Even if you know very little about SEO and SMO and the thought of it turns you into a confused puddle of goo, this is an important topic and one I’ve been thinking about a lot – and researching even more – in order to attempt to understand SEO (search engine organization) and SMO (social media optimization) – and what we as individual authors can and should do to increase both.
I’m not an SEO/SMO expert by any means. I’m just someone who wants to understand all this stuff to help sell more of my own books, A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed, and those of my clients. So I read. A lot. And I want to share what I’ve discovered with all the latest changes to Google and Twitter.
- I read an article in Forbes by Dan Schwabel in August that discussed how to outrank your competition on Google:
Google PageRank is an algorithm that some speculate has been diminishing in its influence as a ranking signal. Many SEOs are reporting a significant increase in the influence of social signals from Google+ and other social networks as a counter to the influence of PageRank. Marketers need to worry less about Google PageRank and more about creating, optimizing and socially promoting content that is useful to their customers.
So what does this mean for authors? Where do we focus our limited time and budget to have the maximum impact, aka sell more freakin books?
Many of us focus on quantity: how many followers, likes, clicks, pins, or +1’s. The more, the better, right? More people means more exposure, means more sales…right?
- One of the members of SEO.org says this: Google +1’s more directly impact search results than any of the above. How?
‘By simply gaining +1’s (same as Facebook likes or Twitter retweets), your webpage can be ranked higher in Google’s search engine.’
Ethically, I have issues with this, but who am I? I’m just an ant on the giant mountain that is
Skynet Google. So, this begs the question: what if I’m not on Google+? I think you know the answer to that.
- Here’s something interesting: do you have a Google+ page? (This link describes the difference). Most people do not, until they go to integrate their G+ account into Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and discover that only pages will sync. So then you must create a business page (not hard – in fact, I use the same pics and data I used for my Facebook pages).
And yo, what’s up with Twitter? All the spam and hacked accounts, sudden huge follower numbers – what’s most important to look at in terms of actual social influence?
- As reported by BGR, at a recent Buzzfeed meeting, Twitter cofounder Evan Williams shared his view about how the follower count might not be all that important after all. As the social network sees more accounts attempt to buy Twitter influence, Williams says that it’s possible the social network service might move away from measuring how many followers a user has and replacing it with metrics based on how many views a tweet receives. ”The thing I think would be more interesting than followers is… retweets,” says Williams.
This excites me. Retweets are a terrific way to know how people are reacting to our words. You can see retweets either using the Connect button on Twitter or creating a stream for retweets (i.e., on Hootsuite), though I’ve found searching on my name to be more effective. You can also check using Buffer, Pluggio, or even SproutSocial.
- Finally, check out Favstar.fm (it’s free though they also have a paid version with more analytics). This tells you when people have ‘faved’ one of your tweets (three faves gets you a star), as well as how many RTs. When you get three faves, a cute little star shows up on your timeline congratulating you. And who doesn’t want that?
More importantly, you figure out what resonates with people, and that’s gold.
Your assignment, if you choose to take it, is to set up your Google+ Page and figure out which of the ways above to check your Retweets. Realize that it’s how you resonate with people that will make the difference in your page rank, not how many followers you purchase from Fiverr.
And remember: fresh content is of the utmost importance when it comes to your SEO and SMO. This is why using Twitter memes such as #MentionMonday are so important – share your latest blog post, retweet others doing the same. Besides being terrific author karma and building up your network of author/blogger friends, it’s a way to up your numbers in retweets.
I hope this helps a bit with some of the confusion around this issue.
I look forward to your comments and questions. Please add or correct anything I’ve misunderstood — I’m learning, too!
Want personalized, customized help for your book? See my services page for how I can help you!