Have you Googled your author name lately? What shows up in your search engine results? If the first page doesn’t include your website or other sites mentioning your books, you may want to reconsider whether your efforts to build an author brand are working. At Web Design Relief, we know that your being “Googleable” makes it easier for readers, editors, and literary agents to find you.
7 Tips To Help Writers Boost Their Google Results And Discoverability
Search Engine Optimization
Every writer needs an author website. Without it, you’re losing a valuable opportunity to create a hub for all your marketing and promotion activities. You’re also missing the chance to optimize that author website to boost your “Googleability.” Your website should be the first Google result that pops up when someone types in your name to find you.
Optimization can be both technical and content based. Techie back-end improvements include the effective use of header tags, metadata keywords, alt-tags on photos, and smart use of hyperlinking. Front-end, content-based improvements that you can do yourself include frequent updating with new content, providing easy connections to social media, and taking advantage of multimedia tools such as photos, videos, and slideshows.
Blogging is a great way to keep content fresh and draw traffic to your website—a quality that search engines love. But setting a regular schedule to post is not the only way you can boost your rankings by blogging. You can also:
- Guest blog on other writers’ sites
- Promote your blog on your social media platforms
- Do blog launch tours and interviews when you have a new book release
- Follow and comment on other people’s blogs
Byline And Book Listings
Authors who quickly release a lot of books tend to have a strong presence in search engine results. It just makes sense that the more bylines you have, the more Googleable you become.
If there’s a big gap of time between releases of your books, you may want to consider doing some short-form publications to keep your name visible. These could include publications in magazines or newspapers or writing short stories or novellas for an indie-published anthology, etc.
Social media is so important to Google results that several publishing houses have included a clause in their contracts compelling authors to engage with followers on one or more platforms. Active engagement provides search engines with lots of mentions to feed algorithms.
The bigger social media platforms are preferred by Google because of their massive reach. Consider engaging with your readers wherever they hang out most: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. YouTube is owned by Google, so if you’re comfortable with “vlogging,” YouTube will give your search engine results a big boost.
Deep engagement on a few social media platforms is far preferable to shallow engagement on many, but there are some sites where book authors should at least claim their profiles. These would include:
- LinkedIn (particularly for nonfiction writers and journalists)
Google Account Optimization
You already have a Google account if you have signed up for Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, etc., but how long has it been since you checked your Google profile? Make sure to include a tagline and an introduction about your work in the personal information section. Integrate relevant keywords to help improve your Google results and rankings.
If you use Gmail, create an email address that includes your author name, rather than “bookwriter234” or something equally unspecific.
Finalists and winners of writing contests are often publicized by the contest coordinators, adding another listing of your name to search engine algorithms.
Indie Writers Go Wide
If you’re a self-published indie writer in control of your own book distribution, consider “going wide” rather than being exclusive to a certain vendor. When your work is available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, OverDrive, Scribd, Tolino, Playster, Bibliotheca, and Baker & Taylor, your Googleability will rise.
If you want to build a brand and get your writing in front of readers, editors, and agents—being Googleable is mandatory. Discoverability depends on increasing your visibility in search engine rankings, and the results can make all the difference in your writing career.
We just typed your name in the search bar. What will we find?
Question: What methods do you use to increase your visibility in search engine results?