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Last Wednesday I talked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), specifically SEO WordPress themes. Today I want to introduce you to some things you can do regardless of which blogging platform you use.

As authors, our name is our brand. In most cases our name is relatively unique. For instance, “Jessica Thomas” is searched roughly 5,400 times a month. How do I know? I clicked over to Google’s Adwords tool, typed my name in, and clicked “Search”.

Besides your name, what are other key words or phrases people might use to find you? What genre do you write in? What sub genre? What region are your stories set in? What are your hobbies or interests? What topics do you write about on your blog? What topics would you like to start writing about?

Your answers to these questions will become your keywords and key phrases. Once you have a list, hop back over to Google’s search tool, type them in, and see how popular they are.

As writers, we’re lucky. It’s not like we’re trying to market running shoes in competition with Nike. However, if the best keyword you can come up with is “fiction”, then you might be in trouble. The less competition, the better. The more popular a keyword is, the less benefit it is to you, particularly in the beginning stages of establishing your brand.

One of my key phrases is “Christian speculative fiction”. A quick check tells me it’s only searched 73 times a month on average. Compare that to “running shoes” which is searched 1 million times. This is starting to seem more doable.

Now that you’ve decided what your primary keywords will be, use them in your blog posts.

Where, you ask? The article, Beginner WordPress SEO (Part 1): How to Optimize Your Blog Posts provides some ideas. There’s great information here. I highly suggest you click over and read it.

The author suggests using keywords in post titles, and then repeating them in your articles. Next, include images in your blog posts and use keywords within the “alt” and “title” HTML attributes. As such:

WordPress SEO: Optimizing Your Images

Another good place to use the “title” attribute is in your links. Use it along with the <a> tag and include keywords, like this:

WordPress SEO: Optimizing Your Links

Those are some simple suggestions. For even more, check out Beginner WordPress SEO (Part 2): 9 Ways to Optimize Blogs for Search Engines.

Powerful stuff and pretty easy to implement. Now…I really need to start practicing what I preach…