Saturday, June 1, 2013

How I Came to Understand the Difference Between REO and SEO

When I first heard the term SEO, I wondered, isn’t that a rock band from the 90’s?

A coincidence, I created my website, Essays on the Craft of Dramatic Writing, in the mid-90’s using HTML 1. I had the help and guidance of playwright and screenwriter Charles Deemer, who was early to recognize the value of the internet for writers.
Like a Duckbill Platypus, my website fit in a niche and, for me, ‘worked’ as intended, as a vehicle for me to express my thoughts on storytelling, in the same way that Duckbill Platypus’ probably talked shop about salt water crocodiles.

As I added content to my website, I got visitors from around the world, and I was happy.

By the by, I added new content to my text-heavy website, and even scattered around the latest innovation, blue bars.

A few years later, I hired a friend to create a CSS style sheet for my site (which I didn’t mistake for Credence Clearwater Revival). I wasn’t sure what CSS was, either, but I was content to just keep adding text-heavy articles.

Until my writing workbook, A Story is a Promise, was published, and a new purpose crept into my website, like a Tasmanian Devil approaching in the middle of the night. I now added promoting my book to my site, but my architecture didn’t change, I just added a few static images to go along with all that text.

Which, in evolutionary terms, takes me to about 2011, when the e-book asteroid hit Earth, and I couldn’t get my Duckbill Platypus to evolve, grow wings, and get me outta there.

Reeling from all the traditionally published burning books falling from the sky, I stumbled forward into getting my book available on Kindle, then Smashwords.
I promoted all this on my website, and like a baby Wombat emerging from its mother’s pouch, I thought I would immediately be selling thousands of inexpensive e-books and laugh, I say, laugh at my good fortune.

Without really changing a thing about my website.

Well, everyone knows what happens when a Duckbill Platypus, a Tasmanian Devil, and a Wombat walk into a bar, so I won’t bore anyone with the familiar punch line about putting the tab on someone’s bill, but I had a vague feeling that somehow my lack of sales were because my website had become an antique, and not one I could sell on Pawn Stars (#pawnstars).

Then I met John Ellis, of Portland Internet Design, who, like a Duckbill Platypus with burning wings appearing in the sky, explained to me what SEO meant, and how to use it.

So now I’m prepared to re-engineer my website from the REO era to the SEO one.

I don’t expect this to be easy, but even getting a Twinkee out of its wrapper requires a minimum of concentration and effort, so I’m on my way.

As John would say, “May the Flaming Duckbill be With Me.”


To read some of my longer reviews of popular movies, visit my website or check out my writing workbook, A Story is a Promise, available on Amazon Kindle. Or, find me on Google+ and tell me what you think.