If you’re a self-published author, there’s a lot you need to do every month. You need to grow and nurture your email list, stay on top of your advertising, write book descriptions, complete keyword research for your books, refine your marketing strategy, look after your social media, make sure you’re up to date with the latest trends in your genre…. And I haven’t even mentioned writing books yet!
Thankfully, there’s a marketing tool that will make your life a lot easier. It’s a tool you can use now and be sure it won’t expire in a week. In fact, it’ll even get more valuable over time.
And you’ve more than likely already got this tool at your disposal, you’re just not using it to its full potential….
So, what is this tool? It’s a website. Yep, your author website–or your blog.
The real benefit of a blog is that, if you can get your site ranking well in Google for specific terms, you’ll be able to bring in new readers daily without having to invest in advertising. In fact, you can write an article today that’ll potentially be bringing you revenue years into the future.
So, let’s look at 5 ways you can make Google like you.
1. Find the Right Keywords
The most important part of optimizing your blog for search engines is completing keyword research.
To help you do that, here are a few of the best free tools out there, along with the best cost-effective paid option, and a high-end tool for those who want the best results.
One of the most famous free keyword tools is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. Neil bought a pre-existing tool (that you had to pay for) and made it completely free on his site. Since he bought the tool, it’s been getting better and better. If you’re only looking for the basic functions–which you probably would be, being a part-time SEOer–you can rely on Ubersuggest for your website.
Keyword Sheeter is a great tool for finding keyword ideas. All you have to do is type in seed keywords into the sheet and press ‘start sheeting’ and Sheeter will do the rest. Seriously, you can get thousands of suggestions in under a minute. I only searched for about twenty-seconds with the phrase ‘best book for’ and had over 500 suggestions!
With the free version, you only get keyword suggestions and will need to pay a little extra for metrics. As you can see, to get data for all 500 keywords would cost $4, so it’s reasonably priced.
One of the most popular browser extensions for keyword research is Keywords Everywhere. For a small cost, Keywords Everywhere finds keywords in a whole range of places. For example, when you type something into Google, it’ll give you a monthly search volume and a competition score.
You can also mass-import a list of keywords and Keywords Everywhere will give you accurate data on each keyword. You can even copy all the keyword suggestions from Keyword Sheeter and paste them into Keywords Everywhere to find data.
If you want a top shelf solution, Ahrefs is a great option. If you have the budget to accommodate it, or if your blog is making enough money to cover the costs, you can use Ahrefs for everything SEO related. You’ll probably need a bit of background in SEO before using the program, though.
Note: When you’re writing a blog, you’re competing with people whose sole business is optimizing their websites for Google. So make sure you stick to targeting keywords that are low competition.
2. Optimize Your Articles for Your Keywords
After you find the keywords you want to target with your blog, you need to start using them as the basis for your blog posts. When you’re writing for Google, articles can’t be treated like creative writing exercises. They need to be focused, helpful pieces of content.
Targeting one main keyword for every post, and then optimizing and updating your content as time goes on, is an effective strategy.
Check out this article from Nerdy Book Girl. I’m very confident it’s targeting the keyword ‘best book lights’. Wouldn’t you agree?
3. Use an SEO Plugin
If you’re working on a WordPress site, you can use a simple plugin to handle many of your basic SEO needs. The most popular free choices are Yoast and Rank Math. Both options do a lot of the technical stuff on your site automatically, so you won’t have to adjust any code.
Your plugin will also give you an ‘SEO guide’ for every article you write, scoring you along the way.
This can be very helpful, especially when you’re first starting out.
4. Post Regularly and Post Often
If your website is never getting new content, it’ll be ranked lower by search engines. This makes sense because why would they push an out-of-date website to the top of the search page?
You need to publish consistently to get noticed. Since you’re writing your own content, stick to a writing schedule that you can keep. I know authors who publish one article a week. If they have some spare time, they add a second article.
You also need to know that not every page you write will rank well. Sometimes you just can’t crack a particular keyword, and that’s okay. Remember that, when planning a writing schedule, every article you write is another way people can find your website. So make sure you keep adding new posts.
5. Improve Old Content
As we spoke about above, the best way to keep your site relevant is to add new content. Once you hit publish, though, you shouldn’t forget about that post. You can improve your blog posts as time goes on and increase their relevance to the topic, thus helping their rankings.
For example, if you find that one of your articles is ranking at number five after a year, you might want to check out the other top-tanking articles and see what they’re doing differently. Maybe their articles are longer or maybe they’re covering another sub-topic.
You can update your post to mimic what the top-ranking articles are doing and see if it helps your Google ranking. Or you can optimize your article for other keywords.
The cool thing is, just because you wrote an article targeting a specific keyword, doesn’t mean that you’ll only rank for that keyword. Odds are an article will rank for dozens or even hundreds of keywords and variations.
You’ll find that, by constantly updating your content, you’ll see a fast improvement in your daily traffic.Getting Google to like your site isn’t a quick process, but if you do the basics well, you’ll have a great foundation for improving your marketing efforts and book sales. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Getting Google to like your site isn’t a quick process, but if you do the basics well, you’ll have a great foundation for improving your marketing efforts and book sales.
Dave Chesson is a digital marketer, book marketing Jedi, and Tennessee family man. His passion is serving the author community through Kindlepreneur.com. His specialty is in-depth, unbiased information, such as his recent Guide to Grammarly. When he’s not constantly improving KDP Rocket, Dave can be found learning EDM production from DeadMau5.