This blog was featured on 05/16/2019
Easy SEO Tips for Authors
Contributor
Written by
Bonnie Baguley
May 2019
Contributor
Written by
Bonnie Baguley
May 2019

We’ve already looked at how you can make sure your author website a beautifully functional hub for your books. Now it’s time to look at how to attract readers to your website. A cost-effective way of doing this is through optimizing your website for search. Bring on the SEO!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult. It is basically just the techniques used to push your author website up the list of results returned by a search engine, increasing your site’s visibility and maximizing visitor numbers. It’s easy to get bogged down in the jargon of SEO but the overall goal is simply to make your author website user-friendly, search-engine friendly and full of relevant and useful content that can be easily shared.

SEO is a vast subject but today we’ll just be looking at some easy and actionable tips to increase the visibility of your author website.

1. Know Your Value

Imagine what your readers would type into Google to find your books. Clarify what makes your books valuable. What are readers getting from reading your work? Is it escapism, romance, education, a quick summer read or a nail-biting thriller? What are readers searching for in your genre and how does this fit in with work? Make a list of the benefits of reading your books. From this list you can pull out your keywords: those words and phrases that sum up your author brand and help your readers find your site. By doing research on those keywords, typing them into keyword research tools, such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere, you can analyze search trends on Google and find out what your readers are really looking for.

2. Use Keywords Wisely

Now you have your keywords it’s time to use them! Put keywords in your headings, subheadings, page titles, URL titles, image descriptions, descriptions, content and anchor text for links. This does not mean forcing keywords into places where they don’t fit. Your website is firstly and foremost for your readers. Sacrificing readability or grammar to fit more keywords in is known as keyword stuffing and is heavily penalized by Google.

3. Write for Your Readers

Content forms the backbone of your website and should be fresh, relevant and useful. Ask yourself: Is your content fitting your reader’s interests? Is it regularly updated, original and providing value? It’s important that you pick a theme for your website and remain committed to it. Your website can have other information but needs to be based around a central idea. Content should also be regularly updated and easily shareable. Search engines reward sites that are positively received by users through sharing, bookmarking and return visits.

4. Keep Load Speed in Mind

In 2010 Google began to factor page loading speeds into their page ranking system. A fast loading site is important for a good user experience and if your site takes longer than four seconds to load then your visitor is likely to move on. You can check your page speed at PageSpeed Insights (a score of 85 or more out of 100 is good).

5. Link it Up

Links are vital for increasing website authority. They operate as a ‘vote’ of confidence from other websites and including links to other sites can greatly influence your standing. Link building is one of the trickier, more time-consuming tasks of SEO and not all links carry equal weight. The value of a link is dependent upon:

  • Internal vs External Links – An internal link is from one section of your site to another. While internal links are important to SEO, as they enable good navigation through the site, they are not as valuable as links from external sites.
  • Authority – A link from a well-established reputable website, such as The Huffington Post, carries more linking authority than a new little-known site. Government and education sites (ending in .gov or .edu) rank high on the authority scale and link value.
  • Relevance – Links from sites that contain content relevant to your website’s theme build a clearer picture of your site content and help boost your ranking. So as an author you might receive a link from a site such as Goodreads or another author’s site that helps boost your site’s SEO.
  • Diversity – A high number of links from a wide variety of sources equals better performance in search engine ranking. Links from a diverse range of sites indicates broad popularity and importance. It is preferred over numerous link from a small number of sources, which may indicate a pre-existing relationship between the sites.

Keep it Simple

SEO is a complex and dynamic field and we’ve only covered the very tip of the iceberg. Before you get overwhelmed with details of meta-data tags or back-link building, know that all SEO is really about is building a better user experience. So as SEO evolves one thing remains constant: meet the needs of your readers with a user-friendly author website full of fresh, relevant, easily shareable content and your visibility will continue to grow.

***

In Need of More Book Marketing Motivation, Inspiration & Resources?

We’ve got you covered! Head to WildMind Creative where you’ll find all the free book marketing resourcestips and inspiration you’ll ever need.

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