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.
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?
‘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.
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?
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.
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!
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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