I was asked, as part of my new squidoo SEO Mentor role, to make a lens about the statistics of my squidoo lenses. I am, despite my training as a math teacher, not really very faithful in keeping track of stats. I have in the past, but it taught me very little. Traffic is only the result: not something I have any influence on. What I do check regularly is what lenses bring in traffic, what keywords people use to find them and what sells. However, squidoo makes it very easy to keep track of traffic stats for individual lenses, so here are screen-shots of some of my more successful lenses. All of these are, at present, top tier lenses.
I’m showing them not so much to brag, as to show just how irregular statistics are.
First off: what I consider the ideal pattern for traffic to a lens: steady growth. Note that even on this lens, which was based on keyword research, and fit my online profile to a T, traffic didn’t start in the hundreds right away.
Next up: a very similar lens, with very similar keywords. It started off well, but traffic is now going down (note sept. 5th: that’s a statistics glitch):
Another lens with very similar keywords, in a related niche. In this case there was a steady growth, a steep decline with traffic almost back at nothing, then a very steep increase in traffic and now a steady state with lots of traffic. I’m not sure what caused the decline or the increase. I’m not aware of new links to this lens for instance. It’s just one of those google mysteries.
Stumbleupon. I love stumbleupon traffic, I really do, but it can REALLY mess up your graphs. Imagine the peaks to be even higher, you would not even be able to see the traffic in the lens got now anymore. This lens did not get stumbleupon traffic, though it might have – it fits the profile. Instead the peaks represent forum traffic. Luckily, right now, it gets enough google traffic to stay in top tier. In this case I’m pretty sure that was caused by external links from on niche blogs.
Before I go into my more irregular traffic patterns, I want to share a traffic pattern which I consider to represent a reasonable ‘normal’ for a successful lens. There are clear ups and downs, but this the result isn’t too spiky.
Seasonal traffic. Ideally a seasonal lens gets traffic in heaps during the season, and not so much at other times. Well, sure, except… On the following lens the traffic started dying off BEFORE the season was over. For some reason Google simply decided it was no longer relevant enough for that query. Or perhaps I should say: other pages were judged more relevant, or they had better links, or whatever. This niche has two seasonal peaks: back to school and the holiday season. You can see it’s a rather new lens, which is probably one reason why it wasn’t on google’s list of most important the whole time. This graph does show that new lenses can bring in a lot of traffic.
In roughly the same niche, and made at about the same time, the following lens shows just how much traffic a really trusted site might get off this keyword set. Because my lens was not really all that trusted, it only gets the traffic some of the time. The peaks are when it ranks in the top ten for a shorter keyword, the lows are when it only ranks for longer tail key phrases.While this is as seasonal a niche as the previous one, the traffic doesn’t really show it.
The next one is of a seasonal lens in roughly the same niche with it’s peak right now. This isn’t one with a peak around August, the only peak is leading up to the holidays.
Last but not least – the sorrow of losing traffic. Most of my top tier lenses have had their titles changed at one point or another. In most cases this will not give the lens lasting trouble, at least in my experience. The following lens is the only exception. At least so far. I hope it’s clear from the previous images just how volatile google rankings can be in general. The title change may not have anything to do with the loss of traffic. This is again a seasonal lens with a peak in August and the Holiday season. The peaks do follow that pattern pretty well, except that the second peak is unfortunately much lower.