Search Engine Optimisation can be a great marketing tool for authors, so let's talk about Author SEO in three forms: Website, Book Descriptions, and Social Media.
Today, we'll start with the most well-known type of SEO: optimising websites! Here are three tips to optimise your Author Website and create more loyal readers.
SEO keywords help Google connect your website with the relevant searches people are making. As an author, your website needs to use keywords that show Google your genre and target audience.
For example, keywords might consist of:
Your niche within your genre
Your target audience
Tropes in your books (both popular and niche)
The length of your books (especially if they're shorter, as people may be looking for quick reads)
Other related descriptive words, like 'high-stakes', 'swoonworthy', etc...
Use keyword search tools to find more, and even look through the websites of your competition to see which words they're using. You can also use comp titles, i.e. 'books like X', to target people looking for books similar to their favourites.
The most important note is to think like your reader thinks. If they're using Google to find a book like yours, what might they search? If you can include the same language as they use in their search, Google will know to send them your way.
Aim to use your list of keywords throughout your website, including in text, headings, and meta-descriptions, to show Google you're the perfect match to potential readers.
Getting your name out there (along with your website link) is a great way to draw people back to your website and show Google that you're popular. Simply, a backlink is when a link to your website appears on another website. This is a great boost for SEO!
Here are some ways to get backlinks:
Be listed on as many book-related websites as possible (and have your book available in many places)
Guest blog on other author's blogs with similar target audiences
Write for literary publications
Aim to have your work reviewed by bloggers who will link back to your website
Having a ready-made press kit with information on who you are and what you write will be very helpful in reaching out to people who may provide a backlink for you. Make sure to be polite when asking, and show them what the benefit is to them, i.e. getting a free ARC, an article by an expert, etc...
A blog is a great tool for utilising your keywords and providing valuable content to readers who may go on to purchase your books. This is easy for a non-fiction author - just write informative and interesting blogs on your topic of expertise!
But what about fiction authors?
Your blog can be anything you want it to be, as long as there's value for readers in it. So ask yourself, what might your readers want to see on your blog? Unlike your social platforms, where text is typically short and to the point, your blog is a great long-form storytelling platform.
Your blog might include:
Your writing process
Updates on your writing
Reviews of books you’re reading
Announcements of new releases
Announcements of promotions and sales
Keep your blog on-brand but conversational. Carry your writing style over to the blog platform, so people can relate it to your books. Finally, at the end of every post, include a call to action to either buy or get ready for your next release!
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