Friday, August 15, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: #SEO for Authors @AuthorErinMoore

SEO for Authors
What it is, and Why it matters

As Newbies, navigating the internet can be one of the hardest things we have to tackle. And one thing that we can really use to our advantage – without doing any (well, much) work at all – is Search Engine Optimization. Put simply – we want people to come to us through Google.

Of course, there are the obvious searches – someone searching for us under our name or pen name. And we definitely need to make sure that the right “me” is being found. (See my other article on blogging and  Google + Authorship.)

But less obvious is how we come up in the organic results. We want our names, and more importantly, our books, to come up first (or second, or third – as long as it’s on that first page of results) when someone searches for, say “shaman romances”.

So how do we best set up our website for search engines?
First, we need it to be active. That means changing something every so often, even if it’s just the “updates” or “news” page.

Blogs count.  And, as we all know, we need to be producing great content for those blogs. But did you know that you should consistently be linking to other sites within your blogs? Or that you should be linking back to other blogs you have written? And, of course, it’s even better if a higher-rated site can site your blog. All of these things earn us higher rankings in the might search engine. For more information, try this great article on blogging for authors.

And, if you are writing blogs, make sure to name them something catchy. There are a bunch of tools that you can use to research this. Unfortunately, Google no longer lets you use its tool without an Adsense sign-in, but here are some other great tools for finding keywords.  

Privacy Policy: Here’s one that most of us don’t know about. You will have to drop in a little bit of code onto your website. The way I did mine was to just add in a small link to a hidden page on my home page.



There are a bunch of different (and free) sites out there that will provide you with one. The one I used was: http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/free-privacy-policy-generator.php. It’s probably a bit more in-depth than most of us need it to be, especially as we are probably not actively selling anything on our website (processing credit cards, for instance).  Or, alternatively, an easy one:

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.
You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.
We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.
This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on Month, Day, Year. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: xxxx@xxxx.com.
[Source: http://john.do/privacy-policy/]

Disclaimers:  These are yet another layer of trust for Google. It can be something simple like: The views and opinions on this website are solely those of the author. Any advertising on this site should not be considered an endorsement.

                [Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, so don’t trust anything I write, either.]

Why does any of this matter? Because when our website comes up first, and people land on our page, then they have a higher likelihood of buying something – i.e., our books! It’s just another way to find readers, and if we haven’t done these things already, then it should only take about 20 minutes to implement them.
Let me know if you have any SEO best practices!

Posted by Erin
Erin writes paranormal romances as Erin Moore and contributes to the MFRW Marketing Blog with her monthly column, A Newbie's World. Her latest book is a sexy minotaur shifter story set in Crete.

She manages two monsters and one unruly husband in Atlanta in between writing and main-lining chocolate and tea. Look her up on www.AuthorErinMoore.com or, of course, on Twitter: @AuthorErinMoore.