Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 18

Another day, another task. This challenge is now 60% finished. Don't lose heart; you CAN finish this and drive on to new heights!


SEO, aka Search Engine Optimization, aka getting found

For today's task, I want you to slow down and think a little about SEO (which tech-speak for search engine optimization, which is itself an intelligent way of saying "what gets your website to display at or near the top of a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc."). So this task is actually multi-pronged.
  1. Make a list of keywords that you want your website or blog to be known for. For instance, I want MNINB to be known for terms like "Robert Lee Brewer," "Writing Tips," "Parenting Tips," "Platform Tips," "Living Tips," etc. Think big here and don't limit yourself to what you think you can actually achieve in the short term.
  2. Compare your website or blog's current content to your keywords. Are you lining up your actual content with how you want your audience to view you and your online presence? If not, it's time to think about how you can start offering content that lines up with your goals. If so, then move on to the next step, which is...
  3. Evaluate your current approach to making your content super SEO-friendly. If you need some guidance, check out these SEO Tips for Writers. There are very simple things you can do with your titles, subheads, and images to really improve SEO. Heck, I get a certain bit of traffic every single day just from my own SEO approach to content--sometimes on surprising posts.
  4. Research keywords for your next post. When deciding on a title for your post and subheads within the content, try researching keywords. Here's a free keyword tool you can use from Google. When possible, you want to use keywords that are searched a lot but that have low competition. These are the low-hanging fruit that can help you build strong SEO for your website or blog.
A note on SEO: It's easy to fall in love with finding keywords and changing your content to be keyword-loaded and blah-blah-blah. But resist making your website or blog a place that is keyword-loaded and blah-blah-blah. Because readers don't stick around for too much keyword-loaded blah-blah-blah. It's kind of blah. And bleck. Instead, use SEO and keyword research as a way to optimize great content and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Anyway, I thought I was going to make today fairly easy, but now I see that I've actually laid out a 4-step checklist of things to do. Feel free to vent in the comments below and call me not nice things on the social media site of your choosing.

And remember, this challenge is now 60% finished. You CAN finish this!

*****

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


*****

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.

In the webinar How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself, super freelance writer I.J. Schecter teaches writers how to avoid the most common social media pitfalls, how to respond to others strategically, how to get work for yourself by talking about others, and more.

Click to continue.

*****

Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here are the most recent:

96 comments:

Joanna said...

Thanks for this post, Robert, really something concrete to get my teeth into.

Amanda Socci said...

Robert, I'd also like to point fellow April Platform Challenge participants to several spin-off groups to further the goals of this challenge.

See below:
Linked-In group
“eWriters Platform Building” started by Lauri Meyers (@LauriMeyers on Twitter):
http://www.linkedin.com/groups/eWriters-Platform-Building-4390381

Google+ circle
“MNINB” started by Jennifer McPeek (@JenniferMcPeek on Twitter)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/?tab=wX#circles/mninb-p121ab5c48c313520

Facebook Group
“MNINB Platform Challengers” started by Rebecca Barray (@RebeccaBarray)
http://www.facebook.com/InspireChat#!/groups/216319148477030/

Anne Kimball said...

I have a question (don't I always?).

When I'm writing a new post, under the box for the title is a box I can write in an "enclosure link", and this hyperlinks my post title to another source. For example, let's say I wrote a post about manure, and I made my enclosure link to a Wikipedia page on manure. What happens? Does that mean when people are searching for shit on the internet (it happens), will that place my blog post higher b/c of its link with Wiki? Or is it a bad thing b/c when they click on my title it takes them elsewhere?

Joseph Lalonde said...

Thanks for the great reminder that I need to be thinking about SEO and for providing the link to the SEO tool. I'll be sure to use it more from now on.

Pat Walsh said...

Sorry this is so long-winded, but here goes:

1. My keywords always seem pretty specifically tied to the particular post I’ve written. For example, when I recently posted about the late reggae star Desmond Dekker, I used words like “Desmond Dekker” and “reggae.” Since I’ve been a music journalist off and on since about 1996, it makes sense that one part of my platform should be related to music — but it seems silly to have a keyword as generic as “music.”

On the other hand, I’m probably primarily known for writing about the history of space exploration; my two published books and most of my online videos are in that area. So I guess “space exploration” would be an appropriate keyword phrase, although it again seems too broad, unless it’s combined with terms more closely associated with the specific content of each particular post.

And in years past, I’ve been known as a columnist for trade publications specializing in electronics, state and local government, distribution and supply chain management, and medical computing. About the best I can do here, I think, is to simply be known as a journalist or maybe as a freelance writer...

Given these conundrums, here’s as good a list as I can conjure, given the general areas I want to build into my overall platform:

- For my non-fiction writing and video documentary work: American history; baseball; space exploration; video editing; journalism; music journalism; nature and outdoors; literary criticism; spirituality and religion; and of course, Patrick J. Walsh, Patrick Walsh, Pat Walsh.

- For my fiction and drama pursuits: novelist; playwright; songwriter; indie filmmaker; and again, my name in its various forms.

2. My personal or “portfolio” website, www.echoesamongthestars.com, has been online for more than a decade, and it definitely contains keywords that represent my widely varied creative interests.

And in the case of my blog, even as eclectic as my online writing tends to be, I do think that most of my content is fairly representative of who I am as a writer — or at least, who I am now and who I’d like to be as I move forward. I’m under-represented in the fiction and drama areas, but my non-fiction pursuits are pretty much all there in various posts on my blog.

3. Using your “SEO Tips for Writers” post as a guideline, I think my main areas for improvement are in:
- finding a way to incorporate better keywords in my page header;
- finding ways to naturally link from one post to another whenever appropriate;
- incorporating subheds where possible;
- finding better ways to link to others’ content.

And I have to confess, I actually read your “SEO Tips” some time ago and already incorporated many of your suggestions in my blogging approach. For example, I make much more frequent use of images than I once did.

I definitely understand the benefits of at least incorporating some SEO techniques in my overall approach and in each post whenever possible; but I have to say, my absolute favorite of your suggestions is #3 - Deliver Quality Content!!

I’ve already resolved myself to the idea that it could take some time to build readership for my posts, but I truly believe that the long-term key to gaining readers is to have great content for people to find when they search for subjects that are covered on my site.

4. I checked out the keyword tool and found that I am apparently already using ‘low competition’ keywords, although I’m not sure how much search frequency is a lot or a little. I am developing a list of keywords for several upcoming posts, both so I can check them for SEO efficiency and to make sure that I efficiently incorporate them into the finished items.

Whew. That was verbose. But at least I’m done with Day 18.

Diana said...

If a writer is only writing novels and short stories, then they don't need to worry so much about SEO.

Think about it.

SEO is search engine optimization.

As a reader, I am not going to use Google or any other search engine to find romance novels or fantasy authors or whatever. I'm going to use Amazon or Barnes and Noble and just search their books.

For this comment, I tried searching google. The shopping results in Google for romance novels returns crap. Ditto for thrillers and fantasy.

And if I am looking for a list of authors who write in a specific genre, then Wikipedia is a much better place to look than using a search engine. (If you're published make sure your name is on wikipedia and on the appropriate list.)

I do use google to find a specific author and I have never had trouble finding them. Sometimes I have to add author or writer to the search, but I always find their blog or website.

SEO is only important if people are going to use a search engine to locate what you do. I think only those who don't write fiction need to worry about SEO. I can see someone using google for parenting advice or writing advice or medieval history or something like that.

Before you spend a lot of time worrying about SEO, take a moment to think about whether people will use a search engine to find you. If you only write fiction, then the answer is probably not.

Everyone else, do what Bob said.

Rowanwolf said...

Okay how sad is this? I only just figured out what #MNINB stands for. Doh!!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Pat, the more specific your search term the better, but you want those more specific searches to line up with your wider search areas. And yes, quality content is always goal #1.

Diana, I don't think fiction writers should take a "free pass" on SEO. The fiction writers who pay attention to SEO will be the ones who get more traffic. For instance, if I was a romance author, I would want to come up as much as possible in searches like "romance novels" or "romance authors"--or if I have a brand new release "2012 romance novels" or "new romance novels for 2012," etc. Those other strategies are sound (and thank you so much for sharing!), but I don't think ignoring SEO is the way to go--even for fiction.

Anne Kimball said...

Ugh. I have another question. I'm afraid of my label cloud getting too cluttered with labels that I rarely write about. For example:
The piece I have slated for tomorrow's blog post is about meeting Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy this past w/e.
On the one hand, adding Jill Smokler and Scary Mommy to my lables might help people find me through Google if they're searching for her.
On the other hand, if I create labels for every solitary thing I write about, my label cloud would be ridiculous, plain and simple. I wasn't kidding earlier when I used the example of writing about manure. The stuff I write about on my blog touches all areas of my life, and its range, like my hindquarters, is vast.

So, to add labels for each thing I write about or not? That is the question.

Kelly Williamson said...

Good food for thought. I'm wondering about the direction of my blog as I think about this. It is still a baby, only a few months old, and has primarily been about a major turning point in my life about which I would eventually like to write a memoir. This journay was, however, renewed my interest in fiction writing. Is it wise to vary posts at this point, or should I stick to my original content?

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Anne, those are good questions to ask about the labels. Since navigation on my blog is not determined by my labels, I've labeled away. However, if my navigation was affected by my labels, I would choose my categories well. But you should definitely include your keywords for the post in the title (in your example, the title should include the words "Jill Smokler" and "Scary Mommy").

Mary Bauer said...

I can tell this challenge will take me longer than this morning. I use Blogger to find out what key words people used to find me. I am glad to have more tools so readers find me for the right reasons.

Diana said...

Bob, I didn't say that fiction writers should take a free pass. I said they don't need to worry about it. What I mean is don't expend a lot of worry energy or money on SEO. I guarantee you that there is some fiction writer reading this blog post and worrying excessively about doing it right. For a fiction writer there are better things to worry about, SEO isn't one of them.

I say this as an engineer and a web programmer who has done SEO for people. To drive people to your site, you have to think the way your customers (readers) do and how they behave. If you think like an author or like a web programmer then you're not going to do as well. How do readers find new authors and new books to read? What search terms might they use? Do they even use Google or Yahoo or Ask or any other search engine? I don't. I can't imagine anyone doing so, but maybe I am wrong and the majority of readers do use search engines to find books and authors.

We get into the business as writer, editor, agent, publisher, whatever and we forget that the majority of readers don't work in the publishing industry. Readers not industry people are the people you want to reach, because those are the people who are going to buy your book. So how do readers find you?

While I can't speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. I am not a casual reader. I buy anywhere between two hundred to five hundred novels in a given year. And I am not going to use google to find a good book to read or a new favorite author.

Think about it. That's all I was saying. Think about it.

Rebecca Barray said...

Done. ;)

Gerry said...

All good questions and comments and plenty of food for thought today. I will explore SEO more thoroughly. I have not been good about tagging and categorizing blog articles, simply because I haven't been good about posting. That's going to change, I hope. I'll go about it more carefully and wisely now. As a fiction writer, I say thanks to Diane for giving me another way to think about all this!

Tags, categories . . . Maybe doing this more consistently will at least distinguish me from the Irish voice actor "out there," the engineer, the deceased, etc.

Lauren Miller said...

I've been reading over your SEO tips and working on incorporating some of them into my website. I've been trying to blog regularly and incorporating relevant keywords. For example, for book reviews, the title and the author appear in the blog title.

I also use a Related Posts widget to link my reviews to other past books read on the same subject or in the same genre.

SEO sounds like something that has to be built up over time rather than an overnight process.

Veronica Roth said...

Now THIS I’ve been working on for about a year. On Wordpress I can SEO individual posts and also the website as a whole and I’ve found loads of room for creativity. I think it’s helping. The other day I wrote a heartfelt personal post after seeing Cats the musical and, according to my tracker, several people found me thru searching Cats the musical, review, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver. (Not sure they got what they wanted, but the point is it worked.) Also, my Tag cloud doesn’t have the same content as the SEO key words. Might be Wordpress. My Tag cloud contains words but also whole phrases. I always thought that tags are a way of internal navigation and had nothing to do with the SEO. Did I get that right or wrong?

Melanie Cole said...

I like this, because it's not only something to do today but something to keep in mind every day as we post on our blogs. It's a nice tool to help keep us in line with our goals for our blog. Done for today!

Susan Scott said...

thank you for all yr very useful comments and guidelines! I am still to get to this task - I think I will need someone to help me as I am very green.

Claudette Young said...

I have to admit that I've been needing to do this for a long time. Everywhere I went I saw "SEO" staring back at me, but it took forever to find out what those three letter stood for.

Finally, someone has spelled it out in bold type and asked me to just do it. Thank you, Robert.

My blogs tend to be all over the place as far as content goes. Heck, I even wrote one not that long ago about getting saddle sores from sitting in my desk chair for too long each day. I got lots of traffic on that one. Who'd have thought of saddle sores as a keyword?

The one thing I'm still not sure on, which is amazing given the hour of the day and my lack of sleep, is whether these keywords should be woven into the content as we would if writing a poem. I'm also curious about the answer to Anne's question about the "enclosure link."

Thanks, Robert, too, for setting us on this necessary course.

AlvaradoFrazier said...

Another great post where I learned a few things from the comments and Bob. Thanks!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I've learned today that I really need to not suck at titles (because they are important) and that I need to link my own posts more. That in-post linking seems to be my downfall.

Joe O. said...

This is my favorite task so far. It's also the scariest. On my business blog it's a no brainer, because I understand people are actively looking for copywriting advice, specifically with respect to grant writing and nonprofit development. I can organize my categories and supply each category with relevant tags, etc.

On my personal writing site, however, I'm still struggling to find my voice. I don’t want to be one of those writers who gives writing advice when I am clearly the one who is still in search of that expertise. I don’t want to limit myself to book reviews, because most of these are more popularly sought on Amazon, GoodReads, etc. It seems everyone is blogging about their journey to publishing. So where does that leave me? I’m thinking of taking a more general approach. I like, for example, that you are open to giving parenting advice on your blog and advertise it as such. Maybe I can be the writer who gives the occasional advice on financial education, technology and other niche topics where I have qualified opinions.

My point is that until I find my voice, I am going to have difficulty coming up with a good SEO strategy. I need to know what I want to be known for before I can really implement a good search strategy in the various engines. Thanks for this thought provoker!

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

I so agree with Diana. I read so many novels, especially now that I can buy them in seconds with one click. And I use Google constantly. But if I want something to read I go to Amazon and Goodreads. Never once Google.
The second part of today's task is very helpful to fiction writers, however, in that it forces us to focus our posts, keep our eye on those goals we spelled out the first day of the challenge.
My fiction and my blog are about Florida environment, politics and history. I hope the blog will not only attract readers/buyers with similar concerns, but will contribute to an exchange of ideas among readers, perhaps even action.

Joe O. said...

To clarify, my business deals with nonprofit copywriting. Just because people are looking for copywriting advice does not mean they’re looking for grant writing and the like. :)

J. B. Everett said...

My question is similar to Kelly's. The unifying aspect of my writing is more the voice than the topic. How do you avoid having little bits everywhere without enough density to make a difference in any single one?

Brooke Ryter said...

Thanks Robert! Very useful info...love the keyword tool!! Will be using that from now on.

Romelle Broas said...

Thank you for the lesson on SEO, Robert. And Thanks Amanda Socci for listing the spin-off groups for #MNINB!

Paul Ellis said...

Cool! verfy useful information. However, it's harder to implement that it appears, but well worth it.

the whatnot shop said...

Late start today. On my way ...

Jen McPeek said...

Been working on this for a little bit now, and I think I've got it :)

John Morris Benson said...

Someone offered to SEO my web site for $350. My son gave me a 5 minute lesson - much the same as yours. I saved the money and if John Morris Benson is entered in a search, several pages show.

Kris Swanguarin said...

Learned something about the importance of blog titles. I get tons of traffic to my postcard blog and way less on my poetry blog. There could be lots of reasons for this but I can't believe there are more postcarders than poets. One possibility is that nearly all the words in the title of my postcard blog rate low competition and high traffic and nearly the opposite for the poetry blog. Looks like I may have to add a subtitle or change the title outright on my poetry blog.
Also becoming conscious of the first and last fifty words but this is not always possible for a poet except for comments before and after the poem.
I ahve noted that challenges at the end of a post seem to get attention.
Thanks for all the help, Robert.

MaryPf said...

(groan--from an SEO failure) My identity crisis interferes with my coming up with a distinct personality.

Joe O, I appreciate a fellow wanderer on this self-naming journey.

My plane takes off in an hour. I have a print copy of the challenge in hand. At 30,000 ft, I 'll wrestle with the problem.

Lauri Meyers said...

Do the keywords have to live in the post and title itself, or does just using "labels" work?

Misky said...

I've done the SEO with Google and Bing, using the Wordpress content code for verification. There is a problem though in that Wordpress inserts a robot.txt file into the admin structure that a free account holder cannot edit or delete. The file code doesn't prevent bots but many SE won't index a blog if it has that text file. It will send out bots for each page, but they just won't index the site.

Another interesting development is that users aren't permitted to add their own meta tags categories, yes, and tags but not meta tags.

I've finished as best I can with this task.

Susan P said...

Great ideas. I need to do a lot more work on this. I found that the more specific my blog titles the more traffic I receive. The titles I think are hysterically funny do not get many hits while the plain old boring - How to write a novel - titles do very well.

Now I need to apply this more universally to the rest of my blog writing. Working on it....

Kiril Kundurazieff said...

I'm hoping to learn more about this SEO thing with this post.

I've never fully understood how to take advantage of it.

On Typepad there is a place for me to list my meta keywords, and so for my cat blog I chose most of these 2 years ago, only making a few changes, today.

"Cats, Cat Blog, Cat Writing, Cat Pictures, Cat Videos, Kittens, Cat, Cat Adoption, Cat Products, Cat Poems, Pet News, Cat Food, No Kill Shelters, Cat Books, Cat Health, Pet Laws, Cat Humor, Pets, Pet Food, Cat Toys, Pussycats, Elvira Mistress of Felinity"

Not sure what more I can do, and how to use my actually blog posts, in coordinantion with this list, without being obvious, and ruin the style of blogging I've employed to what little success I've had.

De said...

Robert, are "key words" the same as "tags?" If so, done. I had no idea that's what that little area was for on my Wordpress blog. Will now be "tagging" all of my poems by their keywords.

If that's NOT what you mean, then I'm not understanding. Somebody clue me in. ;)

Thanks!
de

Erika D. said...

I can tell that this is going to take me longer than one day. But I'm still in.

Gail Kushner said...

I finally finished the task from several days ago when we had to join Google+. I have an old computer and that program sucked my resources.

Let me re-boot, then I'll start today's challenge!

imunuri said...

Started at least...

Kendra Merritt said...

Done. Some of these things I was already doing instinctively but there are others I should start putting into practice.

Lynn said...

Done. I'm amazed at all the things I'm learning - thanks Robert.

Beth Stilborn said...

Thanks for this. I realize now that by coming up with "catchy" titles for my blog posts, I'm not catching much of anything.

I am going to rethink my approach to titles, and to keywords.

I may be a fiction writer, but I still see this as important. I want to build a readership base for my blog that will be the sort of people who will buy my books. I have conscientiously focussed my blog on "reading, writing, and the arts" for the most part. I am trying to draw more people from the arts community, so it behooves me to use titles and keywords -- AND CONTENT -- that will both attract and serve that community.

Thank you for a concrete step toward that goal.

Lara Britt said...

"Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going."- Paul Theroux Could agree more with Theroux, fellow writer and Honolulu resident. I would like to put the traveler into the tourist and as well as the "resident"... Proust's quote applies here. Like most writers, I want to share a new set of eyes on the world. Mine is the intersection where different people find common ground & community. Now how do I put that into key words? Let me think about it a bit more.

Gail Kushner said...

Done. I checked my "meta tags" and they are okay.

I have a website with a blog and one of the things I keep running into is that the website program limits what I can do. For example, I couldn't add Feedburner. As part of today's work, I contacted the website hosting service to see if there are ways to add something like Feedburner and to make the titles look better so I can use them for SEO. I think things are as good as they can be right now.

Joy Weese Moll said...

My SEO is great for name. Not so good for my topic. If I'm going to write about diet and weight loss, I probably should quit using the euphemism "healthy lifestyle."

Lara Britt said...

I just did a SEO search using my website address only. I understand why my most recent post is getting tons of hits from usual places. It's not just a local phenomenon. Coco Puffs are searched heavily but have a low reference rate. Who knew? Some other categories in the same boat are giving me ideas for future posts! What a great idea generator! Thx.

Stevie Libra Allen said...

Thank you!!! I've been so intimidated by SEO, but it's really about labeling stuff for content. You made it do-able.

Kyle Robinson said...

I've been labeling my content for the last little bit since I started using Blogger, I never really thought outside the box though and I can start doing that now,

Thanks for the help

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

Done...

Kirk said...

The list of keywords was very helpful. I suddenly saw the gap between the terms I would ideally like to blog about, and what I actually post.

It's a beginning blog, and so I am testing the waters, gaining experience. Currently, I tend to write in the intersection between gardening and memoir, and this earns a modest but steady stream of hits.

It's fun, but I might like to take a more. . . cosmic approach to choosing content. I have to think about this and where it might lead. .

My ideal keywords, however, turn out to be more esoteric. Awareness, perception, reality, singularity, cosmology, parallel dimensions, etc. These are the things that fascinate me, but are they marketable?

Shall I position myself as a fringe writer? Maybe I should start a second blog.

bolton carley said...

This is definitely a topic I need to work on! Glad you're pushing me.

Nicole said...

hey Nicole here. Done.
Until tomorrow.

Andrew Kreider said...

Very cool - in the middle of all this SEO work, I finally got my blog folded into my web page. We'll see what it does for my traffic. Thanks for the push...

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Today's task has been enlightening! I had confused keywords with labels. But keywords are in your post title and, say, the first paragraph of the post, right? And labels (tags) organize so you can find older posts.

Like Beth, I'm a fiction writer who thinks my blog will be important. Since my historical novels will be fact-based, I want to build a platform (aka blog) as a history expert.

I realized I've been blogging about writing and blogging, when I really want people to find me for Irish genealogy or Quaker history. This is just the kind of focus I needed.

For those of you still finding your voice, my blog is 3 years old and I'm just now realizing what I want to do with it.

The keyword tool is great. Thanks!

hcfbutton said...

When I switched my blogs over to wordpress from blogger, (personal and professional) I made a conscious effort to streamline them.

My professional blog focuses on healthcare architecture topics from my thesis, though I've veered a little off course from them. But the tags are definitely in line with my blog's themes.

My personal blog has 2 streams of categories: stuff i experience in the city, and reviews I've read.

What I need to do now, is ensure I start using SEO properly on a per post basis, making sure they're streamlined.

And maybe I can combine the two. How looking for architectural deficiencies is like editing a manuscript.

caryl said...

I've written articles for Yahoo Voices (Yeah, a content mill. I don't know who else to write for. But that's another post, Robert!)I've been frustrated with my low page views despite putting keywords in my titles. I appreciate your more in-depth advice and will give it a try at Yahoo and on my blog.

Thanks!!

GoingVeggie said...

Done...er, rather, in process. This is something to continue to think about, of course. I am still a bit concerned about labels/keywords/tags/titles all being used interchangeably in these discussions. I agree with @VeronicaRoth as I learned that tags (as in clouds) are for internal navigation; the sorting of posts. Keywords inside your blog text are flags for the search engines, along with titles, with which we are concerned here today. Was I misled?

caryl said...

(I think I sound really lame. Maybe I am? lol)

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

SEO? Seriously Editing Overkill? Seeking Edginess Online? Something Eeking Outrageously? Oh, search engine optimization. Right. Right. Well, it’s my uphill battle, one I fear is getting the better of me. And yet I try.

Karen said...

Robert, thanks for the tips! I need to revisit keywords, something I haven't done since I started blogging several years ago.

Mary said...

This will take a little time, but it is certainly something I have been working toward for some time. Thanks for the links!

Because of my day job, I tend to run a day or two behind everyone else in completing these tasks, but thanks to your "in case you missed" links, I can catch up easily enough.

Oh, and for the record, I can't imagine calling you any kind of not-nice name. You are, after all, trying to help us all.

Laura Diane said...

Good reminder--I've been somewhat lax on this, but will make it a point. Today's task is done.

Diane said...

Thanks. I played with the google tool and will be using it, regularly.

Done

Julia Tomiak said...

Done! Sometimes I forget about SEO while I'm writing posts, and I think I'll make a note to myself to check for this (like proofreading) b/4 I publish: spelling, grammar, SEO...

Janann Giles said...

Done - went back and reviwed previous blogs - updated Profile and About Me page.

Monique Liddle said...

Done - I have identified my main categories and tags. Also, I started to look up info about doing SEO on Wordpress - asking web friends. But, I was confused why I did not get any comments on my last post last week, especially since some people told it me it was good. I struggle between writing for myself and wanting to get comments/feedback on the post itself.

E.B.Pike said...

Thanks Robert. I usually use "tags" to hit those blah, blah keywords so they don't detract from the content I'm delivering. (They're in a different font color and smaller, separated from the main text of the posts).

But I hadn't considered your low-hanging fruit idea about using choosing words in the most effective way. I'm off to check out your SEO tips for writers!

Erin

Elissa Field said...

Done... mostly. For the poster who said fiction writers don't need to focus on SEO, I think they missed Robert's point. She was right that it is not SEO to the degree that our marketing clients need all their search words welded in -- but it can be as simple as knowing what words people use to find your work. For example, my blog uses my name (not another title) because the most common searches to find me are my name + fiction or writer. In the bio I had up until recently, I made a point for it to be in 3rd person, using my name rather than "I", since that optimized the bio to be found for someone searching for my name. I do notice increases of searches for my site around the time editors are reading my work, so I know it's important for people to be able to find me quickly. So I second that fiction and poetry writers need to do this -- as you want to make sure that someone searching for you will quickly find you/your work, and not pages of other sites.

The one thing some people might not be clear on is what their own key words are. Would you all agree - for writers it is your name plus writer, fiction/poetry or your genre, and maybe areas of interest, like Irish history, for the poster who is focused on that? Mostly, I focus on people searching for my name.

Kasie Whitener said...

done

Muddy said...

Done-ish. May be more accurate to say its a work in progress? Definitely re-evaluating titles & 1st lines. Thanks for all the info in the comments too...you guys are full of information!

Julie Hedlund said...

Hey Robert,

I've been following this series from the sidelines, not quite ready to dive in yet. I plan to go through them all though, but probably not until May.

Just a thought. This is such a great program, you could compile all of this into an e-book. I would totally buy it!

Madeline Sharples said...

Here's the link to my post today with keywords. But now I know I need to start all over. I like the idea of thinking big.

http://madeline40.blogspot.com/2012/04/april-poem-day-challenge.html

Michelle said...

short, sweet, and to the point...done :)

Blyth McManus said...

Yes! Great post, great tools, and informative comments, too. Done! Thanks.

Meg Miller said...

This is a future to do for me.

Blyth McManus said...

Done, or at least - the journey has begun!

Barbara Morrison said...

Done. Thanks for the step-by-step approach. I've been avoiding thinking about SEO (that overwhelmed thing again), but your description made it easy.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Annnnd... done!

Well, as much as any ongoing project can be 'done' lol

Diana said...

Have this task already done, didn't need to do much to complete it, but have been helping others complete theirs!!

Susan Craig said...

Done. Better late than never...

Khara House said...

Done. It's taken me forever to figure out what "SEO" means--I mean, I understand what it stands for, but what it means! I'm trying to be more aware of the terms I'm using in posts, titles, and tags, to get some more visibility for my blog and make sure I'm reaching the right audience. At one point the search term that led the most people to my blog was "lena horne" ... I had written one post about her, but I guess whatever works :). Now I'm trying to change that so I'm more focused in the terms I'm using, and hopefully one day the number one keyword or search phrase that will get people to my blog will actually be something related to poetry :)

Stephanie Puckett said...

Done! (finally!) *blush*

CERN Wife said...

I've thought about SEO for several years, and include subtitles, tags and photos with captions in each of my blog posts, plus sometimes include various links. But my posts - all written in France where I'm living until July (oh, weep!) - are all over the place. And my tags (keywords) reflect that. I rarely put "France" as a keyword, but I suppose I should. I'm still waiting to find a reference to one of my blogs on Google.

Jennifer said...

I've been meaning to look at keywords for a long time. Thanks for the resource. It turned out there was a keyword that I never used, but is the one everyone is searching with. I kept called it a Disney "trip" but people type in Dinsey "vacation." I'll be adding that word to my posts and see what happens. Thanks.

Sheila Good said...

Lets just say, this is done, I think! Another day of playing catchup, but at last I see I'm not the only one.

Michelle said...

I'm finally getting caught up! Check...this one is off the list. :)

Lynn Daue said...

Ha! I finally recovered from my family-bloated weekend and dove into this day of the challenge. As it turns out, the keywords that I chose and the topics about which I write are fairly highly searched and have low competition. Did not know this!

Kerry said...

Robert, this request has made me study my blog posts and titles. I am writing a realistic fiction novel. It is about a family torn apart by fundamental Christian religion. I have posted short excerpts, but also posts about life in general. My tags are related to the topic of the post, but every post is tagged by my book's title and my name. I think the titles of my posts could be more SEO related. I will keep that in mind on my future posts.

Denise Stanley said...

Sort of done. This will be an ongoing task. Thanks for the keyword tool.

Rena J. Traxel said...

SEO is something I know very little about so this post and your other post on SEO Tips for Writers was helpful. Now to pay attention to key words when I blog!

Claudine Jaboro said...

Done! But still wanting to learn more about SEO.

Monica Miller said...

There's definitely more to do here, but I got a start. I checked out the keyword tool and I think it will be helpful--great for generating ideas, too. I will try to be specific with my titles. One thing I want to be sure of is that I don't let keywords drive my content. It's important that my content is from the heart, sincere.

Pennie De Witt said...

Thanks for making it easy. NOT! LOL! There; I vented. Now I'm off to go read your SEO tips for writers.