SEO Tips For Creative Content: Poetry, Creative Non-fiction And Fiction
When it comes to creative content such as poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction writers usually stick with catchy titles with little or no thought about SEO.
In this community here on Hubpages it is widely believed that poems and other creative writing are doomed to become un-featured as they lose traffic after a few days/weeks. I beg to differ in that case as I have proven more than once that with a little SEO technique any content including poems and short stories can get consistent and even viral traffic to them.
Optimizing your creative content is not much different than optimizing your articles. You must still keep in mind what people are searching for. Here are a few tips to remember:
- Forget about catchy titles. Reserve catchy titles for print media
- Think about what you would search for if looking for a story or poem to read (will elaborate further)
- Use your SEO tool such as the Google Adwords Keywords Tool
- Write for readers but keep in mind the search engine
- Titles must not exceed 165 characters or they will be cut short by the search engines.
- Place your keywords to the left of the title.
What people search for
Contrary to popular belief of newbies, people search for subjects not titles. If you have a headache and need a way to relieve that headache without taking painkillers your search would look something like this:
natural ways to relieve headaches
If you are looking for poems to read to help express your emotions to your partner here is what your search would look like:
(1) poems about love
(2) love poems
If you are looking for a story to read in the romance genre you would search for:
(1) romance stories
(2) free romance stories
(3) read romance stories for free
If you are a creative writer, would you like to optimize your writing for more traffic?
Optimizing your Poetry
A poetry hub doesn't have to be long or have many words to get attention but Haiku usually suffer a bit after your friends have read them because they are so short. I recommend going over 100 words. My best performing poetry hub has 182 words with 42 comments (comments serve as content as well). Here are my recommendations on optimizing your poems.
Keep the catchy title and place it in the sub-title of the capsule but your hub title should state exactly what the hub is about. So a poetry hub would have a title such as “A Poem About Birds”. Use the subject of your poem to do your keyword search which will give you ideas for titles. So if you are writing a poem about your husband you would look for “poems about husband” or “poems about marriage”.
If your original title was not too long you can also add that to the title as well: “A Poem About Dogs: My Dog Spot”.
Never leave out your summary. Your summary is very important as this also helps Google to get an idea what your content is about. Use the word poem or poetry plus your main subject in the summary. Your summary should sum up your poem and not mimic the title.
Title: “A Poem About Dogs: My Dog Spot”.
Summary: A poem about my dog spot and how he likes to roll on the carpet.
Writing a description may be good for adding content so search engines will see it but readers looking for poems may never read it, so it is not a necessary part of optimizing your poetry but can be useful.
When adding fluff to your poetry (I call it fluff because it's only added to pad the hub), place this after the poem. Don't let readers scroll too far to find what they searched for.
Notice only 26 people have actually read this from HP. It is a very simple poem.
Optimizing short stories and series
The same rules apply to short stories. No one searches for titles unless they know your story and want to read it again. They search for subjects. They will search for what you are writing about, but you need to let them know you have written it.
As I said earlier, forget the catchy title. If your short story is about a train robbery place that in the title. Look for keywords that may relate to your story and use them.
You must state what your short story is about. I have noticed persons using the "short story" phrase in their titles but that isn't enough. People searching for short stories to read will search genre so they will look for:-
Examples for the romance genre:
short story about love
romantic short stories
You must know what your story genre is so you can appropriately search keywords for it. Short story is not a genre so you must be more specific than that.
Use the keywords most appropriate for your story and attach the original title using a colon. Don't make the title too long. Remember the 165 character title rule. Example "Short Story About Love: My Boo".
Google hates numbered titles but I have devised a strategy that works. The last story I published on Hubpages was a medieval romance about the Green Knight. I am sorry but I removed the story which I am making into a novel to be published soon.
- I searched for keywords to do with knights and I found that The Green Knight was widely searched, plus the keywords medieval romance were also used.
- I changed around the title so that each episode had a unique title of its own.
- I numbered the titles with Roman numerals so each title will read like a separate article all together. Google doesn't seem to recognize roman numerals as numbers but as text.
- If you are numbering your titles with regular numbers use text instead: Part One, Two or Three.
Here are some examples of the titles I used:
- A Medieval Romance: The Green Knight
- The Green Knight Medieval Romance II
- The Green Knight III: The Battle
As you can see each title is tied through the Green Knight but they all look like different people wrote them or they are separate stories. What I started doing was title each chapter to reflect what happened in it and I added that to the title as you can see in example three.
The Green Knight received lots of organic traffic and comments from Google readers. I removed the story as I was unable to continue publishing it on HP due to the rules of the Apprenticeship program. It will be published in print later this year.
Are you seeing improvement in your traffic after using these tips?
I beg to dispel the myth that creative content cannot earn you money or get organic traffic. The money might be small as the advertising fees are among the lowest and advertisers are not competing for ad space. But you will still get a stipend each month which you can use to buy a coffee or something...lol
If you are solely a creative writer here on Hubpages and you have no idea how to use your keyword tool, please feel free to say so in the comments and I will help you optimize your hubs for traffic.
Let me know how you are doing after you have tried my tips. Please come back and take the poll to the right. I really would like to know how you are doing.