Thursday, February 04, 2010

2010: Day 35 - Blogs and Search Engines

What’s so important about search engines? Think about how you use them. When you’re looking for a new chicken casserole recipe, you might type in the search bar, “chicken casserole” and you’ll get more variation of the same dish than you’ll know what to do with.

If someone tries to find you, your book, your series, or anything else you’ve written, the most obvious initial search will be by your name. The number of posts you’ve published, how often your name is mentioned anywhere on the Internet will determine which page your name will first show up on the search engines and how many more pages will follow. Just out of curiosity I Googled my name. The first link was to my website . The next listing under my name was to this blog and the list of posts, reviews, interviews, excerpts, etc., continued for over 27 page.

So what are the key elements to getting a good position on the search engines? 
Blog at least three-four times a week. The more you post, the better your chances will be of positioning yourself/your blog on the search engines. 

When you start a  new blog, aside from writing to everyone on your list of contacts (which is good), make sure your blog or website link is on your signature line of your e-mails and every post you writer other than on your own blog. 

Another easy ways to draw traffic is to exchange links with other bloggers. In Blogger, you have two choices: A link list which is just that, a list of links to your favorite websites or a blog roll. The blog roll gives the link and a snippet of the latest post on that blog. I can't tell you how many Google Alerts I get every day because my blog has shown up on someone's website as a blog roll and someone has followed the link to my blog.

Whenever possible, provide links within your articles to websites, articles, interviews, etc. Here’s why. Most writers I know have set up a Google Alert for their name, each book title, the name of their series, the name of their blog, etc., every time his/her name shows up on a search engine, he/she will get a Google Alert. If they’re like me, they’ll follow it back to your blog and bam!  You have a new visitor.

Here’s a Google Alert I received today for “Marta Stephens Author.”

This was from a virtual book tour I did in December 2008 to promote the release of “The Devil Can Wait.” By the way, all the links to that tour are listed in my December 2008 archives here on this blog. The funny thing is, I’d never seen this site before which leads me to my next point.

Whatever you post, make sure it’s something that you won’t mind reading 10-20 years later, because once it’s “out there,” it’s there forever.