Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tools and Tidbits for Writers: What IS SEO?


Tools and Tidbits for Writers
by JQ Rose

What IS SEO? by J.Q. Rose

I bumped into the wall known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 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. Now, 12 years later, more writers are familiar with Search Engine Optimization, but have no idea what it means.

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. 

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. I choose words that sound natural and that are short and to the point.

Notice how many links related to authors resources pop up. Can you see how SEO will 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.

*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, subtitle and a few times in the article. And of course, in Blogger, labels are keywords to direct readers to your site.

*Don't be afraid to try out adding keywords to improve the SEO 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. 

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

This post originally appeared on this blog in May 2019.

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Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thank you for this informative post, Janet. You made it very easy to understand.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Joylene. Glad it was helpful.

markson said...

Site design improvement is the method involved with accomplishing top rankings in the web search tools for a site's most important pursuit terms.

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