unable to access my subscription on the go.
So here I am taking the train to work every morning with a stark lack of Daredevil in my life. Never has a man suffered so. This seemed like a waste of my subscription so I started searching for ways to get around the iPhone’s Flash banishment.
There weren’t really any answers.
Bits and pieces of answers, yes, but no clear cut “This is how you solve your problem” articles. So I took what information I could find, experimented with some options, and reported my findings in a thought-provoking and erudite post.
To be honest, when I posted my work-around, I couldn’t have told you how many other people were looking for the same information. All I knew was I had a question related to my blog’s niche, I couldn’t easily find the answer in search, and I had done enough research to make an answer available.
The early results were pretty underwhelming. Very small amounts of traffic here and there. But, over time, the amount of searchers looking for the same information I had looked for started picking up. And they started finding their way to my site.
Since the post went live, I’ve seen traffic from 171 variations on the core phrase “Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited iPad.” Better, those visits have accounted for over 13% of my total site traffic. It’s my number one traffic-generating keyword, and it didn’t come from keyword research of any kind. It came from genuine interest in my subject matter and experiencing a problem without an answer within the site’s niche.
Now, my site still isn’t the number one result for these phrases, but because I experienced the problem first-hand, I’m fairly confident my post answers the consumer-need in a very real way. Does my captivating and charming authorship photo make my search result more appealing? Very probably. Nonetheless, find an open need online and provide the best attempt to help, and consumers will find you.
Again, the chances that you are the only person who will ever search for answers to a certain problem are so minuscule it’s really not worth worrying about. Unless you ride the train to work wondering “How many bananas can a Minotaur eat before he feels sick?” your curiosity is likely going to lead to new opportunities.
Having said all of that, I would still highly recommend you refine your passion-driven keywords with some help from Google. A very small amount of keyword research helped me realize searches including iPad were far more likely – and I’ve seen that data backed up in the results.