Put SEO To Work For Your Author's Website

Put SEO To Work For Your Author’s Website

Here’s how you can put SEO to work for your author’s website, and more about why it matters (and who got it right).

An author’s website is a requirement for any aspiring or professional writer. While publishers publish and markets market, writers have to create their own marketable online presence.

Successful websites appear in search results when readers search for author names, story or book titles, fiction genres, or other appropriate tags that lead to your web-home.

If you want readers and potential clients to find your website, write with search-engine optimisation in mind. Tags, keywords, and well-written content can help engines and readers to lead to it.

What Is SEO?

The term SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation.

SEO writing can be read by human readers, but also gets indexed and listed by search engines.

Badly written content, promotional content, link-heavy pages, and obvious spam pages are ranked lower. Writing without SEO in mind can force your website lower down than other, similar writers with better sites.

See SEO Working

When searching ‘official website horror writer’, page one includes Hunter Shea, Tim Lebbon, and Stephen King.

These official websites contain biographies, news, and market lists for these writers. It’s the information people and search engines might like to see (and as a writer, ask yourself the same question).

Websites should be:

  1. Comprehensive in nature.
  2. Well-written and grammatically sound.
  3. High-ranked in readability.

They should also:

  1. Have appropriate tags for the writer or genre.
  2. Have appropriate focus keywords or keyphrases for the writer or genre.

Websites should never be:

  1. Full of too many links or tags.
  2. Filled with spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  3. Overloaded with content quoted from other websites.
  4. Irrelevant to the market, the genre, or the writer.

If you look at writer’s websites that you enjoy, you’ll notice that most of them are (and aren’t) the above.

[Top Tip: If you want to learn how to blog, sign up for The Complete Blogging Course.]

That’s SEO at work.

Put SEO To Work For Your Author’s Website

Correct SEO techniques guarantee a higher-ranking when relevant tags (like your name, headlines, or site keywords) and focus keyphrases are searched. Posts and pages carrying your domain name will automatically follow suit.

As a writer, that’s how you make sure you show up to potential fans or clients.

Here are eight practical techniques for improving the SEO capabilities of your author website.

1. Claim Your Website Domain First

Register a website domain online first.

If your name is already taken you might want to add ‘books’ to it, like Veronica Roth veronicarothbooks.com and John Connolly johnconnollybooks.com have done.

One of the first search-engine elements that matters is the domain. Registered domains receive a higher ranking than sub-domains hosted elsewhere (such as at WordPress or Wix).

When your name is searched, your registered domain is guaranteed a superior spot.

As an added tip, remember to renew your subscription when it expires. A hanging or expired domain is unprofessional!

2. Assess Your Author Site SEO

Successful influencers, writers, and bloggers know their website’s statistics.

Simple hit-counters will show visits. Advanced options like Yoast or the built-in WordPress counter can also reveal geographical hits, search terms, links clicked, and pages visited.

While this information isn’t public, it’s important if you’d like to build, boost, or just monitor your online presence.

View traffic over time for more clarity on when a website needs urgent changes.

3. Bots Prefer Plain Language

Plain language is always preferred for a reader’s ease, but there are also SEO reasons why plain language matters.

High readability scores are ranked higher up in search results than pages or posts which score lower. Low readability scores (and chunks of text loaded with keywords) usually signal potential spam to search engine bots.

Test your readability score for every online post. Edit until it’s something a search engine bot would prefer to crawl over.

For example, Kathy Reichs‘ website has a readability score of 62.9%. That’s a good thing, and any writer should aspire to do the same. Writers should actually aim at a score of 70% or higher. In fact, Laini Taylor has a readability score of 79% on her blog. You can check any website’s readability statistics here.

4. Find Appropriate Tags & Focus Keyphrases For Better SEO

SEO keywords and keyphrases are what search engines seek throughout posts or pages, and what people type into engines.

When writing a blog post, write down three relevant SEO tags to include in the focus keyphrase description.

For example, a post called ‘5 Incredibly Weird Stephen King Quotes’ could have:

  1. Stephen King quotes
  2. Stephen King author
  3. Weird Stephen King sayings

Research Google Trends to view keywords and how often they are searched.

If a post on Stephen King’s website was suddenly tagged with ‘Disney’, the mechanics of how he would appear to search engines would change – and the site would get some different hits thanks to this.

Think about this for every post you ever write!

5. When Hits Go Down, Writers Can Do This

It’s normal for site hits to show ups and downs, but a long-term decline in visitors needs a rescue plan.

If post hits decline, writers can:

  1. Promote old posts via social media.
  2. Create and promote new posts.
  3. Add better titles or tags to older posts.

If specific page hits decline or stagnate, writers can:

  1. Rewrite the page with SEO keywords.
  2. Add tags in the page description.
  3. Combine a quiet page with another one.
  4. Remove unsuccessful pages.

Successful writer websites don’t stay the same. New content drives hits.

6. Use Grammar & Copyright-Checkers

Search engine crawlers don’t appreciate bad grammar, repetition, or long paragraphs that show up as ‘walls of text’ when searched.

Always run writing through grammar-checking tools like GrammarCheck to ensure high readability and excellent grammar. If it’s better than other search results, you could be ranked higher.

Bots also prefer original content. Check posts against copyright-checkers like Copyscape or Writer.com, and aim for a high-score.

Do popular, successful authors include a ton of mistakes on their site?

Well, no.

7. Repeating Words (Is An SEO No)

Repetitive language is an SEO no, and could mean an automatically compromised search engine ranking that ends up lower down than it should be.

If a search engine bot decides that the post uses the word ‘aghast’ in excess, the post is ranked lower than other online results which didn’t make the same mistake.

Repeating any words or tags excessively is a sure route to showing up on search engines less (or less often).

J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and even Shakespeare didn’t get their writing known by repetition.

8. Using Links For Better SEO

Links always matter to how search engines see content.

Prefer links from authoritative, trusted, or first-hand websites when you use them in posts. When you link a website with a low rating or rank, your page is automatically given a ranking penalty for it.

Rankings can also be issued penalties for including more links than necessary in the same post, or obviously promotional links hidden as anchor text.

Suggested reading: 10 SEO Copywriting Tips For Beginners

The Last Word

So, learn how to put SEO to work for your author’s website. Search engines prefer good writing, and bots crawl for signs of which results seem the most relevant, most authoritative, and best for the reader.

As a modern writer, learn at least a handful of SEO-based writing techniques. Anywhere your writing gets picked up by a search engine, it will matter.

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to blog, sign up for The Complete Blogging Course.

 By Alex J. Coyne. Alex is a writer, proofreader, and regular card player. His features about cards, bridge, and card playing have appeared in Great Bridge Links, Gifts for Card Players, Bridge Canada Magazine, and Caribbean Compass. Get in touch at alexcoyneofficial.com.

If you enjoyed this, read other posts by Alex:

  1. How To Write About Bullies
  2. Don’t Commit These 9 Fiction-Writing Crimes
  3. 8 Unethical Copywriting Techniques To Avoid
  4. 8 Things To Do With A Rejected Manuscript
  5. 7 Lessons In Better Writing From The Beatles
  6. A Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Write Resolutions
  7. How To Write The Death Scene
  8. 9 Ways For Writers To Find More Clients, Customers, & Writing Markets
  9. 7 Bits Of Writing Advice From The Works Of Charles Dickens
  10. Sentences, Paragraphs, & Chapters Explained

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Posted on: 6th May 2021