Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, sounds like a complex science that only technical geeks could understand. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone can search engine optimise their own writing and websites by focusing on two things only: using keywords and including links.

Search engines such as Google send programs, called spiders, crawling round the World Wide Web looking for keywords . You can boost your search engine ranking by including the keywords that people might be searching for and by including links to relevant websites. A real bonus would be links back to your website from other sites containing similar keywords.


Let's start with keywords. if you're an actor you might describe yourself as a “thespian", “player", “performer", “lead", “understudy", “character", “role-player" or “entertainer" or a whole host of other terms. A woman might prefer to be known as an actor rather than an actress. But you need to think what words people might be typing into Google. The answer is probably actor or actress so you will need to use those words, rather than elegant alternatives.

Similarly, a journalist will need to decide whether people are really searching for the words “contributor", “correspondent", “hack", “scribe", “newspaperman" or “stringer". You might need to use words such as “broadcaster" if relevant or describing words as well as the word journalist – for example, newspaper, magazine, radio, TV, broadcast or online. But the key word will be journalist.


Then you need to think about links. If you've done a piece for work or been involved in a project that has a website link to it - and link direct to the page where your name is mentioned not to a generic homepage (this is called a deep link). If you can, where a website mentions you get them to link to your website.

You can also link to related websites. For example, if you have appeared at a particular theatre and you've mentioned that, link to the theatre's website. TV and radio programmes have their own websites or pages you can link to. Concert venues, bands, orchestras – you name it – most things now have their own websites. Link to them.

And if there are reviews of anything you've done, in newspapers, magazines or online, there will be a web page you can link to.

All the time

Whenever you write anything on your website, try to think of relevant links you can use. And whenever you get a chance, try to get others to link to you. If all the members of an orchestra or all the actors in a play link their own websites to each other in articles about that project, those are good SEO links.

There is other SEO wizardry you can use but nothing will have as big an effect, or is as simple, as using the right keywords and the right links.

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