Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by Cassiel Knight

For years, I resisted learning about promotion and marketing. Well, not so much resisted as figured that I didn’t have anything to market or promotion so why bother learning how it all worked? Let me tell you, that’s not the proper mindset. Means that I spend a lot of my time catching up to those who were much smarter than me and started before The Call. The good thing, though, is that I am learning a lot and even more, completely embracing and, dare I say, loving learning and doing promotion. Seriously. So much that I’ve taken on providing bi-weekly promotion and marketing chats with the authors at Champagne Book Group. Helps me learn and lets me pass along what I learn. And that is what I’m going to do for my Wednesday posts. Share with you, dear See Jane Publish readers (some of who are authors), what I learn about promotion and marketing.

Today, and next Wednesday, I’m going to share with you what I learned about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a fairly new and upcoming important promotional tool. So, here we go! I’d like to preface this with that I’m not an expert. But I’m learning. What I’m sharing with you today is what I’ve learned and some resources for you to start checking out this promotion and marketing tool.

Seo-optimizationWhat is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? This is a tool to help the search engines, like Yahoo, Google, and Bing find your website and blog (or other online content). SEO is a moving target simply because search engines get better and better at providing quality links while website owners/designers/users continue to look for an edge over competitors by working to make sites appear high in search results. So, with SEO, it’s to be effective, it’s not going to be enough to work on it now then forget about it. You will need to frequently tweak.

SEO, in the simplest terms, is about traffic – as in:

a) What type of traffic do you get?
b) Where do you get your traffic?
c) How does your traffic find you?

What is traffic? Well, there are three kinds:

a) Organic traffic – the traffic that comes to you via links in other content. For example, by clicking on the author page in Champagne’s website.
b) Search engine traffic – online searches
c) Paid traffic – things like Facebook ads, ads on Coffee Time Romance and so on.

In even simpler terms, it’s your response to the question of: How Findable are you online? When readers search for your author name, book title(s) or other things you want readers to find, what will they find? And how much do they have to look to find you?

When doing research, there were several references to a book:  Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes by Mark Penn. In it, he talks about a category of consumers he calls “New Info Shoppers.” A survey he did shows that “92% of respondents said they had more confidence in information they seek out online than anything coming from a sales clerk or other source. They believe the information they find, not the information that is spoon-fed to them…”

This means that the majority of consumers trust what THEY discover, however they discover it. Penn also says:  “An astonishing 70% of Americans now say they consult product reviews or consumer ratings before they make their buying decisions.”

Wouldn’t you agree that’s true of Amazon? While there is a significant amount of readers who have begun to question those blazing five-star reviews, there’s still many who use those stars for their buying decision.search_engines

Here are just a few of the ways readers search for what they want:

* Google, Bing or Yahoo search results
* Reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
* Review sites like CTR, Dear Author.com, Fiction Vixen and more
* Photo- and video-sharing sites – YouTube and Flickr
* Social media – immediate circle of friends – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
* How other book lovers rate the book on sites like Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing
* Wikis and other online forums

Well, that’s it for today. Next week, I’ll come back and share with you some terminology and discuss how it all fits together. So, your turn. What do YOU know about SEO? Got anything you want to share with your fellow readers? And me ’cause I’m always eager to learn.

Happy writing and reading!

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Posted on December 12, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. very nice information.There are a number of SEO services which can help contribute to the improvement of the organic search engine rankings of a website. publish

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  2. Thanks for clearly posting about SEO and for Maggie’s response. I knew about the tags, etc. but didn’t know about the match. Makes sense!

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  3. Good post. Covers most of the SEO characteristics. Search Engine Optimization is definitely something that website owners should consider. Nowadays the success of a website usually depends on the properly built and managed SEO campaign.

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  4. All excellent stuff to know. Can’t wait to read the second part next week.

    There is indeed an algorithm that the search engines use, having to do with keywords and the number of likes, etc. but the engines like Amazons are catching on to our tagging and liking parties. How can we get around that?

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  5. For me, SEO basics (excluding paying for ads) has everything to do with metatags using keywords. Thus “search engines” find it and the associated pages get ranked higher. I think what we all want is for the search to appear on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. One way is to make sure in every media you are involved that the name of your book is part of the tagging (blogs, website, etc.) When guest posting you don;t have control of this, but you can request.

    However, here is the second important part of keywords: Think Outside the Box. Know your Audience. Don’t just focus on your main keywords, like your book title. Competing with the most popular keywords (i.e., romance, suspense, hot) is a losing battle. The most successful SEO campaigns target the most RELEVANT keywords to draw in new audiences. For example, if you write books with a paranormal theme, you want to go beyond the obvious of paranormal, vampire, werewolf, or whatever your typical characters are. You also want to consider keywords like occult, supernatural, new species, mixed races, end of world, etc. And if you have anything in your world-building that is unique include that too. For example, in Chameleon (my YA Fantasy) lichen plays a big role, as does growth hormones and modified plants. So, I will include those as key words. I believe you would be pleasantly surprised at the potential new readers you would get when you use outside-the-box thinking.

    The last piece, related to keywords, is that once you’ve identified those words and use them regularly you also need to make sure that your content (copy) uses those keywords too. One of the things that is reflected in rankings is an algorithm that compares keywords in metadata with the actual words in content. Where there is a match, the ranking will be higher.

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  6. This is an excellent post, I hope others get the chance to read it.

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  7. I keep hearing the word but hadn’t a clue what it actually meant. I would like to know how to make a book stand out. If my name is googled everything about me comes up but how do I make a book stand out among the crowd? Thank you for sharing.

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