The most popularly searched image on my blog.

This blog covers mostly my love for food and agriculture, but under that umbrella I touch on several different topics. What led you to find my page?

I use WordPress as my blog hosting site and it gives me a run-down on the number of people viewing my site and the search terms on how they find my page. Don’t worry, it doesn’t tell me who is searching for that “prolapsed cow” just that someone viewed that page. My friend @DairyCarrie recently took a look at what her blog followers are searching for and it made me want to take a look at my own stats.

As it turns out, people spend a lot of time online searching for food recipes like my “ground beef omelet“, and one of my most popular photos is a “glass of milk,” but my most popular food posts are more about safety concerns. This year I have blogged about 4 events that really sparked search traffic. In January, McDonald’s released a series of commercials highlighting farmers growing their products. Turns out a lot of people were very interested in learning more about these farmers. Chipotle released a highly “controversial” advertisement titled “Back to the Start” which garners the title as my second most searched term this year. More recently, folks have been concerned about the beef product dubbed “pink slime“. This summer’s drought really brought a lot of search traffic, particularly concerns about tifton 85 bermuda grass poisoning cattle. I’m glad I have the opportunity to share my thoughts on these topics and others are able to find them on my blog through search engine results.

My readers also find this blog by searching for state agriculture and food facts. Hopefully they’re finding posts from my travels in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, among other states. Folks are also looking for great ranching books, glad I have my book list available. One that really surprises me is the number of folks who find my blog by searching how to “iron jeans“. I’m still puzzled on why people find this weird.

The number one search term that leads to my blog, and the one that surprised my the most is folks searching for those “useless agriculture degrees“. Thanks to a few stories from The Daily Beast and Yahoo Education, I shared my thoughts on just how “useless” an Agriculture degree is not only in my life, but in the role of national food an agriculture production. This term leads to my blog any where from 10 to 30 times daily even more than a year after the post.

The topic area that leads most to my blog, is at the heart of my blogging efforts – sharing a little of my education with those who want to learn more about where their food comes from. The posts where I share a little “Agriculture 101” information attract consistent search engine traffic. The most popular is “castration in cattle“. I’m not sure why so many folks searching for this, but I’m glad my opinion is being found. This is followed by topics of mowing pastures, cattle branding, cattle guards, and different cattle breeds.

The search engine traffic that I get the most kick out of relates to my work in cattle reproduction. Terms like “prolapsed uterus” or “up to my arm pits” or “calving dystocia” are just a sample of the cleaner terms that relate to this area. Oh, and can’t forget my “triplet foals” – that one pops up pretty often too! Calving season and all the problems associated with it is one of my favorite topics in agriculture.

For more blogging tips, view my series on Better Blogging

Mack Collier, a prominent non-agriculture blogger, recently shared a post about how search engine traffic affects his blog, even when he’s not writing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a confusing term for most, I know I have problems with it, but with a little work, overtime we can all work on it. Here are a few tips:

  • Be consistent in your blogging efforts. Set a schedule and blog at least once a week.
  • Write about your topics of interest more than once. Search engines like repetition in topics.
  • Use “key terms” in your title and a few times throughout the body of your post
  • Title photos and other images with text relevant to your blog topic
  • Give it time. Build your content. Write about your interest and passion and the audience will come.

What led you to finding my blog?