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  • Quick and Dirty Social Media For Writers: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    Posted on February 13th, 2012 jean 1 comment

    Oh no! Not another acronym. SEO. What the heck is that? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, get those search engines to recognize your site so you get more traffic.

    Eek! I’m so behind the times! I know nothing about this! Fear not. It’s Social Media Monday and I have some quick and dirty tips for you. (And while SEO isn’t exactly social media your blog where you are going to utilize SEO is.)

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    What is SEO?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, if you are a writer and blogging your heart out and nobody is coming to your blog, there are a few things you can do so your blog or website is seen by search engines.

    How Does SEO Work?

    From Wikipedia:

    SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

    Basically, you do a few things (for free–we are going to keep this easy, quick, and free. You can get much more complex about this, but I’m not into exploding the heads of my readers. Nor my own head for that matter) on your blog and increase the visibility of that site by search engines. This will increase your ranking in searches–hopefully done by your potential audience.

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    What Can I Do to Increase My Site’s Search Engine Optimization?

    Good news. Lots. Here are a few things to get you started:

    • If you use WordPress, search for plugins you can install. Search for “SEO.” I’ve started using the Meta SEO Pack (no news on how this is working for me as of yet). If you are using Blogger, some of this has already been done for you. This doesn’t mean you can slack off! Keep reading.
    • Watch for duplicate content. In other words, do you have the same stuff all over your site? Such as your latest blog post showing up on your homepage too? Not good for SEO.
    • Fresh content. The more fresh stuff you post, the more search engines will see you. That’s one of the reasons a blog is a lovely thing to have on a website.
    • Original content. If you are posting the same stuff on your blog as you are on say, Goodreads or Amazon (like a lovely book review), guess which review is going to get top billing on a search engine? Your blog or the mega site Goodreads or Amazon?
    • Links in. You want people linking to you. Whenever someone links to you, the search engines figure you must have something good.
    • Too many outgoing links are bad. If you have a ton of links out on your page, this sends search engines into some kind of tizzy. There is a fancy thing you can do by making your links out a ‘no follow’ which basically means you are telling search engines not to follow those links out of your page. You want that search engine to “stay and look,” right? Right. (An “archive widget” will also be a lot of links out. So, also a no-no.)
    • Tags. You have the option to add ‘tags’ to your blog. Do so. Think about your content and what exactly in your post might be something searchable. And no, tagging it ‘”hot porn” isn’t a good idea, unless you like spam. For this post, some good tags might be: SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Increase your blog traffic, SEO tips, and the like.
    • And lastly, (this one might break your little writer heart) title your blog posts in a way that they are something people might type into a search engine. In other words, “Holy Dickens, Batman” for a post on the wordiness of the Classics isn’t going to get you as many hits as something titled “Word Counts of Classic Novels.” Not as original, but it is something some type into Google. (Yes, I tried it.)

    There are a few quick and dirty tips you can use to increase the traffic on your blog by keeping search engines in mind–and without doing a lot of extra work.

    Have you tried any of these tips? Which ones would you like to try? Go for it now! See what happens and tell me how you do.