Search Engine Optimization

Emily Dickinson for Poet Laureate

Emily Dickinson’s handwriting
Emily Dickinson American poet
Emily Dickinson at age 16, a daguerreotype taken in 1847.


Emily Dickinson had a fascinating and lively mind: “You cannot fold a Flood – / and put it in a Drawer” she wrote in one of her enigmatic poems. Rather than the reclusive, barely published poet she was when she died in 1886, let’s place Ms. Dickinson in the 21st century and make her a card-carrying member of the information age for this exploration of legendary SEO. How might she have improved her chances when lobbying for a stint as the United States Poet Laureate? We’ll turn her imaginative mind loose and see!


Emily Dickinson Campaigns
for Poet Laureate


Our modern-day Dickinson is a shoe in for the position because she is absolutely hot to promote a greater appreciation for the reading and writing of poetry. In fact, she feels she was born to do the job. It’s not farfetched, as Billy Collins, the Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, told NPR in the interview below, “She is iconic to serious readers of American poetry for two reasons. One, the sheer, untouchable originality of her poems—to read her poems, it gives the feeling that no poems before her were written in English. And secondly, the mystery of her fairly undocumented, reclusive lifestyle.”


We don’t even have to disrupt her reclusive ways as we contemporize her, as social media doesn’t demand that a person leave their home to be engaged! Let’s say she’s already built a thriving community on her Facebook page but she knows that if she is going to impress the Librarian of the United States of Congress, who appoints the position of Poet Laureate, she’s going to have to create a remarkably smart site of her own and fill it with high-quality original content.


Emily Dickinson Shops Domains
Emily Dickinson finds her perfect domain.


Placing her laptop near a window where she can enjoy the light filtering in through the trees on the back lawn of her Amherst home, she goes to Godaddy to search for the domain she wants and is thrilled to find that “Emily Dickinson Poet Laureate dot com” is available. She snaps it up and taps Get Flywheel as her hosting service because she has heard such great things about the platform, which is dedicated solely to WordPress sites. Once WordPress is installed, she looks for a theme to represent her brand and finds one called “Poet.” This is a tremendously good sign, she thinks as she clicks to activate it. She signs up for her Google Analytics code and inserts it into her site so she can track her progress; then takes care of the initial “housekeeping” that we recommend for SERP traction.


Emily Dickinson SEO Virtuoso

Emily Dickinson second daguerreotype
A second daguerreotype, circa 1859, thought to be Emily Dickinson and another young woman.


Like a good little SEO’ster, she sets the permalinks on her site to the name of the page or post so she can use every opportunity to cement her branding. For a tagline, she decides to be cheeky and types in “Emily Dickinson US Poet Extraordinaire.” All smiles, she installs the most important plugins she will need to manage content, one of which is Yoast SEO. A thrill runs through her as she clicks “activate,” as she knows this handy guide will help her become an SEO whiz and snag the coveted position of Poet Laureate!


Daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson Amherst
The second daguerreotype was given to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst in the fall of 2012.


Since she hasn’t had much “out in the world” experience, she highlights the quality of the poetry she has written in her content, making sure the narrative she creates matches the voice of her poems seamlessly. Knowing that multimedia is a terrific way to improve time-on-site, she embeds the video of Susan Howe reading her poem “There’s a certain Slant of light” on the PBS NewsHour, thinking to herself she should really work on titling her poems with more finesse!



Having installed the Jetpack plugin, she features her thriving Facebook page in the sidebar with the Facebook Page Plugin widget that Jetpack generates; then sits wondering what to do about the blog. I’d best work on some posts that will impress the Librarian tremendously, she says aloud. Do I make them scholarly or entertaining? she ponders, staring out into the late summer afternoon. Both! she decides. Identifying her first post as a riff on the importance of nature in poetry, she will follow it with a post about how nostalgia plays a role in creating powerful poems. Of course, she will quote other well-known Poet Laureates as she develops her strategy, embedding podcasts and videos of them reading their work along the way so she can include the important words in many of her posts.


Emily Dickinson’s handwriting
A sample of Emily Dickinson’s handwriting.


In fact, she decides she will have a tag for “Poet Laureates,” which she will use any time she mentions the position or someone who has held the title. Her main category, of course, is simply “Poetry,” as she knows it’s important not to let this very important content get out of control. There are other savvy moves she will make, which are described in our “Beefing Up Content” tutorial on Adroyt LABS. We know she’ll be excellent as America’s top poet and we are thrilled she is taking her SEO so seriously, aren’t you?

Text of Emily Dickinson for Poet Laureate © adroyt, all rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, the adroyt blog is written by adroyt’s CEO Saxon Henry. Our downloadable knowledgebase can be found at adroytLABS.

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