In a world where “Google” is now a verb, knowing how to write effective SEO is more important than ever for authors who are trying to grow their audience. But at Web Design Relief, we know most creative writers are unfamiliar with the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Having the right SEO will increase traffic to your author website and blog and help you reach more readers. If you’re not savvy about search bots, here are the basics of how to write SEO that gets results.
The Basics: Write SEO That Gets Results
SEO determines how your website ranks in search engine results (a search engine being a site like Google that’s designed to carry out searches on the Internet). When your author website and blog are more visible to search bots, you’ll show up in more searches for terms related to you and your writing.
While you do want your author website to get more visitors, you also want to get better visitors—readers and fans who will also engage with you on social media and attend your events.
Use SEO Keywords
Keywords are the words or phrases that define what your content is about—in this case, you and your writing. Search engines like Google rely on keywords to determine which websites are relevant to a user’s search and then match those websites to the user’s queries.
Choosing the right, SEO-friendly keywords is therefore vital to boosting your website’s visibility. Consider the keywords, or search terms, that a reader interested in your work might use to find you online. When you pepper these keywords strategically into your website’s text, these terms will be spotted by search engines, which will then direct readers to your author website and blog. Here’s how to choose the best keywords:
- Consider long-tail keywords vs. short-tail keywords: A short-tail keyword is one or two words, like “mystery book.” A long-tail keywords is three or four words, like “historical murder mystery novel.” As you can see, long-tail keywords are more specific, and therefore, fewer websites will be competing for visibility based on that search term. Especially when you’re first starting to build your author website’s visibility and popularity, long-tail keywords can be very effective.
- Determine your “core keyword”: What is the single most important word or phrase that defines your author website? Does this vary for the different pages of your author website? Your core keyword for each web page should appear within the first one hundred words of that page.
- Use keywords throughout: Many SEO novices will drop a bunch of keywords near the beginning of their articles or web pages—and that’s it. While this is a good start, be sure to use keywords throughout each page of your author website: headers, titles, subheadings, the text of your pages and posts, any tables or infographics, etc.
Tips For Writing Better SEO For Your Author Website
Write for human readers, not search bots. When a person searches for your author website, what are they hoping to find or learn? How can you arrange your content to make this easier for them? Though it may seem counterintuitive, put your main focus on user experience (UX) when writing SEO for your author website. If you randomly stuff your blog articles and web pages with SEO text, your writing will seem stilted and unnatural. Include keywords, but use them in a way that seems unaffected and genuine.
Consider all search methods. Not all users search Google by physically typing on a computer. In fact, more and more people are using voice searches on Amazon’s Alexa or iPhone’s Siri to search the web. Voice search may also be helpful for users with a range of disabilities. Speaking rather than typing can affect how a search query is phrased. For example, typing on a keyboard will probably result in shorter and to-the-point search phrases, while a spoken search may be more conversational—a fully formed question rather than just a few keywords.
Use internal and external links. If you want SEO that gets results, linking readers to other pages or blog posts on your author website is a must (internal linking). But it can be even more beneficial to include links to relevant pages on other websites as well (external linking). While you don’t want to link to other authors with the exact same fan base as yours, consider including relevant links for further reading, related music or podcasts, resources, and so forth. Just make sure you link to reputable sites only!
Stay on top of Google’s algorithm updates. Google uses an ever-evolving algorithm with over two hundred ranking factors to determine how websites will rank in search results and which sites will be most valuable to users. While you don’t need to memorize each element in depth, it’s helpful to maintain a basic understanding of Google’s algorithm and any changes that may affect how you’re using SEO keywords on your author website.
Having to write SEO may seem daunting when you first start adding it to your website and blog, but tools like Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner can help you come up with the best keywords. By working these keywords into your author website, you’ll improve your ranking in online searches and reach more of the right audience for your writing!
Question: Which tactics have you tried to boost your website’s SEO?