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Importance of SEO and Metatagging Part 2 by Lori Culwell

SEO and Metatagging Part II:  Where to Put Keywords!

Now that you’ve done your keyword research (and wasn’t it so interesting?), you’ll need to go back and put these keywords into your website so that the search engines will associate your site with these words, with the ultimate goal of having your site pop up when people Google those words.  The words are the demand, your site is the supply.  Got it?

These instructions are for people with sites based on WordPress, which gives you the easiest access to your metadata.  If your site was built using html, you will need to actually crack open the back-end with a program like Dreamweaver or have your designer/ developer do it for you.  This is another reason I recommend that authors switch over to WordPress. (.org, not .com). 

To put your keywords into your site, you’ll need an SEO plugin.  My favorite one of those at the moment is the All in One SEO Pack, which you can find right here:  http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/.   If you’re familiar with WordPress.org, you should have no problem going to your “Plugins” panel and uploading this one.
Install and active the All in One SEO Pack, then follow the prompts to set it up.  You will be using the keyword list you generated using the tools from my last post to write descriptions, title tags, and meta information for your website.   Make sure to use complete sentences, and use (but don’t overuse) your keywords.  In the “keywords” section of the plugin, add the top ten keywords from your research.   If there are more keywords on your list, that’s no problem—you’ll be using those later on your blog.

Make sure to use the keywords from your list to name your categories, include them in the “Title Tag” for each page, and so on.   Do not “stuff” all the keywords in one place, but do use them throughout the site, because this is how Google learns what your writing is about so that it may share it with the world (in the form of “your site showing up in Google results.”)

One great (and easy) thing to change in your WordPress setup is your permalink structure.  This will allow the blog posts you title with keyword phrases to be more easily seen by the search engines.
If you don’t know what a “permalink” is, don’t fret—we’re simply going to be changing a setting in your website so that the links have actual words in them instead of looking like this:
http://firstnamelastname.com/?p=153
I’m sure you can agree, no one is searching for “?p=153,” and it would be much better for you if your posts and pages had words in them rather than this kind of meaningless code.  So, go on over to “Settings” in your WordPress dashboard, then choose “Permalinks.”  You’ll then just need to select one of the options that includes text .
For a screenshot of how this should look, visit:  http://bookpromotion.com/permalinks/
If you don’t have your site set up with WordPress, don’t let that stop you.  Here are some simple ways to incorporate keywords into your blog/ website/ social media.
–Write posts with keywords as titles.  When you did your keyword research, you probably noticed that some of the searches contained multiple words, such as “best types of roses for gardening,” etc.    If you have the knowledge and the inclination, you can take one of these multiple-word keyword results (techie types call these “long tail keyphrases”) as the exact title for a blog post.  This strategy actually works very well!
— If  your blog/ website platform allows you to put keywords anywhere, grab the list and put in a few keywords every time you post to the site.   If you are doing this, here is some basic keyword etiquette:

o   Don’t stuff.  Do not put all of your keywords into every post.  Don’t repeat keywords over and over.  Don’t use multiple variations of the same phrase.  Google is on to all these tricks, and they are much more likely to hurt than help.

o   Keep it real.   Don’t feel like you’re a slave to the keywords, and don’t let the keywords stress you out.   Content is king, as they say, so you’re better off just looking at the list of keywords and then writing something, rather than trying to artificially   
— If you’ve done any of these steps, great job!  You should pat yourself on the back.  Many writers don’t even have a website, and here you are doing your own Search Engine Optimization!
And, that’s it!  Thanks for listening.  Go out and do something productive today!

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Lori Culwell is the author of five books, including her debut novel, Hollywood Car Wash, which was originally self-published and went to be bought and re-released by Simon & Schuster.

She writes and works with companies, agents, and authors on marketing, lives in New york and California, and has a super-awesome husband.

You can find her at www.loriculwell.com 

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This Post Has 32 Comments
  1. Hi, thank you for sharing this great info. Was just browsing through the net in my office and happened upon your blog. It is really very well written and quit comprehensive in explaining with a very simple language.
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  2. Lori, thanks for this valuable post! I have been putting your advice to work the last few days and I wanted to share some things I’ve learned in the process. Maybe it will help others newbies.

    1) Many of the hosting companies offer SEO assistance as a part of the domain purchase/hosting package you buy. My company does. All I had to do was go to the cpanel and turn it on and get started. If I hadn’t read your post here I would not have understood the terminology, so that was great!

    2) You mentioned one plug-in. I’d like to give a shout out to another one that I think is great. WordPress SEO by Yoast. They give you a list of prompts each time you post for SEO, and they have an easy to use check list for keyword usage, etc. You don’t have to follow their advice each time but for someone like me who is just learning SEO it is a great reminder each time. You can even use it to alter and improve the SEO of old posts.

    3) By using your advice and these things mentioned above I realized that my blog post titles were blocking potential hits. The titles were too cute, too literary, too creative for the search engines to find or identify, even if I had put it in the right category, etc. I’ve been tweaking them, and although it makes them seem more boring to me as the writer I’m glad to know that it will bring in more readers.

    I already see an uptick in traffic. Thanks so much Lori. This was a great online conference and you were definitely a highlight for me with this post.

  3. Hi! I’ve been tagging my wordpress.com blog posts and keep wondering if I should change to wordpress.org. (And on google blogs I end up commenting with my blogger blog, which is my book series blog, because blogger won’t recognize my wordpress ID.)

    But – the question! – I have one post that gets 10-20 hits a day and is pretty far up in a google image search for “Athena costume.” Is there a way to move my blog without hurting that search ranking?

  4. Very helpful, Lori, thanks!

    I’d thought that using metadata tags (i.e., from Google Adwords) might work for my epubs.

    Specifically, I tried using Adwords to find key words for the Amazon search that would bring up one of my epubs.

    However, using the same categories and key words as similar books seems to work better. At least, it has brought the title that I experimented with higher up in the Amazon search than it was before, so that it appears in page 3 of one particular search instead of way back on page… 93?

    But, like Elisabeth, I’m curious about whether placing metadata tags within the book itself would be helpful. Thanks for asking that, Elisabeth.

    1. Thanks for reading!

      What you’re talking about is ALSO a good method for doing keyword research (i.e., looking at how someone ELSE’s book is tagged, especially if they are in a genre that’s similar to yours). I would say, it does help to just get used to doing your own keyword research, because it’s useful to have that skill.

      Amazon is changing a lot lately (did you notice they cut tags and Likes?), so I would say you should keep experimenting.

  5. Hello Lori – do the same searches work for discovering valued metadata tags to put into an ebook? Do you know where the data should be entered when formatting an ebook with jutoh, subject or type? thanks

    1. Hi Elisabeth! I’m not sure what “jutoh” is, but for the major paradigm for eBooks right now (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can definitely enter the keywords when you put the book into the system. I would say, with these other venues– anytime they give you a chance to put in information (that is, categories, descriptions, keywords, etc), that is when you should break out the list and use the words you’ve researched. It’s all just a “supply and demand” issue.

    2. Thanks Lori. jutoh is a formatting program. I thought the search words could be embedded into mobi file? When a book is uploaded to kindle there are a limited amount of words that can be used, or has this changed?

    3. Yes, you can use a limited amount of keywords in Kindle, and most people use none. So, if you come in with a well-researched list, your book is bound to be that much more discoverable.

      I honestly don’t know that much about that .mobi format, so I would say IF search words can be embedded, keyword research will give you some good stuff to embed!

    1. Hi Belle!

      Thanks for reading!

      Re: tagging in Blogger, I recommend that authors put their work on their own domain/ paid hosting websites, so I don’t really give advice when it comes to free platforms like Tumblr, WordPress.com, or Blogger, but I opened up a Blogger account to be able to answer these questions, and it seems like you ARE able to tag posts. Blogger calls this “Labels,” so just go in there and put your keywords that you’ve researched into the “Labels” box, then click “Save.”

  6. Hi Lori, GREAT posts. SEO always made my head spin, but you explained it clearly and I understood. lol

    I have a blog for giveaways and updates. It doesn’t get a lot of posts. I just started using my Tumblr for interacting and writing posts that are meaningful to me. Does tagging posts work when it’s on someone else’s server (Tumblr) as opposed to my self-hosted site?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the compliment– explaining things clearly is my passion in life. 🙂

      I recommend that authors put their work on their own domain/ paid hosting websites, so I don’t really give advice when it comes to free platforms like Tumblr, WordPress.com, or Blogger, but if pressed, I would say it can’t hurt to tag anything you put out into the world, just to give it a fighting chance of being seen. Yes, tagging posts does work when it’s done on someone else’s server.

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