Jessica Ennis still driving traffic in Olympics year

28 Jun

With only a few weeks left to go until London 2012 kicks off, it’s pretty clear that British athlete Jessica Ennis will be one of the media stars of the games. How do we know this?

1. Olay have got her face and body plastered all over their summer print and TV campaigns.
2. ‘Jessica Ennis Bum‘ is STILL driving traffic to this very blog.

The power of ‘Jessica Ennis Bum’ is such that another publication, the London Evening Standard, has recently put online an article in which the popularity of the search term is highlighted (exactly the same tactic the Daily Mail used to crowbar it into their article with the athlete). “Stick her name into Google,” says the piece, “and the top result is Jessica Ennis Bum, followed by Jessica Ennis Hot“. Classic mash-up of journalism and traffic-baiting.

Anyway not to be outdone, I did a post about how the Daily Mail had seemingly optimised one of their stories for the keyword – at once mocking the move and basically pulling the same trick myself. It worked, too: the keyword has been the best-performing driver of organic traffic over the blog’s lifetime by some distance.

Interestingly, I see spikes in Ennis-related traffic during athletics events and when she is on TV or in newspapers. I would probably see much more if my ranking hadn’t dropped from SERPs one to page three (a case study in what happens if you don’t maintain your top keywords). If I can find the time I might do a case study about the relationship between the athletics calendar and the Ennis traffic – if anything it’ll demonstrate how topicality can work in a blog’s favour, as long as it’s balanced with relevance (which, to be fair, isn’t the case with that keyword and my blog).

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