If a Blog Post is written but never read, does it exist?
Welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. Today’s focus is SEO, a term I liken to money. It’s something we don’t want to think about, but the fact of the matter is it’s rather important.
Today I have a Guest Post from Jeff Goins, a Blogger I’ve been following for a couple of months now and someone who consistently produces great advice. Jeff is going to discuss SEO today and how it can fit into author marketing. He’s written several posts on SEO in the past, and how it can fit into an author platform, so hopefully he can produce some words of wonders for you all.
Over to you Jeff…
What is SEO & how can it help build an author platform?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is simply how websites get found via search engines. Search is still one of the most widely used tools for finding content online. If you’re an aspiring author, it’s important that your content is visible online. Otherwise, you end up being just another drop in the pan.
What are the key elements to a SEO-friendly Blog post?
You need a few things:
1. The content needs to be good. This is the most important. If it’s not good, people won’t link to you.
2. You need inbound links. This means other people linking directly to your page. How does this happen? Write something awesome, share it through social media sites, and, if appropriate, you can even ask people to link to it.
3. Make sure your post is long enough (at least 300 words).
4. Pick a good keyword or phrase that you want to show up for on search engines. Use that keyword in the post and in the title. It should also be included in your URL.
Again, I have to stress this: if you write bad content, none of this matters. Focus on serving and helping people, and everything else becomes a lot easier.
Are keywords important and how do you find them?
Absolutely. Google the word “keyword” and you’ll see the “keyword estimator” that I use. You can search a few terms to see how competitive they are. If nobody is searching for them, you probably shouldn’t use them. And if everyone is, same deal. I try to find keywords that have a “medium” competition level. There’s also a keyword suggester that helps.
What tools or sites are there to help aspiring authors in SEO?
I think Problogger.net is the best for all things Blogging, especially SEO. Copyblogger.com is good, too. There’s not a ton for authors, though. Most of the literary world isn’t SEO-savvy. I try to cover these topics occasionally on my own Blog: http://goinswriter.com.
How can aspiring authors organize and track their SEO activities?
I’m on WordPress, so I use a combination of WP stats and Google Analytics to track keyword performance. Ideally, you want to see your search traffic (organic results) increase over time.
Will Google’s new changes affect SEO for aspiring authors?
Google is always changing things. Those who suffer are the people who put all their eggs into one basket. But you need to understand things from Google’s perspective. They’re trying to help searchers. So if you write for an audience and with a desire to help people, you won’t go wrong. Keep writing excellent, resourceful content, and you’ll be okay. Sure, your numbers may go up or down with various changes, but keep your content diverse and interesting, and you’ll be just fine.
A huge thanks to Jeff for taking the time to post these tips. As I said at the beginning of the post, SEO is essential, if not the most glamorous part of your author marketing activities. Search Engines such as Google can create huge amounts of traffic for your site, and at very least create an aura of authenticity. It does take time though; so don’t be discouraged if you don’t appear on the 1st page after a couple of days.
As Jeff says, you need to do your research and think carefully about your keywords. You’re still building your author platform so try and focus on terms you hope to base your general Blog around. Start small and build from there, and in time you will climb the ranks and become a valuable source.
Next time on the How To Build An Author House I will continue the discussion on SEO and add some tips I’ve found helpful myself for my own author platform. Before you leave please head over to Jeff’s Blog. He offers some great insight into building an author platform and writing tips in general. I strongly recommend you go and take a tour, and as a starter you may want to try This Post & This Post.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
How do you utilise SEO into your own Author Marketing?
Has SEO helped you build your author platform?
Do you use any SEO tools/sites that could help an aspiring author?
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