SEO For Authors
Everyone is telling you to blog more and write more articles for your audience. The one problem is no one knows about your blog. It is frustrating! We know how hard it is. Many authors ask how they can rank for certain keywords or phrases. A key point to bare in mind is that blogging effectively is not just about writing. It also involves some technical knowledge.
SEO has always made us uneasy. You run into a lot of so called ‘experts’ claiming to be gurus.There is a plethora of terrible and often conflicting advice available. The one point no one can question is how important it is. We decided to share our process and what we achieved with you so that you can implement any aspects you find useful.
What follows is the process we took to get our blog post on the first page of Google for the terms “book marketing campaigns” and “book marketing campaign”. You of course need to choose your keyword or keyword phrases. We highly recommend investing the time into SEO and giving it a go! The example article can be found here and the position does fluctuate from day to day.
So choose your keyword or keyword phrases and let’s commence!
In this post we cover:
- Choose Your Keyword or Keyword Phrase
- SEO Must Haves
- Your Content
- Your Core Fan Base
- Social Media
- Back Links
1: CHOOSE YOUR KEYWORD OR KEYWORD PHRASE
Head to Google Adwords Keyword Planner if you don’t already have an account you will need to create one. Don’t worry it is free and you should be able to Log In with your existing Google Account. A gmail account should work.
Then search for new keywords by selecting the first option shown in the picture below.
In the first box that appears enter in your initial idea for a keyword or phrase. Then click the blue box at the bottom entitled ‘Get Ideas’
On the next page click the keyword ideas tab. You can then see how many people are searching for this keyword or keyword phrase and how competitive it is. Ignore the suggested bid column. That is only relevant is you plan to pay for ads which is not the topic of this post. We are discussing organic SEO methods. Play around here with different ideas until you find something relevant with low competition. Make sure you read point 3: RESEARCH below before you make your final decision.
2: SEO MUST HAVES
Cover all the key elements required for SEO purposes.
- Keyword in the URL for your page
- The images on your post page contain alt tags with the target keyword / phrase.
- Good outbound links (Links to other items of content on your blog, references or other relevant resources)
- Keyword density without compromising the quality of the writing. Only needs to be around 1% of the overall word count.
- The title of your blog post contains the keyword or phrase
- Make sure you have a heading within the post that contains your keyword and phrase. Here we have used “SEO For Authors”
- Meta description setup appropriately
- Your post should really be in excess of 1000 words. The minimum recommended is 300 but aim well above that.
- If you’re using WordPress take a look at WordPress SEO by Yoast
Before you start tapping away on your keyboard make sure you have done your research. If you are writing about a certain topic you should see what else has already been written on the subject. A point of note here is to avoid plagiarism.You have to be very careful online as there is usually something written on your topic. Make sure you are being unique. If you are worried there is some overlap make sure to quote your sources especially if they have inspired the piece or provided you with data.
Most importantly if there is already a popular post written on your topic it is going to take all your might to compete with it. My advice would be to find a unique slant on the topic. Come at it from a different angle. Carve out something fresh.
4: THE CONTENT
From our experience this is the most important part. Great content. Invest your time writing content that genuinely provides value to others. Make sure there are key takeaways from the piece. Ideally your readers should be able to implement elements from the post and see results.
James Altucher gives great advice for writers and content creators. He says “you should bleed”. We couldn’t agree more. You have to really be honest and share content that almost makes you uncomfortable. It was nerve racking to share what we have learnt over the course of 200+ campaigns. We were laying bare the good, the bad and the ugly from our experiences. The result was incredible and people really connected with our honesty.
Don’t let the post remain static. We intend on improving it as we hit the 300+ mark and so on. Constantly update your content and add to it as you carry out further research.
Write about what you know. This is hugely helpful as you know the topic intimately.
5: YOUR CORE FANS
In our experience your core fan base play a huge part in your ranking success. We have an email list who get notified every time a new blog post goes live. Which is probably why most of you are kindly reading this post 🙂
Many of our core fans share our posts with their audience. This in turns generates more sharing and pushes the content even further. Don’t neglect them and keep giving them value.
Part of this is collecting subscribers to your content. Never SPAM and be clear about what they are signing up for. Make sure you use a tool like MailChimp to ensure you comply with the rules and subscribers can opt our should they wish.
6: RE – MARKETING
You have invested a great deal of time in creating an amazing piece of valuable content so make sure it is read and enjoyed. Facebook has been very powerful to bring in new traffic and boost shares of the article.
Share it through your other Facebook profiles on a regular basis Avoid SPAM completely but do share it within reason.
Once you have published your new article how are you going to immediately obtain your readers?
- As we mentioned earlier your email list is crucial for distribution to your core fans who want to read your article.
- Social Advertising
- Social Sharing
- Author Forums
- Reddit – subcategories
- LinkedIn Groups
With all of the categories above be very careful not to SPAM. You will be removed from forums and groups very fast if you do this. Instead build discussions around your posts. If no one is discussing your topic in that group or forum don’t force it upon them. Look elsewhere. Google is your friend here for finding relevant places to post your content. See where other authors and bloggers in your niche has shared their content.
8: SOCIAL MEDIA
This is really where we have seen great strides made from a ranking perspective. The more shares we have achieved on social media the greater our rank on Google has been. These have to be legitimate shares and the more relevant and influential the accounts the better. Again this is just our experience and what we have noted moved the needle from our data.
So how can you leverage social media for SEO benefits?
- Start growing your social media following today
- Allow people to share your content across a wide range of accounts with social share buttons
- SumoMe is a great tool to get them installed quickly and easily even if you aren’t technical. They have a WordPress plugin.
- Triberr is another excellent resource for building a tribe and become members of other tribers. It revolves around mutual content sharing.
- Reach out to other accounts that are sharing similar articles. A simple tweet might say “Saw you shared X article. If you enjoyed that you may find this post we wrote relevant….”
SEO changes constantly. So we will keep updating this post as we learn more. Comment below with your questions on the subject and let us know as you start to get results.
9: BACK LINKS
A final word on back links. You need to seek out fellow authors or authorities who are relevant to your content. A good example may be a blog or author site where they have a list of resources. If you see they don’t have one on your topic or the one they have is outdated you could ask to have yours added to the list.
Remember keep giving and adding value to your audience.
Comment below with any further questions you may have or Contact Us.