As anyone who has their own website or blog will know already, the letters, S.E.O. stand for Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines are the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo. They find the websites that you are looking for. They are distinct from browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Internet Explorer, which control your internet activity.
As anyone who has ever tried to find a website on the Internet will know, a search engine is pretty well mandatory. Unless you happen to know the exact web address of the site you are looking for, finding it among the zillions of other sites out there makes looking for a needle in a haystack seem like a simple alternative. What search engines do is narrow the choices down to the sorts of thing that the user is looking for. For example, if you want to research music in medieval Europe, there isn't much point in looking at websites about space travel.
But it works both ways. I have my own website. You knew that already because you are looking at it. So how did you find it? There are several possible answers. (i) You have already read one of my books (this website is advertised in all of them) and are simply curious about what I am up to now. (ii) You were browsing for people called David and came across it (less likely, I know, but it does happen). (iii) You were looking for information on writers of specific genres of books. It is this last group of surfers for whom this website is provided, in particular - not that the others are unwelcome, because that is not the case at all. Everybody is most welcome. The more the better.
Personal websites are produced for all sorts of reasons. My own concentrates on my work as an author, although it does mention other things that I do from time to time. People who visit this site, therefore, are usually interested in books. This is not an eCommerce site. If it was, I could have sold my books directly from it (and paid heavily for the privilege). Instead, it tells you about my books and provides links to where you can buy them online. Click on the link beneath each book, and you will be taken straight to the appropriate Amazon page, where you can buy a copy if you wish.
This site is targeted. As I mentioned before, I do this with Search Engine Optimisation. This provides the search engines with clues about my websites, so that people who are looking for the sorts of book that I write will be directed towards this site. I am not going to give away any secrets, but there are ways to maximise the effectiveness of the S.E.O. and I have been trying a new one. I am delighted to report that traffic through my website has doubled in recent weeks, and is continuing to grow. That, in itself, increases my ranking on the major search engines and makes it more likely that my site will come up on the first couple of pages of their search results.
Many independently-published authors do little in the way of promoting their work, with the result that they sell hardly any books. I am bucking that trend. The Internet is our prime sales channel. If we ever want to see our books for sale in bookshop windows, we have to establish ourselves on the Net first. That process is not yet complete, but it is growing.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.