So today we’re going to talk about Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO. Woo hoo!

In case you don’t know, SEO is how good a website is at getting traffic from searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and the like. Good SEO is achieved when the fairies that fly around  the World Wide Web sprinkle pixie dust. Poor SEO can generally be attributed to fungus-munching gnomes that live in underground tunnels. Of course, the full process is more complicated and technical, but that gives you the basic idea.

I don’t know what kind of blood pact the good people at FSB Associates made when they designed carolsnow.com (if you think fairies are all giggles and glitter, think again), but my SEO is so good it borders on creepy. See, I use a couple of programs that tell me what visitors to my site typed into search engines. The programs also tell me how long people stayed on the site, how many pages they viewed, and other stuff that I don’t pay much attention to. It’s all intended to help me be a better marketer. Because pretty much everyone who goes into fiction writing secretly wishes they were doing PR.

Most people come here after typing in “carol snow” or “carol snow author” or one of my book titles. That’s nice and good and what I hired FSB to do. Less expected: for almost a year, I have been a foremost web expert on clams. No, I’m serious. See what happens when I type “how to cook steamers” into Google? The internet fairies offer almost four million results, but my steamers blog post comes in at number four, and a whole bunch of those people click through to my site. Sunday I saw a spike in traffic, presumably as dads across America requested steamers for Father’s Day. And do you know how many of those people went on to read my books? Probably none. But I kind of don’t care because I think it’s so funny.

Other posts that have generated a surprising amount of traffic include my ground-breaking report on Skotidakis yogurt dip (in which I revealed that it tastes good), my Halloween costume suggestions, and my holiday series, “Gifts for People You Don’t Like.” (Related Google searches: Gifts for people you don’t really like; Gifts for family you don’t like; Best wine for people you don’t like; and — shoot me now — Gift books for people you don’t like.)

As pleased as I am with all those web hits, I understand how they happened. Less expected search terms that led people to my site include: What (13 hits); What? (1); Babies (26); Baby (13); and Yeah You Heard Me (1).

Let us all pause to consider the aimless souls who have nothing better to do than Google “What.” Did they follow up with Where, When, Who, or Why? What in the world did those people hope to learn? Then again, vagueness may not be all bad. At least “what” and “yeah you heard me” aren’t disturbing. Like, say, these other search terms that landed people on my site:

First date white shirt see thru black bra

Adult baby torture devices

Bad lip injections

Sequin Klingon dress

Sick and wrong costumes

Toga lawyer

Unintended nudist

I gotta say: The Unintended Nudist would make a heckuva book title, though I don’t think I’m the person to write it.