3 Simple and Effective SEO Tips Every Author Needs to Know
Do you have an author website? Did you opt for a DIY or did you hire a marketing agency to do all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work for you? If you are searching for SEO best practices, Google provides a helpful, albeit lengthy, Starter Guide. But if you want a short, beginner-friendly version with examples from our hands-on experience optimizing our company website and the author websites we manage, keep reading.
What SEO means
SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to content and technical modifications you implement on your website to improve its visibility online.
Why should you care about SEO?
Because you have already invested time and money on creating your book and author website. You want them to be found and get noticed on the web. You want traffic that can potentially lead to a book sale.
When searchers type your name or your book’s title, you want them to see your website first so they visit your homepage, engage with your content, subscribe to your newsletter, and most importantly, buy your book.
Majority of readers make buying decisions based on the results of their online search so your goal is to appear on the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Improving your search ranking entails a lot of work including site reorganization, crafting interesting titles and useful content (e.g. blog posts), correctly labeling pictures, and more.
Even if you are hiring a specialist to enhance your online presence, knowing as much as you can about SEO will help you make informed decisions in choosing the right people to work with.
Top 3 SEO tips for authors
Wondering how to optimize your author website for search engine discovery? Here are three quick yet solid SEO tips:
First, study the site structure that makes sense to search engine crawlers and users.
Create a site structure that is easy for robots (Google crawlers or bots) and online visitors to find and understand. This requires technical expertise including but not limited to building and submitting a sitemap, designing effective website navigation, Google Search Console know-how, following the Basic Visibility Checklist from Google and more.
Among the easiest steps you can do to enhance your site’s visibility are: 1) ensure that your website is showing up on the search results page by typing “site:yourdomainname.com” (2) check your site’s appearance and speed on different devices, and (3) secure your website’s connection (i.e. get ‘https’).
For a more detailed guide, the biggest search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing provide free webmaster guidelines that you can review and follow.
Second, create valuable, educational, or entertaining content.
Here’s the bad news: there are over 200 ranking factors that search engine bots use to judge your website’s content. That’s why it pays to read the content guidelines provided by search engines and follow them carefully to avoid penalty. Once that’s done, you’re ready for the actual work. Shall we start?
Now the good news: great content still wins on the web. Well-written articles, evergreen blog posts, high-quality images, well-researched infographics, engaging videos, and more are valuable content assets that will improve your search engine ranking. But how do you rank for important keywords?
If you don’t like guessing and instead, prefer investigating the keywords that your target customers actually use, go to Google’s free Keyword Planner or get a free trial account on ahrefs or SEMrush and do your research. After you discover the keywords you need to target with your post, incorporate them naturally in your content’s title, description, and outline. Make a habit of listing content ideas and create content that shows your expertise, helps readers, and builds a trust-based relationship.
Lastly, attract (or obtain) high-quality links.
Do you know that you can use social media channels to influence your website’s SEO performance? Social media may not affect your website ranking immediately but there is an undeniable connection. For example, if you share your blog post on Facebook and people start reacting, commenting, and re-sharing your post, that page gets more visits, which will boost your website’s traffic and influence.
Moreover, if your content serves the need of your target readers, they might link to it (through their blogs or websites), which could improve your page ranking on the search results. Search engines favor websites that get authoritative links. So do your best to create posts or pages that .edu and .gov sites love to link to. Links from these high-authority websites can effectively increase your overall web ranking.
You’re now brimming with ideas on how to improve your website’s visibility through these proven tips. What are you waiting for? Get to work and start seeing great results from your improved SEO efforts.