SEO is short for search engine optimisation. Most of us have heard of this phrase but not all writers know what it means. I think it’s time we started to learn. Many of us have websites now and if we want readers to find us and find our books then we need to know how best to encourage search engines to show our sites and our books in the SERPS PAGES (search engine results pages.)
Search engine optimisation is about making your presence known to search engines. If, for example you write historical fiction then it is a good idea to add the keywords historical fiction to your site as well as other relevant keywords. That way the search engines can point the relevant traffic in your direction. A badly optimised site is not going to be found by the search engines.
So if you have a website, or are going to have a website then you need to know about SEO. Don’t despair if you find that off-putting. If I can learn you can. I will be the first to admit that I find technology difficult and everything about building my own websites has been challenging. However it has also been creative and I do love creativity. Learning as I go has meant plenty of mistakes along the way but that’s part of the process.
and one about gardening. Gardening is one of my favourite hobbies and to track my progress while developing the overgrown acre and a half of wild Burren land that came with our new home I started a gardening blog: www.gracelikestogarden.com Actually I don’t just like to garden I love to garden, but I couldn’t get that domain.
My sites are doing well considering my lack of experience and I am really enjoying the whole process. However, there are times when I am irritated by the fact that some of the websites that score higher in the search results than mine are really little more than adverts with virtually no decent content.
The reason for this is algorithms. Search engines trawl sites looking for content specific to searcher’s requests. So, if for example, you type in the words ‘growing vegetables’ search engines will turn up loads of pages about growing vegetables. However, you might notice that some of these are very thin on content, or basically consist of adverts. This is because the algorithms have only been searching for specific keywords and not ‘understanding’ the rest of the text on the page. So, for example, a whole load of gobbledygook with several keywords might turn up quite high in the search engine results page.
HUMMING BIRD ALGORITHM
With the advent of the new Google humming-bird algorithm, that appears to be set to change. Apparently the algorithm can ‘understand’ more detailed questions. It can also understand language better. In other words, it is capable of more than just zoning in on keywords!
It is so encouraging to hear this. If this is true it should mean that real content can climb the rankings to reach the eyes of readers as easily as manufactured spin. As a reader and a writer this makes me happy.
CREATIVE WRITING AND SEO
I have a passion for creative writing. To put it more simply – I love to make stuff up! Yet, I do understand the importance of learning more about SEO and Traffic Generation.
After all I would very much like readers to be able to discover my writing easily. But there is so much to do that I could easily spend more of my time optimising my content than I spend actually writing it. This is not why I wanted a website and it is not what inspires me!
ONE STEP AT A TIME
So, the answer for me has been to take a measured approach – Just one step at a time and I make every step an experiment. The results of my experiments have got nothing to do with the concepts of success and failure, and everything to do with learning.
One of my first experiments was to link an article about writing a bucket-list to StumbleUpon. Submitting your work to other sites is a way to get your writing ‘seen’ by more people and I was really pleased with the outcome, my traffic to this site doubled overnight.
Many writers still shy away from the Internet but we are living in a digital age and if you want to be found, more importantly if you want your writing to be found then you should make good use of the opportunities the Internet presents.
Good luck with your writing.
P.S. Please do feel free to leave a comment below. I would really love to hear from other writers on this subject and I always reply.