One of my first activities this week (the official launch week of this site), was to go through the posts I have on the site and get them ready for the search engines. That’s where SEO comes in.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply, it’s making improvements/tweaks to your web site to improve your rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Higher rankings means more people will come to your site and this will transfer to more book sales. For example: what if you were ranked on the first page of results for “romance novel” or “zombie book” or “best fictional hero” – each would bring large numbers of potential readers to your site. There are actually several factors to SEO including backlinks, social media traffic, and trusted sites, but for this article we’ll focus on something you can easily control: on page SEO.
5 Easy SEO Tips for Authors
- Get a WordPress Plugin to help you out. All in One SEO and WordPress SEO by Yoast (my current favorite) will help you with keywords, title, and descriptions.
- Use the Google Keyword Research Tool often. This should be a full post itself (note to self: write that post), but it’s a good idea to look at keywords and implement them in your posts. You’ll want “long tail” keywords meaning more specific phrases you use in a post. If your book is about martial arts – it will be difficult to get a page ranked for the keyword, but if you focus on keywords specific to your book like “martial arts for self defense” or even more specific like “Using aikido for self defense” – it will get easier to get ranked in the top of those words. Try the Google Keyword Research Tool which will tell you how many people search for a given term and suggestions for alternate keywords you may consider.
- Use the Keywords in the Title and Description. Once you’ve figured out your keywords, make sure they appear in both the title and description for the post. It’s easy and will help it rank higher in search results.
- Start early. SEO is a long term strategy. It will take several weeks/months to really see the results. So start early and make a conscious effort to fill out keywords as part of each post. Save yourself the trouble/expense of rewriting posts or adding keywords to hundreds of posts later in your career. You’ll get more traffic over time if you’re doing it right from the start.
- Update Often. Search engines index your site more regularly when you post more often/update pages. So do it! I try to blog 3 to 5 times a week which is enough to keep readers and search engines back and checking in periodically.