Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Author Toolbox: What IS SEO?

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here for the list of participants and visit them after picking up a few tips on Search Engine Optimization--SEO-- on this blog. Thank you.

What IS SEO? by J.Q. Rose
What IS SEO?
I bumped into the wall known as SEO when I began contributing articles on gardening to an e-zine several years ago. (FYI- E-zine is now known as an online magazine.) No longer could I just write an article packed with information for gardeners. Instead, I had to include keywords in the post to optimize results for search engines to find the article among the thousands of available articles floating around in cyberspace. The importance of using SEO in my articles was new to me. Is it new to you too?
Using SEO in your blog posts is like using a GPS to direct readers to your site. Popular keywords are used to drive readers to your website when readers put a keyword you use to describe your site or article in the search engine. The link to your post will be seen by readers wanting to learn about the information related to that keyword. Your ranking in the search engine improves every time someone clicks on your keyword hopefully landing you on the front page or at least one of the first pages of Google.com or other search engines. 

Just think about how you would talk to your friend about the article you just finished (or your book, short story or product). Use words you naturally use and ones your readers would use when searching for a topic. 

Let's try "author resources" as the keyword--yes, you can use more than one word. In fact, I have heard contrary discussions about the length of keywords. In my research,most gurus believe in using long-tail keywords to engage folks rather than a single keyword.

Notice how many links related to authors resources pop up. Can you see how SEO will help you drive traffic to your website if you can find the right keywords to use?

How do you find popular keywords that increase Search Engine Optimization?

The secret to finding words that readers look for is simple and free. Popular keyword research tools are Google, Amazon, Youtube, and/or Pinterest. Place a topic you are writing about in your blog post in the search box. The predictive text will give you searches made with that word. 

An example:

Talking about keywords like I am today, I typed "keyword" into the search box on Google. The predicted word or phrases show up because users have selected these words to find articles and videos on the topic.


To make my blog post about keywords turn up on a Google page, I should include some of these words and phrases that came up when typing "keyword" into the search box. These have been used by folks searching for information about that topic.

Perhaps you are writing an article about "good websites". Type the term into the search box and the text will give you an idea of what phrases or words people are using to find information on "good websites".

Look back through this article to see if I snuck any of the suggestions in places where they are unobtrusive. You can't put keywords everywhere so they become obvious and annoying to the reader.

Don't overload your copy with the keywords, but add them where it's natural such as in the title of your post, a few times in the article, and metadata. (Metadata is information about your website article aka labels in Blogger.)

Don't be afraid to try out adding keywords to improve the SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your online works. After 3 or 4 months of using keywords, see if you see an increase in traffic to your site. You may also like to go back to older posts that received a lot of interest and add keywords to get even more traffic.
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I hope I have simplified this complex method of getting readers to your website. If you have questions, please ask in the comments below. If you have information to add on SEO or keywords, please do so in the comment section. I'd appreciate that and so would the readers. 

Check out these articles below for more information and search for educational articles and videos using your favorite search engine.

Click here for How to Use Keywords on Your Site by Nate Shivar.
Click here for What Does SEO Stand For by William Alexander








28 comments:

  1. This always mystifies me, too. Good article, JQ!

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  2. I have been using SEO and it does make a big difference, but gonna bookmark the page some good info here. Thanks for sharing it.

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  3. Great tips :) I've heard SEO helps, but I've never tried it before. Time to experiment!

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  4. I am so glad you bring this point up. Keywords, metadata, tagging pictures are all huge ways to get search engines to crawl your webpages. Thank you Janet :)

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    1. Thanks, Erika. I forgot to mention tagging images. Each image should have a caption in case images aren't shown on your device.

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  5. I've attempted to use keywords but I'm never sure I'm using the correct ones. This helps!

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  6. Such great information. I do know how SEO works, but I've been a little lazy about it, and also, I don't want to upgrade my website yet, and so much of the SEO tools available to wordpress.org people aren't available to me. For now, I add keywords to the code of my media. :)

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  7. Keywords are important. It'll be interesting to compare your traffic once you get your SEO going on your upgraded site, Raimey.

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  8. The weird thing about SEO is that it's supposed to be natural, and yet wondering what words other people use to search for a topic can sometimes turn into a project that feels anything but natural. I've never really understood how to avoid using keywords if you are writing about a topic. I'm still not sure I understand the difference. If I'm writing a post about the First Lady, keywords could be White House, or First Lady, or a proper name, or wife of POTUS, is this the idea?

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    1. Yes, so you could use those words in your article without looking like you just added them in. Keywords should be included in the piece, so write the article and then try them in the search finder of a search engine and see what comes up. You can use those words too. It IS complicated, I agree, but play with the words to see what will come up. Best wishes!

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  9. This is so interesting. I have very little familiarity with SEO and should probably get with the 21st century and learn how to use it. Thanks for the info.

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  10. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping in, Lee.

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  11. Thanks for making it sound simple. SEO is talked about all the time, but sometimes I feel confused.

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    1. Hi Susan. SEO IS confusing. Always mixing up SEO and keywords and finding them and using them and....so complicated. Glad this post helped!

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  12. Thanks for the great article, JQ. I've learned so much since starting a blog six years ago. I do try to remember to use keywords. Another thing I do a lot more now is break my post up and use headings.
    Thanks for the link to the resources.

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    1. You're welcome, Helena. Good tip on headings and keeping more white space instead of huge globs of text. Definitely a different format for online articles than for magazine articles or stories.

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  13. Very informative! Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Thank you, Charity. Thank you for stopping in.

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  14. An excellent introduction to SEO :)

    I never knew about SEO until I moved from Blogger to WordPress and Shannon Mattern (from wp-bff.com) recommended I install the Yoast SEO plugin. I definitely recommend it for WordPress users, as it teaches you what you need to do to ensure your posts are optimised.

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  15. Hi lola, I appreciate your use of "excellent" in your comment! I have heard of Yoast, but am not a WP user. Thinking about making the move. Still thinking, no action!! LOL

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  16. thanks for this usefull article, waiting for this article like this again. SEO optimalisatie

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  17. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share. Webdesigner

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  18. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. SEO

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