If you have your own website or blog, you have most likely heard of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This is a tactic that helps boost your presence in search results. Why is this important? Because if you are low on the results totem pole, then no one is going to find you! If you are on the front page, however, people are more likely to click on your link, bringing in not only views but potential clients or buyers. It is up to you to keep them hooked with good content and/or products, but it is also up to you to make sure that they make it to your site in the first place.
While I have read several books and articles on this subject, they always seemed vague and never really helped me understand how to improve my SEO. I got the idea, but didn't know how to make or implement a plan. Keywords are great, but how do I insert them in my blog posts without making them awkward? If I write posts that aren't about writing, editing, and publishing, how do I still make sure that my blog shows up in search results for these topics? No one wants to beat their audience over the head in the interest of widening their audience, so it's important to maintain a balance. But how?
Today, I ran across a great post at the Writerland blog by Meghan Ward, called "9 SEO Tips for Authors" (click the link here: http://meghanward.com/blog/2012/10/23/9-seo-tips-for-authors/). She really helps spell out the terms of SEO in a way that authors and others that might not delve so deeply into the world of technology and website searching. I really have no idea how search engines like Google actually work, so I didn't know where to begin. Meghan breaks it down into easy steps that help anyone improve their visibility in the World Wide Web.
One thing that I found interesting is that one way search engines decide what keywords to associate you with is your bold text, headlines, and hyperlinks. I didn't know that the titles of my blog posts could really make that much of a difference. Simply by highlighting the words writing, editing, and publishing, I could be increasing my rank in search results for these topics. Pretty neat, huh?
I also found an intriguing tidbit in her point about contextual text. If you are writing about something off-topic, such as an author that writes sci-fi but is writing a post about the new Barbie doll, you can include a mini blurb for the end of each post that mentions what you really want the world to know about you. In this example, the writer could include a blurb that says "My book, ______, about _________, is due out on September 1st! To learn more about this book and my other works, check out my website, ______." It's that easy! You up your keywords, which increases your SEO potential, and it's really that simple.
For more helpful tips, please feel free to click the link about to Meghan Ward's blog post. She has many more useful insights into SEO to share!