Lijit – How To Channel Surf Your Own Content

While reading various blogs this past week I’ve noticed a new search mechanism with the text Lijit. Lijit is a way to search your blog’s content and more. In their own words:

Lijit is a service that searches your blog, bookmarks, blogroll and more, all from one little box. In return, we provide stats that help you better understand and serve your reader community.

Their front page claims:

  • Increase searches by 2.5 – 5x
  • Engage readers and raise pageviews 5% or more
  • Grab the 30% of your audience that you’re missing
  • Use search stats to improve content targeting and uncover reader intent

Well, you gotta love that.   🙂

What Lijit Does

What Lijit does is include a bunch of sites that you have content on in addition to your blog content when your readers search your blog. For example, if you have a Facebook account and you update your Facebook content, Lijit will also look at that content when a search is done on your blog using the Lijit search at your blog.  Which is very cool.

When a reader at your site does a search, they’re presented with a floating window over the page they’re on.  There are four possible tabs of search results – Blog, Content, Network, and Web.  The Blog tab is the default and display the search results from your blog.  The Content tab searches your content on any site.  The Network tab searches all your content on any site as well as anyone in your network that you’ve designated in your settings at Lijit.com.  The Web tab searches, well, the web – Google specifically.   🙂

Click image for larger view (800 x 600)

Here are some other features:

  • Add your Blogroll into your network – This will result in Network search results displaying relevant content from other blogs/websites in your network.
  • You can add a URL, RSS, or OPML feed so that content is included in your Network search results.
  • As well as del.icio.us, MyBlogLog and other Lijit users content will be searched in your Network if you want it to be.
  • A whole set of other sites you can add to your Content searches like Flickr, YouTube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, Tumblr, on and on.

There’s quite a bit of stuff there and this blog post only includes a sampling.

WordPress Plugin

There is a WordPress plugin for WordPress obviously and other blogging platforms like Blogger.  The WordPress plugin allows you to set it up based on your preferences at Lijit.com.  The code gets generated based on those preferences and you can either plug the code into your blog by hand or better yet, download their WordPress plugin which creates a sidebar widget that will display a Lijit search widget in your sidebar.  There are configuration screens provided for the plugin.

A Wigged Out Dashboard

Lijit provides an excellent statistics page accessible from the WordPress Dashboard.  There are some really excellent statistics Lijit provides.  Here’s a sample list of what you can see on your WordPress Dashboard which is the exact same Stats page from your account on Lijit.com.

There are four tabs of information:

  • Summary – page views, top referrer, amount of searches, top search term, locations in the world where folks are searching from and a bunch of totals – searches last 7 days, all searches, per day averages and on and on.
  • Readers – a bar chart of page view per day, a pie chart of where readers came from, another locations world map, top posts by date, last page views (25), top searches that brought readers to your blog (excellent stat to know).  You could tweak your future articles based on this information.
  • Searches – a bar chart with total searches per day, last 100 searches show on a world map, top searches, last 25 searches, last searches that returned no results.  That last stat is another spring board that we can write articles on.  In other words, whatever people don’t find you can provide in future articles.
  • Exposure – a pie chart showing type of search results readers click, top 25 search results clicked, top 25 last search results clicked and blog that include you in their blogroll.  Does anyone use a blogroll anymore?

Channel Surfing

One cool feature that I like is the Surprise me! button that allows you to randomly search your content which includes your blog and your external sites.  This is like a mini StumbleUpon that – stumbles upon random articles at your site.  I love StumbleUpon and I use it for its intended purpose – randomly stumbling the web or channel surfing if you will.  You can certainly play around with the Surprise me! button in my sidebar.  When you first click on it you’ll see the button in the middle of the screen at the top with options to return to this blog.  Pretty cool.

Lijit On This Blog

I’ve used different search functions on this blog.  I’ve used the built in search mechanism for WordPress along with the plugin Psychic Search. Psychic Search gives you quite a bit of statistics that show up on your WordPress Dashboard.  However, keep this article in mind when using Psychic Search.  I have not investigated this article but be aware of it anyway.  I’ve also configured and used Google Custom Search as well.  But I’m giving Lijit a try and see if it holds up to the points brought up on its home page as mentioned above:

  • Increase searches by 2.5 – 5x
  • Engage readers and raise pageviews 5% or more
  • Grab the 30% of your audience that you’re missing
  • Use search stats to improve content targeting and uncover reader intent

You can read more about Lijit at their General page.

Best of all – it’s free.  Check it out.

    

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