Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to raging fans finding your website, brand, and even your books. In my last post, we examined the new Google algorithm that changes everything. You can read about mobile optimization and its impact here. I thought this would be a good time to review what good SEO looks like and bring you up to date on the tweaks you can make to stay visible.
Like most things in technology, the tricks that worked in the past may not work so much in the future. Here are some tactics that are important to keep in mind when optimizing your site.
Keywords – This is an exhaustive process if you do it right. To make things more complicated, now user “intent” should be included in your keywords. Remember, this is not what you think your keywords are but what people are using to find things in your arsenal. We’ve written about the Google Keyword Planner in the past. This tool can help you retrieve search volume of particular keywords, traffic forecasts for keywords, and suggestions for new keywords. You can find an in-depth post on this process by Carolyn Steele here. If you would like to jump in further, Rank Tracker is a great tool to that is free to download. You can use their “Suggest Keywords” tool that may save you hours of developing quality SEO.
Update your SEO – Now that you have a ton of information on the best keywords for your site or blog, it’s time to put it to use. For most people, this is not the fun part. It’s tedious but necessary. You’ll need to check your site’s keywords, descriptions, text anchoring, picture descriptions, and labels to make sure that you’re using the latest and greatest keywords.
Mobile vs. Desktop – Keep in mind that many people search for different things depending on the device. It’s important to plan for both. You’ll find a helpful tool to help you gaze into the future with the Google Keyword Planner mentioned above.
Long-Tail Search – The days are gone when we searched for single keywords. As part of your effort to identify keywords that describe your books, think about how people might search. Instead of “love story” someone might search for “Medieval love story set on another planet.” If that is what your book is about, would it show up in search? Be sure to include some of these long-tail search phrases in your website SEO.
Social – Social is a growing part of SEO. Search engines are linking your platforms in social media to your SEO. By having multiple, robust social media platforms with content, you will improve your visibility. Here’s the good news, it’s more important to have multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest) with content than to have actual engagement on the platforms. The search engine bots are looking for content, not how many “likes” and “retweets” you have.
The Future – Now that we’ve hammered keywords what happens next? Keyword search will change! The word is that at Google they are shifting to rely more on signals rather than keywords. What? After all this time I spent updating my keywords? Nothing is written in stone; this is pure speculation looking at the industry. I believe we will see SEO start moving from content strategy to other more diverse strategies. That means that your book events, press releases, and even contests will have a greater effect on your overall SEO than in the past. This doesn’t mean you should not optimize your keywords. If you are thinking ahead of the curve, it’s time to consider these other events and their importance in your Google ranking.
Link-Building – Link building is still one of the most important aspects of Google credibility. We’ve written about this in the past and you can find all the ugly details here in our link-building basics post.
Good SEO is not easy. Keep in mind, good quality content trumps all. Don’t drive yourself crazy with every last detail. Ideally, you’ll want to pick one or two of the items above to improve upon and get right. Most of all, keep it fun.
15 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization Update 2015”
I have the platforms, but I need to make my social connections work better for me. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, Jim.
Thanks Linda, I appreciate the feedback.
Thanks, Jim, another great post. Now I just have to get my brain into gear and adjust SEO again. -sigh-
Thanks, and yes, it’s a pain!
Ouch! Just when I thought I had it down, time to go back to school. You always provide a wealth of information. Thanks Jim for yet another great post.
Aron, I really appreciate the comments. Yep, we’re always learning!
Great post, Jim! Thanks. I just realized that I hadn’t worked on my website’s keywords or description in ages. Sigh. Is there some way to SEO the hours in a day?
Thanks DV. Yep, it sucks, but it must be done!
Those are great tips! I found the mobile vs desktop tips the most useful; I am always confused with that!
Thanks Mary, good luck with SEO’ing your site to the max.
Thanks, Jim, for these suggestions. I’ve been blogging for years and it’s still a mystery to me how this all works. I feel like I have to do cartwheels and somersaults to understand and yet I was so good in math. and sciences. What happened?
Thanks, Diana. What happened is there is a very large organization out there called Google that is constantly battling all the lowlifes and scum who are trying to trick people into clicking on the wrong things.
Search engine optimization has changed over the years and it has changed again this year so these tips have never been so timely for people who want to be successful at it and are expecting great results on their SEO campaigns.
Thanks, William. Glad to help. It takes a lot of work to keep on top of these things. Good Luck!
OK – off I go on another learning curve. I thought I’d done most of this, but obviously not well enough! Thanks for the links and reminders.
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