Monthly Archives: September 2012

SEO for Self Published Authors – Part 2

SEO for AuthorsIf the guidelines I outlined in SEO for Self Publishing Authors – Part 1 is not sufficient to get your author website on the first page of the Google Search results for your author name or key word phrase, then you should supplement the items I discussed with these additional Search Engine Optimization steps:

1.  Regular SEO Optimized Press Releases

Links are very important in Search Engine Optimization. The best way to help your website is with SEO-optimized press releases done regularly. This should give you ample link-back to your website to increase your Ranking on the search engines.  Please note that these particular press releases are different from the press releases that Bookstand Publishing offers to get you reviews and interviews.  For purposes of SEO, you want SEO Press Releases. These can be purchased at http://www.emailwire.com/ or http://www.prweb.com/.

The more often you issue one of these press releases ties to your author name and/or keyword phrase, the better your ranking in the search engines.

2.   Publish Articles linking back to your Author Website

Publishing articles with links back to your website are also another great way to build links. Here are some sites where you can publish articles (related to the topic of your book, of course): http://www.EzineArticles.com and http://www.articleclick.com/

3.   Online Videos

Search engines like videos. Post the video on your website and they post copies of the video on YouTube.com and Vimeo.com.  Be sure to post your website address and Author Name or Keyword Phrase in the video description. If you don’t want to create your own video you can have one made very affordably. Bookstand Publishing offers an Author Web Video for only $199 available here.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can get very complex.  However if you follow the basic steps I have outlined here in these two articles you should find your search rankings coming out near the top for your Author Name and/or keyword phrase.

SEO for Self Published Authors – Part 1

I am often asked, “How do I get my book to show up better on Google and other search engines?”

Here is what I tell authors:

You need Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That is, you need to help the search engines find your book and/or Author Name and encourage them to post this result near the top of the search engine results.

To get started, you can do this:

1.       Website

First of all, you have to have a stand-alone website; otherwise, you don’t have very much to optimize. Your book may be on Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites, but you cannot control how these pages show up in the Search Engine Results as the content of these pages are controlled by the parent companies and not you; they are optimized for the parent company, not for your book.

A simple 3- to 5-page website (which is all you need) is quite inexpensive and is the first step to Search Engine Optimization for authors. There are many website hosting companies you can use, including WebHostingforAuthors.com (owned by Bookstand Publishing) and GoDaddy.com.

2.      Choose a Keyword or Keyword Phrase

You need to decide on what Keyword or Keyword Phrase you want to optimize. In most cases, you want to optimize either your Author Name or your Book Title. On occasion, you may want optimize a phrase related to the specific topic of your book (e.g., “White Water Rafting in Washington”).

Our goal is to “own” this Keyword or Keyword Phrase. That is, when someone types the Keyword or Keyword Phrase into Google, we want your page to show up at the top of the Google page results.

If you are planning on writing or have written multiple books, or if you are a speaker, I recommend that you use your Author Name as your Keyword, as your name is the “brand” you want to promote.

3.      Choose a Domain Name

You will need a Domain Name for your website. You buy a Domain Name when you get your website. The fee to purchase most Domain Names is usually $10 to $12 a year. Your Domain Name should simply be your Keyword.com. So if your Author Name is Hubert Pickernell, then your Domain Name should be HubertPickernell.com. If HubertPickernell.com is already taken, then use some variation of it such as HubertPickernellBooks.com or AuthorHubertPickernell.com.

Always choose a .com Domain Name (rather than a .biz, .org, .me, etc., Domain Name).

You can search for available Domain Names on WebHostingforAuthors.com or GoDaddy.com.

4.      Set Your Website Title

When you set up your Website, the most important item from a Search Engine Optimization standpoint is the HTML Title Tag. This is the title that shows up on your browser page. This Title Tag is where search engines look to find out what your page is about.

If your Domain Name is your Author Name or Book Title, your Title should be your book name and Author Name (e.g., “I’m Proud of My Name” by Hubert Pickernill). If you used a Keyword Phrase for your book, then your Title Tag should be your Keyword Phras

Your Domain Name and Website Title are both used by the Search Engines to determine your websites relevance.

e (e.g., “White Water Rafting in Washington”).

5.        Content

Your website will, of course, need to have information about your book, how to buy it, your author bio, and more. For purposes of Search Engine Optimization, the key takeaway is to reuse your Keyword or Keyword Phrase in the content of every page of your site. If you have used your Author Name or Book Title as your Keyword, this should be easy to do. This tells the Search Engines that your Domain Name and Webpage Title are truly reflective of the content of the site.

90% of the time, these five steps will ensure that your book appears at the top of the first page of results of Google and Yahoo when your Book Title or Author Name Keyword is typed in the search engines.

In 10% of the cases, if you have the same the same name as a celebrity, or have chosen a very popular Keyword Phrase, you may not appear on the first page of results. If this is the case, then you need to follow additional Search Engine Optimization steps (which I will discuss in the next post).