Although the majority of the traffic to your site will come through social media engagement, an author can’t ignore getting found through Google and other search engines.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to practices used to get a higher rank in search engines – in plain English, it’s the difference between being on the 1st or 7th page of Google results.
But, you might ask, if I’m getting most of my readers through Twitter, Facebook, and direct contacts, why do I have to worry about getting found through search engines?
SEO will help you keep focused on your keywords. Keeping your blogs within the scope of your essential phrases will ensure you don’t lose sight of your message.
SEO will let new readers discover you. A single blog can be a source of major traffic to your site if it’s a high-ranking hit of an often-searched phrase on Google.
SEO will ensure you are the #1 result when people search for your name. If you have a common name – or if there is someone else online with your name with a web presence – SEO is not optional. Googling someone is now as commonplace as shaking hands. If you don’t have search engines in mind when designing your site and making content, you won’t be the top result for your name.
SEO will draw traffic to your site. Although Marketing Strategies are more than a numbers game, having lots of visitors to your site is always a good thing.
How can Authors Implement Search Engine Optimization on Their Site?
Highly effective search engine optimization is not something you learn overnight – people make an entire career out of providing SEO services. But the basic principles are simple. They’re easy enough to start putting into effect the moment you’re done reading this blog!
At its most basic, search engine ranking is determined by three things – your content, links that go back to your site on other websites (in-bound links), and how popular your site already is.
You don’t have much control over who links to you, and you can’t make your site popular over night, but you do have simple ways that can put you on the path to a higher Google ranking:
Know your keywords and use them often. If you don’t know what your keywords are, figure them out quick! They’re the words and phrases at the core of your ‘author brand’ and book – and they should be the phrases people would use when looking for your content online.
But don’t use your keywords too often. If you are generating content with only SEO in mind, you’ll sound like a robot mindlessly repeating the same words and phrases. Generate content for readers – but make sure to hit your targeted words as well.
Link to other people – and hope that people start linking back to you. In-bound links are difficult to generate on your own. But, by sharing other people’s content, you increase the chances of people sharing your content on their own website. The net needs to be a friendly place for you, especially if you want to get found online.
Keep your content recent and relevant. Think – are people looking for this content right now? A blog about Halloween in August won’t garner you much traffic, but writing about beating the heat is perfect for summer (and sweaty search engine queries).
With a little foresight, you can keep yourself at the top of the ranks – or at least start climbing to the coveted #1 spot.