I’ve written many, many times about why authors should be blogging. One of the main reasons? Search engine optimization.
Let me explain. Authors — especially nonfiction authors — should be regularly posting blog entries. Each one of those entries should be optimized for the proper search term — something that a reader interested in your subject matter might actually be searching for on Google. For example, if you write a book about how to lose weight, you would also want to write various blog posts on the topic. By optimizing those posts for the right keywords, you can attract the audience of people searching for terms like, “How can I lose 5 pounds?” and drive them to your author website. Then you can promote the book while they’re there and expose potential readers to your title.
But how do you actually SEO blog posts to make sure that you show up high on those search results? How do you make sure to optimize your blog posts for the right keywords? Here are three easy steps.
3 Steps to SEO Blog Posts
Step 1: Install the right plug-in.
In WordPress, my preferred plug-in is called Yoast SEO. But if you’re using a different platform, I’m sure there’s another one you can use. This will provide you with the information you need in order to ensure that you’re doing SEO the right way (see step 3).
Step 2: Find the right keywords. For a fee, I can do advanced keyword research for my clients. I then provide them with a long list of specific keywords to target on their site. But there’s an easier way to do this if you don’t want to make that kind of investment. You can simply start typing a search term into the Google search bar to get a good keyword idea. See the photo below to see what I mean.
In this instance, if you’re writing a blog post with tips about losing weight, you can start typing in your guess for a search term and Google will literally tell you exactly what people are searching for. Pick one of those keywords (one you haven’t used before) and decide that you’re going to optimize your blog post for that one specifically.
Step 3: Work the keywords into the right places.
There are certain staples to properly optimizing a blog post for a specific keyword. Those include having the keyword (exactly) appear:
- In the title
- In the URL
- As an “alt” tag on an image in the post
- In the first paragraph of the post
- In the metadescription
- In subheads throughout the piece
The nice thing about a plug-in like Yoast is that it consistently reminds you of these things. If you do it right, then all the circles are green. If you forget something, it always reminds you. See below.
Simply perform steps 2 and 3 each and every time you post a blog entry, and you should start noticing your traffic (and conversation in your blog) increasing.