One of the key’s to Author Discovery is to build and maintain a website and blog – every author should have one – and NO, Facebook or Twitter presence does not eliminate the need to do this. You need an online home. Real estate that you own and control.
As you build your website, Search Engine Optimization or SEO becomes increasingly important, because it’s all about GETTING FOUND, which is the point of author discovery in the first place.
Search engines are the key to finding specific information on the vast expanse of the world wide web. Without sophisticated search engines, it would be virtually impossible to locate anything on the Web without knowing a specific URL. But do you know how search engines work? And do you know what makes some search engines more effective than others? When people use the term search engine in relation to the Web, they are usually referring to the actual search forms that searches through databases of HTML documents, initially gathered by a robot.
There are basically three types of search engines:
- Those that are powered by robots (called crawlers; ants or spiders)
- Those that are powered by human submissions
- Those that are a hybrid of the two
Here are four things you need to focus on in order to optimize your web content for today’s search engines:
- Find keywords
- On page SEO
- Off page SEO
- Measure, analyze, adapt, and calibrate
Let’s take them one at a time starting with the importance of keywords.
There are 5 secrets to embedding your site with great keywords:
- Think like a reader
How do you find the books you want to read? What search terms do you use? What blogs do you read for info and reviews on these books?
- Narrow down your genre
Example: Google “fiction” and get 219 MM results. Google “supernatural suspense” and get 1.5 MM results
- Play the name game
It’s not enough for people to find you by name, they need to find different combinations of your name, book title, and subject matter (Example: too many Sellouts online, but SELLOUT interracial gets you to James W. Lewis amazon profile on page 1!)
- Create author profiles everywhere
- Diversify your content
The more things you can tag the better. Your site should have tagged blogs, videos, pictures, quotes, links, bios, resources, etc.)
Once you have optimized your keywords, you then need to think about on-page and off page SEO, which are the ways you get the search engines to work in your favor.
- On page: Feed these spiders by dropping specific keywords in the page title, URL, headings, and page text of your site.
- Off page: Get linked back to your site from as many specific sources as possible so that the spiders keep having to crawl back to you. The more trusted the site linking back to you the better.
If you’ve done a good job with your SEO three things will happen:
- You will show up higher and higher in keyword searches that matter to you and you will have more and more results from all the on page and off page links you’ve built. (You can monitor this for free)
- Your website will have a good to great ranking on website graders because of the quality and diversity of the on-page content and the trust worthiness of the off-page links. (Also free)
- Your on-page traffic will continually, if not perpetually, increase. (Guess what, you can analyze this for free too!)
The most important thing to remember about optimizing your website and blog for search engines is that you can do it yourself. There are a zillion company’s online trying to sell you on the need to pay them to do things you can do yourself with a little time, focus, and persistence. Remember, you have all the tools at your disposal to truly DIY when it comes to SEO! You have the time, tenacity, and will to make it happen and you have now been empowered by reading this and other resources guiding you in the right direction!
Here are some other great sites which give away information regularly on this topic:
• www.hubspot.com (the inbound social media marketing experts)
• www.sitemeter.com (provides free website traffic analytics)
• www.googleanalytics.com (a slightly more advanced tool on website traffic and activity)
Now, let’s move on to all the glorious free tools Google offers to help boost Author Discovery!