A Beginner’s Guide to SEO – part one
SEO is one of the most important things you need to know about in order to keep your author’s website thriving. Thriving for free, that is. Adverts are always a possibility, of course, but why turn down some publicity that costs you nothing but time?
Learning SEO looks a bit daunting and it might take a little while, but really it’s not too hard, I promise!
I have created this 3 part beginner’s guide to help give you budding writers a solid foundation for your author pages online visibility. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for ways to improve, these tips will give you a gentle introduction to SEO.
What is SEO?
To understand what SEO entails, you must first understand how search engines like Google, Bing, and others actually work. What determines their search rankings?
Google, for example, indexes web pages (if not otherwise specified) — like the yellow pages in digital format.
Search engine bots crawl your website and decipher the information it contains, in order to index it correctly so that it comes up in relevant search results. Today’s search engine bots can interpret contextual information (text, structure, and non-text content) on your website and index it according to a variety of criteria such as relevance and authority.
What this means is, if you have done your SEO right, your steamy romance book will appear in a search for steamy romance books, rather than for clean and sweet romance books, or something totally random, like tools or chocolate.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is what you need to get this to happen. The process of making your site more appealing to search engines is known as SEO. It’s about improving websites and blog posts so that search engines can comprehend the relevance and rank them appropriately in their searches.
So, let’s make one thing clear regarding SEO:
When you submit a page to search engines, it gets indexed as its own entity. Therefore, it’s critical to focus on each page separately for maximum impact.
Why is SEO important?
The previous section already highlights the significance of SEO. Let’s now consider our own search habits.
Let’s say you want to learn more about a certain topic, like ‘best-selling romance authors.’ You’ll just type ‘best-selling romance authors’. You get a list of results the moment you hit enter.
Which one of those options – on the pages and pages long list of romance authors – do you click?
Have you ever visited the second or third pages of results? Most likely not, or maybe occasionally.
This is an excellent example of why SEO is necessary. Optimizing your sites for search engines helps improve your overall search position, and this means getting you to that coveted position on the first page.
We always aim to be on the first page (or even better, within the first few listings) of a search that your readers are conducting, in order for your author site to receive more visitors. The idea then, of course, is that all the people who visit your author site will immediately hit buy on all of your fabulous books!
Google vs. the Other Search Engines
Google maintains a near-monopoly in many countries around the world, especially in English. An incredible 88 percent of searches on desktop are conducted on Google worldwide.
According to Google, in 2017, mobile phones represented 96 percent of all searches. Bing and Yahoo combine for 11% of mobile queries and 8% of desktop queries. This gives Google a commanding lead. By far, the most essential search engine you should be concerned about is Google.
So that’s it for part one. We have covered a little about what SEO is and how it can get your site, and thus your books in front of more people, if you get your SEO right.
Stay tuned for part two, where we will delve a little deeper into the dark art of SEO!