SEO has been on my list of things to do for months. I get so little traffic to my novel's website, I can't even give away books there. So I read everything I can about search engine optimization and work at it when I have time. Some of the terms and technology were intimidating me. I'm so over that now. The latest buzz words in SEO are ping and twitter. When I first heard them, I groaned, thinking I'd have to learn new HTML or dig around in my website set up.
Nope. They are websites. And so easy to use. Ping-O-matic is a simple form. You fill in the name and url of your blog, check where you want to send the update, and then click "send pings." The idea is to do this every time you post a new entry on your blog and let blogworld know there's new content. SEO for Dummies.
Twitter is new social networking site, similar to MySpace and Facebook. If you have the time for yet another networking site, Twitter is a little different. It is all about the personal update: What are you doing now? If you want to keep your friends updated all day—I'm clipping my toenails, I just ate a bowl of bran flakes, I'm thinking mean thoughts about my husband again—then this is the site. It offers a little Twitter box that you can paste on your other sites to make your update available everywhere you are. I'm not sure yet how this will increase traffic to my website, but I'm game.
The other SEO term I'd been hearing and finally checked out is "Technorati." It too is a website. But its name and tagline—what's percolating in blogs now—are misleading. There's no information about the technical things you need to know to be a successful blogger. It's just breaking news through the eyes of bloggers.
So take heart, writers. SEO is not complicated. But like everything else you do online to market yourself and your books—it takes time.