Search engine optimization, or SEO, is something that all websites should be calibrated for, especially author websites. Especially indie authors’ websites. The problem is that many authors may have trouble understanding search engine optimization, or more specifically, learning how to best configure search engine optimization for authors.
Authors are encouraged to have their own websites by many experts (including us), but what many authors come across when setting them up are what these websites should actually contain and how to best optimize them. This is especially true for indie authors who often have to do everything for themselves and learn everything on their own. There is a lot of conflicting information on what authors should or should not do on their webpages, but one of the constants in all of those helpful articles is SEO.
Many authors find the idea of delving into SEO to be a scary pursuit since it involves learning about metadata and indexes, researching, and figuring out the best keywords to use. But learning how to best optimize your author website for SEO can be such a huge component for your marketing plan.
One of the many benefits of SEO is that it’s free if you can figure out how to do it yourself, which makes it very affordable if you don’t have much money to invest on your author marketing plan!
Simply put, search engine optimization is making sure your website is fine-tuned to attract the maximum number of organic visitors from a search engine like Bing or Google. It may be a matter of making sure you use a number of specific search terms in your text or your title, or entered in the right place on the back end of your website.
You want to make sure your website is best structured in a way that those bots and robo-spiders that work for search engines will bring it to the top of the page and ensure that you will get as many new people clicking on your website as you can.
Well, there are many options for authors. You should already have a number of marketable staples ready to go as an author, such as your book’s description, your author bio, excerpts from your book, testimonials, and maybe even some reviews.
If you’re a forward-thinking and productive indie author, then you should already have optimized all of this with keywords to help push them up in the search results on Amazon and on Google.
Another great way to promote your search engine rankings is through linking. Adding links to your website and having others link back to yours is sort of like social proof that your website has value and makes it more attractive to those search bots.
The easy way to go about this is to link your website on your social media and then link to your social media on your website. Of course, this is only the start.
The more links you get back to your website, and the more influential websites that link to yours, only entice those judgemental search bots to rank your website higher in search results.
The trick to keywords is to make them somewhat specific to attract people searching for a subject you are an expert at or cover in your website, but not so niche that you don’t attract anyone because there are hardly any people are searching for your exact topic.
For example, if the book you are writing about is a business aspirational book with tips about public speaking, maybe you won’t want to have a keyword related solely to public speaking in an accounting environment. You should to focus on a keyword that perhaps deal with public speaking for success or public speaking in a business setting so you draw more of an audience since it is a skill that can be transferable for a different situation.
The next step, of course, is to do research on which keywords will work best for your website and each of your pages. You don’t want your website to be held back from reaching its ultimate potential from doing its part in your marketing plan all because you chose to use one that may not have been the best one to use.
If your marketing plan for your book seems to be missing something and you haven’t thought about search engine optimization for authors, perhaps it is time to give it a try!
Read more tips on how authors can optimize their websites for SEO at IngramSpark’s blog. If you need even more help on configuring or figuring out how to use SEO in general, check out this comprehensive beginner’s guide at Moz!