Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Business of Writing: SEO for Author-bloggers demystified! with @kayelleallen of #MFRWOrg

Man reading newspaper
c2015 by GaudiLab,
Depositphotos ID 69202185.
"Say-oh sayoh say say-oh sayoh say say-oh sayoh say sayoh say-oh..."

What? You mean those aren't the introductory lyrics to "Pompeii" by Bastille?

Okay, you got me! And I got your attention with the earworm. You're welcome. :D

By "say-oh" I mean SEO, Search Engine Optimization, which may seem like just as much gibberish as "say-oh" does. 

Today I hope to change that for you.

Kayelle Allen of Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) has written a brilliant article about SEO and how you can harness its power. Her definitions are especially insightful:
SEO: Search Engine Optimization – the process by which we gear our websites to be searchable by search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

Keyword: a significant word used in indexing or cataloging, or in labeling other text. For example, some genre keywords are romance, historical, fantasy, scifi, highlander, etc.

Label: These are similar to keywords, but are brief descriptions given for purposes of identification.

Hashtag: a word embedded in a searchable text on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. These words (or tags) are preceded by the symbol # which is also called a hashmark, hence the term, "hashtag".
Read Kayelle's full article about SEO here.

I have to admit that I don't always follow all the steps that she recommends for upping the SEO ante for my posts, but I usually can check off having a central theme, the length requirement (at least 300 words), putting a keyword and/or hashtag in the post's title, and using appropriate labels.

The biggest key to optimizing the searchability of your content—whatever type of blog you run—is to generate a strong combination of keywords, labels, and sometimes even hashtags so that search engines stand a better chance of finding your posts.

Another good article about writing SEO-friendly blog posts is this one written 12/15/15 by Julie Petersen on the IFTISEO blog. I'm going to follow its advice and just include the link—why? Because linking to other posts is one way to increase the relevance of both posts in SEO algorithms.

If you've gone to the Geek side, you can play with this keyword density checker tool: thanks to a comment in Julie Petersen's post. This tool checks =everything= including strings of numbers, but it makes for an interesting exercise if you're into statistics.

Taylor Manning on Mad Lemmings blog dives into the wild and woolly world of SEO optimization for images here.  

While much of Taylor Manning's advice is geared toward HTML programmers at an advanced level, there are some tricks the average blogger can use easily, such as naming one's images to reflect keywords relevant to the post in which the image is used.

I have taken this advice to rename book covers that I send to other bloggers for upload, such as "Dawnflight-Kim-Headlee-Arthurian-legends.jpg". To avail yourself of this SEO feature, you must use hyphens rather than spaces or underscore characters.

"Where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?"

Begin with creating a clear message that's laden with keywords. I cannot absolve anyone's SEO sins, but I do know the rubble will take care of itself! :D

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  1. Thank you for the lovely quote, Kim. I appreciate the shout out. I always learn when I read your posts!

  2. Great advice! Added to Writing Process board on Pinterest

  3. Thank you both so much, Kayelle and Pamela, for visiting, commenting, and sharing! :)

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