If you have a standout website, you might be wondering how people can find it on Google or Bing search. Google published a comprehensive search engine optimization (SEO) guide to cover the basic questions. However, if you want a short version of their guidelines, this article is for you.
What does SEO mean?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization can be defined as any content and technical modifications you do on your website to boost its visibility or discoverability.
If you have invested time and money on your website, you want to make sure that it can be easily found on the web by the people you wish to attract. You want to drive traffic that turns your website visitors into readers.
So, how can SEO help you?
When web searchers type the title of your book or your pen name, you want your website to be the first thing they see on the search engine result pages (SERPs). You want them to click on the search result that leads to your site’s homepage. Optimizing your website for search engine discovery is a free method of getting traffic (organic traffic).
Once they reach your website, you can nudge them to check out your book excerpt, sign up to your email, and last but not the least, buy your book with a persuasive copy and engaging content.
The majority of readers make buying decisions based on their online search so it is every website owner’s goal to improve their rank on major search engines (e.g. Bing, Yahoo, and Google). This entails a lot of work such as site organization, headline optimization, and content marketing (e.g. blog articles), and more. Even if you hire someone to do the SEO work for you, you still need these three essential tips so you know what to expect from their work.
SEO Tips for Authors
1. Get a user- and search-friendly website.
Search engines are smart robots (Google crawlers or bots), but they are not as smart as humans yet. They need information that requires technical expertise from an SEO professional. For instance, your website has to have a sitemap and bot-friendly navigation to be visible to search engines. At the very least, the SEO pro you hire needs to know how Google Search Console works and how to do a basic visibility check.
Among the easiest steps you can do to enhance your site’s visibility are: 1) ensure that your website is showing up on the search results page by typing “site:yourdomainname.com” (2) check your site’s appearance and speed on different devices, and (3) secure your website’s connection (i.e. get ‘https’).
For a more detailed guide, the biggest search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing provide free webmaster guidelines that you can review and follow.
2. Create valuable, educational, or entertaining content.
With over 200 factors search engine bots use to rank websites, it pays to adhere to the guidelines to avoid penalties and ensure that your website provides visitors with great content.
Your website’s content (e.g. articles, images, infographics, or videos) must be original and engaging with important keywords strategically selected and incorporated for better discoverability.
With advanced SEO tools, you don’t need to guess the keywords that your target readers might use. Go to Google’s free Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords you can use. You can also sign up for a free trial account on Ahrefs or SEMrush. Once you know what keywords your site needs to prioritize, create content that naturally includes them. For example, it’s considered best practice to put your target keyword on your article’s title, description, and sub-headings. Grab your readers’ attention and keep them by creating outstanding content around the keywords you chose.
3. Attract (or obtain) high-quality links.
You can use social media sites to influence your website’s SEO performance. Social media may not immediately affect your website rank, but it has the potential to boost your traffic through good old word-of-mouth marketing. If you leverage the power of social media marketing, your blog post on Facebook might get shared a couple of times and seen by more people. The more people engage, react, comment, and re-share your social posts, the higher the chances of getting more website visits.
Great content also tends to attract links from authoritative sites, which helps improve your online presence and your rank on the search results page. Search engines favor websites that get mentions and editorial links from popular platforms and websites. Do your best to create posts or pages that .edu and .gov sites would love to link to. Links from these high-authority websites can effectively increase your search engine rank.
Excited or overwhelmed with loads of new SEO ideas to try? We got you covered. We have the SEO experts you need to help you gain a robust online presence. Let us rewrite the future together.