You know SEO is important because it’s in capital letters!
Welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. Today I shall focus on SEO once again and offer my own insight into the traitorous world of search engine optimisation.
In my previous post I had a wonderful interview with Jeff Goins (Author Marketing: Blog SEO, Do You Need It?) who provided a superb round up of tips to help an aspiring author platform grow and blossom.
I wanted to put my own spin on things today, because although I’m no SEO Guru, through research of my own – for both my author platform and day-to-day work – I feel can offer some tips to help you with your own author platform.
The modern world is full of people looking to search for things. Gone are the days we sit back and let passive messages tell us what to do. We’re online explorers that find the answers to our own unique questions. With a solid SEO structure you can become part of this exploration and be adored by potentially thousands of new people each and every day.
I won’t repeat what Jeff said in the previous post, but here are the three main areas I feel will help create a solid SEO structure:
This is the first step and arguably the easiest. A keyword is simply a word or term you wish to rank highly for and appear on the first page of a Google search. There are a great deal of terms you can consider and ultimately you need to look back at your Foundations and think what best describes you.
- What do you offer?
- Who are your audience?
- What do you discuss the most?
After some thinking I decided my initial attack would be on the terms author marketing and author platform. In the future I will most likely tailor each post so it attacks one or two different keywords each time (or at least a larger pot to choose from). At the moment however, I feel I need to form a solid platform and choosing two terms to focus the entire Millionaire Plan series around should help create some authority in an area I want to respect in.
I chose the two terms by doing my research on the Google Keyword Tool (Click HERE, sign up, and then click on the Keyword Tool under the Tools & Analysis tab). It all began with brainstorming. Thinking of terms that best described my Blogs purpose.
Before long I’d filtered it down to a few terms and used Google Insights to narrow it down further. The end result? Author Marketing and Author Platform, that’s what!
When choosing your Keywords simply brainstorm and come up with as many as you can. Use the tools mentioned to narrow it down and think carefully about the searches they receive and competition you face (do you really want to compete in an area with High competition?).
Once you’ve chosen your Keywords you need to do the following:
- Place it in your Title (aka Author Marketing: Blog SEO, Do You Need It?)
- Try to use it at least five times in your main text (Be natural though. DO NOT BE SPAMMY)
- Try and place them in your first few paragraphs
- If possible place it in your url
- Base your content around these keywords as much as possible (In a natural fashion)
- Tag your photos with these keywords too (use the alt tag)
There’s a great deal of info out there for Keywords so do some searching. To start you off though I suggest this article HERE.
Getting links to your site is another important part of SEO and can be done via linking from your own site or via external ones. This can take quite a long time and overall you have less control. Despite it being difficult there are a few ways to help get you some links:
Self Links are the easiest of them all because it involves YOU linking YOUR own material. For the most part this means linking to a previous post (aka Author Marketing: an aspiring authors marketing strategy), but can also include the links you place on forums and other Blogs via comments and discussions. This needs to be naturally though. Any links need to have relevance, whether on your own site or on someone else’s.
Paid Links are something I would stay away from because I really don’t see the value. This includes signing up for sites like Social monkey who will distribute your link to ‘hundreds’ of sites. I’ve tried a few of these services (in the trial offer) and I’ve yet to see any return. A no go in my opinion!
Free Links include adding your Post/RSS Feed to a directory in the hope other people will read, re-distribute etc. A rather old fashioned method, but it has it’s values I suppose. Joel Friedlander posted a huge list of these directories, but you should also consider more proactive sites like Stumbleupon, Digg, and Reddit. Directories are usually good for RSS Feeds and your general URL, whereas Stumbleupon can be better for specific posts.
Authority Links are the golden egg and it’s what we all should strive for. The modern day search engine loves links from authority sites (Sites with a lot of traffic) because it shows you’re getting some love from people in the know. It also happens to be the hardest of the lot because it generally has to come from fellow Bloggers that have been doing it for a long time. A link from Problogger, Copyblogger etc can create wonders for your SEO. Getting this does take time though and needs you to build rapports with the online world. Guest Bloggers, Online Communities, and generally being a proactive member of the www. is the way to go here.
Behind The Scenes:
This involves your sites framework, and for the most part things completely foreign to me. Its Meta Tags this and Meta Tags that, and if you’re on a free-hosted site like Worpdress.com or Blogger then you don’t need to worry about it a great deal. These platforms, for the most part, are SEO friendly and you have little control on the behind the scenes framework anyway.
If you’ve designed your own site or self host, however, than you need to do some research. There are lots of widgets out there that will help leverage your SEO, so don’t worry; you’re in good hands.
As Jeff discussed previously search engines are always tinkering with their algorithm, which is overall a very good thing. It does mean certain changes need to be made and like most things, adaptability is key. I’ll discuss this in a later post, where a Guest of mine will showcase how Google+ is becoming a tool everyone should consider.
There you go everyone, another post of the How To Build An Author House Series over with and the area of Blogging done and dusted. We will next delve into Social Networks, starting with every Author’s friend… Twitter.
I’ll leave you with one final article on SEO though, because if this doesn’t show you the value of it then nothing will.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million