What is SEO?

Jargon, Tips, Website, Writers Resources, Writing

The other day someone asked me what exactly SEO is. It’s a good question, and one that I’m amazed I’ve never thought to answer on the blog before, because I know that I have mentioned it in posts a few times, in the past.

SEO basically stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

In Layman’s Terms this means optimising, or setting your website up, so that Search Engine’s (predominantly Google, but also Bing, Yahoo etc) can find the website and index it appropriately.

Search Engine’s being able to index your website well is incredibly important, because this is how people will find you when they search for specific keywords or terms. Therefore, SEO is the act of placing relevant keywords and terms into your content, so that people can find you – easily – through whichever search engine they choose to use.

For most people, SEO comes relatively naturally, because you instinctively create content that is relevant to your target audience. Sometimes, it is helpful to do some research to discover which keywords are popular at the moment, but if you know your audience well, it is often a matter of “common sense” and just using your initiative.

Nevertheless, never be tempted to “stuff” your content with keywords that you know are guaranteed to get a lot of hits, unless they are genuinely relevant to your content.

The problem with stuffing content with irrelevant but popular keywords is that you will:

  1. Annoy anyone who clicks on your link, on Google, only to discover that your website has absolutely nothing to do with what you are looking for
  2. What is the point of drawing in a lot of people who are not interested in what you have to offer? Sure, you’ll have big hits, but don’t expect any follow-throughs (sales, queries etc!)
  3.  Search Engines are actually pretty smart – they can tell when a website is attempting to, some might say “deceive”, people into coming to their site, and there is a potential that your site will be penalised for doing it, which probably won’t do you any favours.

 

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Tag Challenge: Day 15: A Fanfic

fanfiction, Fiction, Final Fantasy VII, Kingdom Hearts, Tag, Video game, Writers Resources

Count Your SheepImage via Wikipedia

When I was at Uni, I used to read a lot of online comics (the only one that I still read is called Count your Sheep, so funny, so cute, check it out ;-D), but one of them I used to read/watch was a fanfic of the old video games: Secret of Mana. I have to admit that I haven’t looked at that fanfic in years, so I don’t know if it still exists, but I couldn’t find it at all when I did a (very) quick Google search for it, but I’m not really certain what it was called, or even where the author hosted it. But I’m fairly certain that the author had taken proper in-game footage and added his own “talk” to it, it was really clever, and as somone who had never played the games, that comic made me want to! The sign of a good fanfic!
Tetsuya Nomura's designs of the main playable ...Image via WikipediaAs a writer, Fanfiction is one type of writing that I have just never been able to “master”. Long before I played the Final Fantasy and Disney crossover games Kingdom Hearts, I actually attempted to write my own fanfic using characters from Final Fantasy VII, VIII IX and X, in a world where they all existed together. Unfortunately, my fanfic didn’t get very far.

My problem is that for a fanfic, you need to take someone elses settings, their characters and their characterisations. But, being someone who  gets a huge amount of pleasure from creating characters, I found it incredibly difficult to mould myself around these characters, rather than moulding them around me, as I normally would.

For that reason alone, I have the utmost respect for anyone who can write Fanfic well, and when I say well, there are an unfortunate amount of “writers” who write poor fanfics, so finding a true gem is such a special thing.

One issue I have with writing fanfics, is that even if you write the best piece of literature since War and Peace (open to great debate, of coure especially since I’ve never read the book and have no intention of ever reading it!! Life’stoo short haha!), you will never really get that much recognition for all of your hard work. Even if people like it, you just know that you could never get it published because it’s legally someone elses creation, with your words. And, unless the original (probably very wealthy) creator is feeling generous,they’re unlikely to actually let you have the copyright to use it. It’s a huge shame.

But, like what I was saying in yesterday’s Non-Fiction blog, about buying Gaming games, and owning merchandise, writing fan fiction is like shouting to the world about how much you love something, and it kind of helps to keep it alive long after the book/film/game has ended and for a lot of people I think that is really quite special.

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