Well, my expert has come back ─ with a report! Not exactly what I was expecting, but it’s very interesting nevertheless.
There’s a spreadsheet and a PDF explaining the spreadsheet. I would put both out on this site, but TBH, I feel quite proprietorial about it. It’s mine, and I paid for it: if you want one you can shell out $15 or so.
The spreadsheet has a whole list of keywords and phrases that could be used by people looking for my site. No, that’s wrong. At the moment no one is actually ‘looking’ for my precise site, as they don’t know it exists. If someone keys in ‘ebook publishing on Amazon.’ I’d like them to find this site, preferably on the first page.
Ha! Dream on.
For my take on what you’re up against, see: Why is it hard for your website to be noticed by Google?
Back to the spreadsheet. Beside each search term is a series of numbers and a column of words. Basically this tells you the strength of the opposition you’re up against. For instance, if a user types in ‘how to publish your own book’ there’s no way they’ll find your site, because so many websites target that particular term. But if they type in ‘what are ebooks’ the competition is weaker, so there’s more reason to be optimistic.
So, we have a series of search terms, and we have a reasonable idea of how much chance you’ve got of making your site appear if that particular term is typed into a search engine.
But you still have to make that happen. You have to optimise your website to take advantage of this knowledge.
And to do that? Well, that’s possibly outside my remit as I don’t really understand it and anyway, there’s better people than me just aching to tell you. Have a squint at this SEO guide. Yep, I know, it’s mainly marketing, but there seems to be an essence of truth there.
So to optimise my site I’d need to go on a massive learning curve……
…….or I could buy someone in to do it for me.
I’m undecided at the moment. I seem to be increasingly relying on other people. When I started out I was going to do everything apart from the artwork, but the further I get, the more I slow down, as the expertise I require becomes exponentially greater.
If you want an analogue, I’m a man with a spade digging a hole. The deeper I get the harder it becomes to chuck the soil up to ground level. So I cut a series of steps, allowing me to tediously shovel the soil high enough, step by step. But each step reduces the actual digging area and eventually work comes to a stop because I can’t stick the spade in without cutting off my toes. So I have to widen the top so I can move my steps to widen the base and …. I’m sure by now you’re ahead of me. And if you are you’ll have come to the inevitable conclusion: this is not efficient, why don’t I just hire someone with a mechanical digger ……? ‘Nuff said!
(One day I’ll make a little cartoon video of this. Or I might just hire someone to do it for me..)
And, while we’re on the subject of hiring an expert, I have asked her (my expert who has produced this SEO report) to give me a quote for doing some more tweaks. See Tweaks to this blog
(3 days later)
Well, my expert hasn’t come back to me, so I’ve rather given up on her. I’ll leave it a while longer, as she’s probably holding down a full time job and does this Fiverr stuff in her spare time, but I dunno: how long does it take to send ‘very busy, will get back to you in a couple of days?’ message? Not long. And I’ve sort of fixed my problem with comments anyway. See: a comment about comments.
Now I’ll have a look at sorting posts within a category. I suppose I could always add a category for each post, and do it like that, but that’s rather over-engineering.
(1 day later)
The bank balance is looking somewhat precarious, so I’ve decided to give SEO a bit more of a go myself. Have a gander at SEO: third steps to see how I’m doing.
(3 days later)
And I have resolved my problem with ordering posts within a category. A plugin I hadn’t noticed before: category custom post order. Hurrah!