SEO Basics for Writers To Increase Search Results
Writers, knowing SEO basics will help in promoting your books. This guest post is by Mark Stubbles. He’s a well-known UK based SEO Consultant who runs Panda SEO Services
SEO basics are not hard to understand. They are the same for any business and something that writers should know. I am sure you know the purpose search engines; I would be more than willing to bet that you have or will use a search engine at least once today. Maybe you were looking for information about your favorite author or a website to help with marketing your book. You might know what search engines do but you might not know how they do it, search engines provide answers to search queries, they make money by displaying ads relevant to these queries but they also list free/organic results.
What is SEO? The Basics
SEOis the process of optimising your website, blog posts and other writing so that your work appears higher in the search engines organic results. You can use SEO to help search engines understand what you’re writing about and to get more visitors to your website to learn more about your writing and buy your book, for no cost.
Example: When Googling “pararnormal mystery books,” author Robin Murphy’s blog shows up in top search results.
Google is the most popular English language search engine, they have around 75% market share in the U.S and more than 95% market share in the U.K. Google say that they take into account around 200 different ranking factors when they are deciding what to include and how to rank it in their organic search results, nobody knows for certain what all these 200 factors are. It is believed they use a combination of social signals, inbound links to your website and various on-site factors; it is these on-site factors that I am going to discuss in this post.
Some writers and bloggers believe that people who engage in SEO are spammers; they believe the Google they might even believe the Google line and think all you need to do is create “great content”. Great content is obviously very important especially when it comes to getting social traffic and blog subscribers, SEO tactics can still be used to ensure you are getting maximum exposure of your content though.
In my opinion, taking care of the on-site factors will only help the search engines better understand what your website is about, below are a few such factors I take into account every time I build a new site, I try and implement them every time add a new page or post to my own sites.
SEO Tips for Writers
1. Keyword research – Before creating any content use the Google Adwords keyword tool to get an idea of search volumes, the Adwords keyword tool can also be used when you are stuck for writing ideas, a condition I regularly struggle with. Make sure you check the exact match box to get a true estimate of search volumes, the competition estimates from this tool are not a good guide of organic SEO competition. To get an idea of organic keyword competition you need to use paid tools or perform a few searches and see who is ranking.
Take into account the ranking sites domain age, PageRank and link profile.
2. Title tags – Page title tags are one of the most important of all on-site SEO factors, you want the title tag to include your primary keywords.
3. Heading Tags – Include your target keywords in your heading, <h1> <h2> and <h3> tags , your main keywords should be included in the <h1> tag, if you use WordPress this is usually taken care of for you, only use the <h1> tag once on the page or you may get labelled a spammer. Longer and semantic keyword terms should be included in the <h2> and <h3> tags. A semantic keyword is a word related to your target term or industry.
You could also try to bold or italicize important sentences or even paragraphs to help them stand out for both readers and search engine spiders. Most importantly, don’t get carried away or obsessed with organic traffic. It’s a nice bonus> you should try to ensure human readers can still understand and enjoy your writing. I hope you have enjoyed my writing, if you did and would like to find out more about on-site SEO and link building please visit my blog, I have written a more in depth post about on-site SEO here.