This past weekend, I was at the Missouri Writers’ Guild conference in St. Louis, MO. (By the way, FINDING MY PLACE won an award–but more on that on Wednesday. . . ) One of the sessions I attended was Lela Davidson’s “Search Engine Optimization.” I’m lucky enough to know Lela from the year before, when I met her at the 2012 MWG conference with her hilarious parenting book, Blacklisted from the PTA. Since we (luckily!) live in a world where when you meet someone at a conference and then can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter afterwards, Lela and I became fast friends. I featured her on my blog when her second book came out, Who Peed On My Yoga Mat?, and then she also contacted me for her newest book, which is a way to HELP authors with SEO on their websites and blogs–Sexy, Smart, and Search Engine-Friendly: Get Found Online Without Losing Your Mind or Wasting Your Time .
Before I talk about the book, I’ll say this. If you are ever at a conference where Lela is speaking, go hear her talk. She’s energetic and spunky and has a knack for explaining this complicated subject of SEO to us right-brained, creative types. As she said many times in her talk, “Computers are stupid.” We can figure out how to drive traffic to our blogs, so people will buy our books or read what we have to say about teaching or comment on our home school lesson plans or whatever. We are smarter than those computers! Basically, it’s figuring out keywords that people type into Google (because as Lela says–NO OTHER SEARCH ENGINE MATTERS!) to find what you are selling. In her case, people type words, such as “funny books for moms” or “funny books for women.” So when she creates fresh content on her blog, she needs to make sure those word are used. When she tags her photos, she needs to make sure those words are used–and they need to be used organically. You don’t want a photo of a fireman rescuing a baby from a burning building and then label it “funny books for moms.” She also presented a few great tools that we can use to see how people are getting to our blogs.
I know, I know what you are thinking. This is great, Margo. You had this super weekend, got to hang out with cool writer people like Lela, and learned ways to drive traffic to your blog, but how does that help us? We are moms, teachers, writers, home-schoolers, writing coaches, librarians. . . and we are busy. So get on with it!
Lela has written a book, only about 70 pages long and only $9.99, available in both PDF format or for a Kindle. The book, Smart, Sexy, and Search Engine Friendly, goes over this material she presented in her talk, shows you how to use SEO to your advantage, and goes more in-depth than she was able to do in an hour presentation. In the book, she discusses DISCOVERABILITY (people need to find you online!), why you need to learn how to sell your products/services, thinking like your customer, how search engines work, and how to learn how to USE Google to your advantage.
The best thing about Lela’s book is that YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT; and at the same time, you will be smiling and laughing because she is funny. She suggests you use tools that are out there and FREE, such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Google Analytics. She also gives you “assignments” or “your turn” exercises, where you do for your site what she has done for hers!
So, in a nutshell, this is a book that all bloggers should definitely check out–no matter what you are selling or doing. I plan to implement these strategies this week–it won’t take me too long to use the tools I already have signed up for in a useful way and drive traffic to my blog. There has to be people out there looking for historical fiction for kids, fiction set in the south, six plus one traits of writing instruction, USING books with kids, or even–editing help for a book. Or what about WOW! and the teaching that I do. . .see, I must get busy. So, check out Lela’s book here: http://leladavidson.com/sexy-smart-search-engine-freindly/.