What is SEO and why do you need it?
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to ranking in a search, typically Google. The goal is to have the first few page results of a search filled with references about you to make it easier for people to find you. That might be results from your website, social media profiles, Amazon author profile, sites where your book is sold, interviews, or other mentions. Many of these results are out of your control once you publish your book. What you can control are your Amazon author profile, getting interviews, and the content of your website. For now, let’s talk about your website
Keep it simple.
It upsets me when a new author is convinced by a slick salesperson to spend needlessly by hiring an SEO specialist they can’t afford. Just about every marketing tool is scalable. Almost everything we do to improve visibility by building and growing our platforms can be found from free to paid. This blog and website are the perfect example. I provide as much value as I can through my blog and social media platform, but I also provide coaching, consulting, and done-for-you marketing services for people hoping to take their efforts to the next level.
I’m not suggesting SEO specialists aren’t necessary. Corporation, businesses, and even professional authors hire these specialists. I do think there are steps you can take to help improve your site’s SEO right now, at almost no cost until you’re ready to go bigger.
Here are six simple SEO improvements you can begin to implement today:
- Good content – Google doesn’t use an algorithm the way social media sites do to rank content. They use something referred to as EAT, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Providing well written content that demonstrates your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness will result in a better search ranking.
- Video – The more time someone spends on a page on your website, the safer it appears to Google. The safer a page appears, the higher Google will rank it in a search. For an author, this might mean including book trailers, vlogs, or video interviews that allows visitors to linger a bit longer as they. That linger indicates to Google that your page is safe. A safe page is a good page.
- Blog – Consistent, well-written blogs (remember EAT) give Google more reason to like your website and more pages to rank in a search for you. If you’re not blogging, start biweekly. If you’re blogging occasionally, try to create a content plan that will allow you to create more consistently. Weekly is ideal, if you remember my recent post on blogs, you can read here, what matters more is a schedule you can maintain.
- Use keywords – Hate to sound like a broken record but remember the EAT acronym when using keywords in your site content. Don’t worry about strict keyword usage. In other words, don’t obsess about robotically planting words in your copy. Search engines are sophisticated enough to find related terms that fit closely to keywords on your website. Often, keywords in your content come quite naturally.
- Update content consistently – If you’re not blogging right now, another great way to add consistent content is in reviews or appearances. On a “Reviews” page you can add blurbs from Amazon book reviews. While a news page, can include mentions and links from recent appearances or interviews. Fresh content on your site provides Google new opportunities to bump you up in search rankings.
- Get an SSL certificate – If you haven’t done so already, be sure to purchase an SSL certificate for your website to move it from HTTP to HTTPS. A few years ago, Google announced that it would give better rankings to sites secured through the SSL certificate. What this meant, that most of us regular folks didn’t understand, is that if you didn’t add the certificate to your site, your site would be deemed “unsafe” by many providers. For me ISP, that means sites that don’t have the HTTPS, are blocked and I can’t access them at all.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of SEO tips and I am by no means an expert. These are things I’ve learned and used myself and have seen work to help others improve their author marketing. It’s a really good place to start. Keep in mind, it can take a few weeks for the results from your SEO work to begin to work to improve your author website ranking. Like most marketing tasks related to growing your platform, consistency is the real secret to success.
If this left you feeling like you need a new website or an overhaul of your current author website, check out my website services. These services are provided through my own webmaster as an extension of my author marketing services. These are author websites with templates designed exclusively for my clients.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. If you’re feeling stuck and need a little help, click here to schedule a time to get “unstuck” in a free 30-minute consultation with me. I’ll do my best to help you get unstuck and provide as much value as I can to help you in your author marketing journey.