On-Page SEO and Keyword Usage

On-Page SEO and Keyword UsageI give my blog spam folder a quick look now and again to make sure that non-spam comments don’t get relegated to spam limbo. Sometimes the spam comments are totally absurd, such as this one: Nice tips. It is actually incomprehensible opinion now, but also from general, that usefulness in addition to significance is usually overwhelming. Thanks once again and all the best.

And then there was this one:

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings. You now NEED On-Page SEO.

So what is good On-Page SEO? First your keyword must appear in the title. Then it must appear in the URL. You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1, H2, H3 tags in your article. Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword. There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….

Considering that this was posted by someone trying to get me to subscribe to their Search Engine Optimization company, and considering that the comment actually made sense (or would, once I translated the jargon) and considering that my website domain provider has been trying to get me to buy SEO Visibility to the tune of $36.00 a month, I decided to research the topic a bit.

I started with “keyword.” Obviously, it’s the key word in the post or web page, but more than that, it’s a word or phrase people use when searching the internet. There’s no doubt that using the exact search terms adds to one’s search engine visibility. I often check the terms people use to find this blog, and then use those search terms as topics for articles. I made sure to use the search term in the article and in the title, since it stood to reason that if people were looking for such topics, I should make it as easy for them to find as possible. (A few of those articles are among my all-time most viewed posts: Describing a Scene in an Interesting Way, Describing a Winter Scene, and What Do You Say to Someone Who is Grieving at Christmas?) Apparently, although I didn’t know it, this was good On-Page SEO.

Luckily, I never had to worry about the keyword being in the URL — if the keyword is in the title of the article, WordPress automatically adds it to the URL of article. I used to try to write cute titles, such as Writing to the Extremes for a post about hands and feet (the extremeties), but not surprisingly, that post didn’t get many hits. So I try to keep the cuteness to minimum. (The key word here is “try.” Sometimes I let my attempts at cleverness get the better of me.)

Also, the title of the post uses H1 — Heading 1, so that fulfills one of the requirements for H1, H2, H3 tags. Since I try to follow good essay styling when writing, I generally include the keyword (the topic) in the first paragraph and then bring things full circle by referencing it in the last paragraph. I’m not going to worry about H2, H3, bold or italics in the body of my posts — I don’t want to lose the stream-of-consciousness flow that so many of my posts have by kowtowing to SEO.

I have recently begun to use an internal link in all my blog posts as a hedge against content scraping and plagiarism. And now it turns out to be good on-page SEO usage. I also use an image for each post, as suggested by WordPress in their articles about how to get Freshly Pressed, so now all I have to do is add the keyword to the alt tag. (When you upload an image, there is a place for Alt Text. I never knew what it meant, but apparently, if for any reason the image can’t be displayed, the alt text will be shown.)

Which brings us to the final point — Latent Semantic Indexing. Search engines have the capability to scan articles to see what they are about. A page with both the keyword and semantically related terms has a higher search enging ranking than one using only the keywords. (In this article SEO, search enging ranking, search engine visibility, and Search Engine Optimization are semantically related terms.)

Whew! All that research because of a spam comment! I learned something tonight, and I hope you did too. (Hmm. I might have learned something, but I didn’t follow through — there was nothing about SEO in the first paragraph, and until this sentence, nothing about SEO in the last paragraph. So perhaps this article is really about spam!)

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

Grief is NOT Self-Indulgent

I was looking at search terms people used to find this blog, and someone googled “I feel self-indulgent when I think of my deceased partner and I cry a lot.” That got my ire going — not about her feeling that way, but at the way our society handles grief. Thinking about one’s partner and crying are not wrong, but there is something seriously wrong with a society that makes the bereft feel self-indulgent for grieving. What the heck is wrong with crying? With grieving? With talking about one’s grief?

Grief is not something to be shoved under the bed like a box of junk that you don’t quite know what to do with. Grief is how we learn to deal with a world suddenly gone crazy, and tears are how we relieve the tension of that grief. I don’t know how long this particular person had been dealing with her grief, but I’m at eighteen months, and though I’ve gone on with my life, I still have upsurges of grief and bouts of crying. Though these bouts have diminished significantly and I recuperate quite quickly, I’m prepared to go the distance, however long it takes. Some people say it takes a minimum of two years to get over the sadness and tears, some say four years, some say one year for every seven years of togetherness, some say never — that even after twenty years they still have times where the truth of their partner’s death hits them and the tears flow.

Since mourning is considered by the uninitiated to be unacceptable behavior after a month or two, most people quickly learn to hide their grief. Grown children especially get irritated at tears, perhaps because they can’t bear to see their once-strong parent brought low or perhaps because they think their parent is being self-indulgent. A friend of mine lost her partner six months ago, and her son berates her for being a drama queen. Such non-acceptance of a natural process adds more agony to an already agonizing time. As I said, there is something seriously wrong with a society that demonizes grief.

After my partner died, I asked the moderator of a grief support group how I should handle questions about my grief. I didn’t want to bore people with my ongoing emotional traumas, but at the same time I didn’t want to pretend everything was fine. I’d also been blogging about my grief but wasn’t sure I wanted to continue since I didn’t want to seem whiny and self-indulgent. She told me it was okay to tell people I was coping if I didn’t want to go into details, but she suggested I continue writing about grief because people needed to know the truth of it. And I’ve followed her advice even though it was hard at times. I mean, after eighteen months, shouldn’t I have gotten over it? The truth is, you never get over a significant loss — you learn to manage living without him or her.

It used to be that women hid their pregnancies, but now they flaunt their “baby bumps.” Maybe it’s time we brought grief out into the open so that the bereft do not feel as if they are self-indulgent for dealing with loss the only way possible — with remembrances and tears.

Googling Sex With Your Sister

Who knew that googling sex with your sister was a bi-monthly activity? The last time I had a spike in blog readership it was due to an article I wrote when I discovered how many people were finding me using search terms involving sex with sisters. Sex With Sister Tips. Um…Yeah got 402 hits in July, 67 hits in August, 235 hits in September, 10 hits in October, and so far 280 hits in November. Each of these spikes in hits occurred within a short span of time, which makes me wonder what happens for a couple of days every other month that makes people want to know about having sex with their sister. On the other hand, perhaps I don’t want to know.

I’m going to miss perusing stats such as these, but if I’m going to be spending less time online, the stats will have to go. Though I find them fascinating, checking stats is an unproductive activity. Does it help me to know that blog readership is down? Does it help me to know that blog viewership is up due to sex with sister tips? Not really.

And why am I writing about this instead of promoting my blog tour? Because it’s more interesting than announcing that, once again, my host bailed on me. I posted the article on the Dragon My Feet blog so it didn’t go to waste, so if you want to see it, you can find it here: What Do You Do When You Have Too Much Background Information?

Lazarus Barnhill, a fellow Second Wind author has posted an interesting article: In Praise of Romance. It’s mostly about the Second Wind romance writers (so you won’t find my books listed), but it’s still worth taking a look at — for the question he asks, if nothing else: Can a man write a romance novel?

So what else is interesting? I spent the morning unfollowing people on Twitter who unfollowed me. If you want to find out who unfollowed you, go to Friend or Follow. It’s one of the more interesting Twitter-related programs I’ve seen in a long time. The unfollowing is the beginning of my new focus — quality, not quantity. I’m not going to automatically follow people just because they follow me. If my promotional actvities aren’t going to make me rich, then I’m going to have fun.

Speaking of fun, tomorrow should be a fun day. I’m going to be hosting romance author Judi Fennell here and at Dragon My Feet, and she will be hosting me at her blog. I will be talking about mountains and mermaids. Bet you never saw that one coming!

Don’t forget, you can download the first 30% of each of my books free at Smashwords.

Oh, and in case you’d like to follow me on Twitter, you can find me here: Twitter

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Sex With Sister Tips. Um…Yeah

One of my favorite aspects of wordpress is the list of search engine terms people used to find my blog, and I often refer to the list to give me ideas for blog posts. The terms used to be pretty straightforward — short story tips, describe a scene, meaning of car color — but ever since I posted an interview with my sister called “Was It Bizarre Reading a Sex Scene Written By Your Sister?” I’ve been finding the strangest terms on the list. I had no idea so many people wanted to have sex with their sisters.

These are a few of the terms people Googled, Binged, Yahooed in the past two weeks to get to this blog:

  1. sex with sister tips
  2. my sister sex mi yes
  3. bizarre sister
  4. bizarre sex scenes
  5. sex with sister (at least one of these every day)
  6. bizarre sex (lots of these)
  7. how to have sex with your sister (lots of these)
  8. images of sex with your sister
  9. give me your sex sister
  10. first time sister sex
  11. sex sister (several of these)
  12. sex questions sister
  13. sex with your sister
  14. sex didn’t know it was sister
  15. sex had with your sister
  16. sex with sister scenes

Perhaps some of these refer to song lyrics? I wouldn’t know. I don’t listen to much music except the song of silence.

Besides these terms, there were many focused on how to write sex scenes. Hmmm. I’m not sure I want to give tips on having sex with your sister, but I might be able to come up with some tips on how to write a sex scene. I’ll do some research on erotica and get back to you.

Feel free to leave a comment with your tips on writing sex scenes. But please . . . omit any reference to your sister.

See also: Sex With Sister Tips — Writing Tips, That Is

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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