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As a Raleigh SEO writer, every day I am creating and patching content to make it search engine-friendly. It’s fun. I find it’s a lot like poetry.

Without the right tense, imagery and cadence, your audience will be lost in your poetry. They won’t be inclined to tell others about your work. When writing for the web, without the proper placement of text, valuable content and usability, search engines won’t adequately rank you and users won’t be inclined to stay on your site—and they certainly won’t share it among their social networks.

Last year I discovered that Raleigh is home to the largest SEO Meetup Group in the United States. I just as quickly learned that they meet once per month, on the same night as a poetry open mic I love to attend organized by poet Glenn Cassidy at Amplified Art. Due to the conflict, I haven’t attended one of the SEO events. (Poetry trumps!) This month there was no conflict!

working from homeLast night, the meetup offered a virtual option to attend through Google Hangouts. From the comfort of my cozy bed I watched the stuttered live feed and scribbled down the basic SEO tips. (It was an event tailored for beginners.)

raleigh seo meetupTheir special virtual guest was Ashley Hale, the founder of the meetup and a contributor to Google Webmaster’s Forum. All I saw her do during the live feed was eat potato chips. (In her defense, I haven’t watched the recorded version yet!)

I have blogged about search engine optimization tips for writers websites, but a lot has changed since last year. I will teach a class this spring in Durham and New York on exactly this! For now, here are a few more basic tips and I am including the link to the hour-long event below.

Here are 3 Tips to Optimize Your Writer Website:

  1. Unless you are marketing a brand—put your title first and then your author/writing company name. This applies to creating titles on your page. When you add a new page or blog post, you have the ability to carefully choose your title. If you were Oprah, then your brand is big and that should go before your title, but if you’re an aspiring mystery novel author, your page/post would benefit more from a title like: “Places to Find an Agent For Your Mystery Novel | Author Bill Graves”
  2. Don’t expect your site to rank well overnight. Or in three weeks. During the event last night, the speaker explained your ranking won’t improve in just a month. You should expect a year. (However, I beg to differ. For his main keywords, one of my clients was on Page 6 of Google. I got him to Page 1 in under a month. Of course, it took over a year to get him to #1 on Page 1.) Does this mean you update your writer website according to the best SEO practices, sit back, and your Amazon sales should start to spike a year from now? No. Once you implement proper SEO techniques, you need to keep at it every day, or at least a few times each week.
  3. Research responsive web designs. The latest rage is having a website that is equally usable (“platform independent”) on all devices: PCs, tablets, smartphones. You’ve probably experienced aggravation when accessing a mobile version of a website and realize your abilities are limited – that “full access” is only available on the PC. (I learned the limitations of the WordPress app when I created one of last week’s posts entirely on my phone.) Routinely test your website not only in different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and for the sad few using it: IE), but also on various smartphones (Android and iOs) and tablets. Iron out issues right away. Are users not able to buy your book if they visit your site from their phone? Does your event page featuring book signings and readings not appear on a tablet? This are simple fixes.

And, as promised, here’s the recording: