When you Google your name, your website or your blog must be the first thing that you see. I know, it's a problem if your name is John Smith. Ideally, if you Google your name, then your site is the topmost site on the first page of Google’s search results.
If it isn’t, then it’s no big deal. If people like what you write, then they’ll find your online presence eventually. But it would be nice to make it easy for them to find your site.
You don’t have to listen to me, really. I don’t even have my own domain. Perhaps, someday… But for some writers, they might find these super-basic tips helpful. Write for Google’s robots, and write for your intended audience.
First, put something that’s keyword-rich on the “description” settings of your site. In Blogger, this is found in settings. Write something that’s keyword-rich and catchy. What do you want to be known for? Are you a writer, a dung beetle, or a dealer of black market goods? State this where it says description. This is your virtual badge. If you leave this blank, Google will take the “description” from your most recent blog entry/site entry. What if your recent entry is your story about a mutant cow with a penchant for eating rubber tires? Theoretically, Google will then “see” your site as a pretty colorful bovine that is a weak foil to the SEO empire of Goodyear. Don’t forget to include meta keywords or tags (e.g. writer, novel, fiction, poetry, etc.). Separate them using commas.
Type “horror writer” on the Google search bar. The writer-sites that you see there – they are not there by mistake. They optimized the use of that keyword for a long time until Google recognized them as the “trusted sites” for “horror writer.” Right now, these are the writers who had clinched that keyword with finesse -- J. L. Comeau and Jeremy Bishop. Their sites appear on the golden first page.
Second, do not copy content. In the case of writers, it’s usually the direct copying-pasting of reviews that simultaneously appear on the reviewer’s site. Each time you reproduce text that appears elsewhere, you hurt your ranking. Google’s algorithms see that, on top of many other things.
Third, go easy on the tacky virtual pyrotechnics. The time it takes to load your webpages is an important factor on how well you are ranked. Google favors sites that offer good user experience, meaning the pages load fast. If you blog and it’s a long entry with a lot of pics, then insert a "read more" division to curtail the loading time. Like this:
Fourth, give your site a little bit of slick SEO juice. Link with other writers and bookish sites. This can be detrimental if the webpage that you are live-linking to has bad SEO.
Finally, don’t worry too much about search engine optimization. It’s a lot of work. An entire industry is built around controlling the placement of whatever's online. Each time we look for information or buy something online, our choices are already pre-planned. Even the arrangement of certain words and phrases are contrived.
I just thought that it would be nice to share these tips. You go on right ahead and write something nice.
And yes, take the blue pill. ;-D
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