SEO for Authors: How to Optimize Blog Posts
I’m a writer. I’ve been a writer all my life. One of the hardest parts about being a writer isn’t the writing (why, that’s one of the easiest parts). No, the hardest part is discoverability. You’ve written a book, short stories, a blog—but you just can’t seem to find that audience you know that you deserve. Well, here’s a wonderful solution that doesn’t involve a grueling and painful foyer into the dreaded realms of social media… (just typing it makes my fingers sweat with nervousness)... SEO for authors.
“Wait… Come again,” you ask.” SEO for authors?”
You’re a writer. You have a blog. You want more website traffic. The more traffic you have the more likely you will sell books. You may be asking yourself, “How do I optimize my blog posts for SEO?” In fact, you may be wondering just what this whole SEO for authors thing is. Well, let’s take a step back—before we learn about how to optimize blog posts for SEO, let’s learn about this SEO thing.
SEO is search engine optimization. It’s a way to get your site ranking on Google, Bing and other search engines. What do I mean by ranking?
Have you ever typed a question on Google? Of course you have! Why am I asking such a dumb question? Anyway, this question is called a “query.” Each time you ask something, a page will come up with everything related to that search query. This page, called the SERP (search engine results page), will have everything you were looking for (in an ideal world) and you will find an answer to your question, discovering the answer via a featured snippet or on a website.
Let’s say, for example, you type in “two and forty hours” because you found it when reading Romeo and Juliet and just aren’t too sure what that means. The result below will appear.
This picture above is a “featured snippet” and usually answers your search query. Now, you may click on the link or you may not. In either class, the goal for SEO for authors is to get your blog post, book or short stories up there at the top of the SERP— in either a featured snippet or at the top ranking. A featured snippet is not Rank #1, in fact, it is called Rank #0 since it’s technically above the normal SERP listings.
Now, how do you get either Rank #1 or#0?
With Keyword Research.
Google keeps track of every query someone types into Google. These later can be searched by SEOs like myself and used in articles. Let’s take this article for example… the one that you are reading.
This one is titled “SEO for Authors: How to Optimize Blog Posts.” SEO for authors is actually a search term. This is something people type into Google as a query. I am taking this query or “keyword” and using it to write something that’s catered for that search. The goal is to have this blog post pop up at the top of the page for the search results.
How do I do that? I integrate the keyword into my content. SEO/blogging begins with keyword research.
First, you want to do keyword research. Keyword research can be done with a number of programs, such as Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, which is an amazing program. It’s free and can help you find the keywords you’re looking for. You can also use Keywords Everywhere, which is a free plugin for Google Chrome. I use both.
How do you determine the right keyword?
With Keywords Everywhere I start with the main topic. If I want to write a blog about writing the best blog, I will start typing into Google “how to write…” and it will fill in the rest.
Keywords Everywhere will help me determine what keywords to use. It will give me suggestions, and I can use the volume and competition as my determine factor of whether I want to use the keyword or not.
For example, if I search how to optimize blog posts for seo I can see the following:
It says it has a monthly search volume of 210 and a low competition of 0.05. Anything below around 0.5 is a low volume for competition. What this suggests is that if I am able to rank in the top position on Google, I am likely to receive 210 visits a month.
I can also look at related keywords as well.
If I determined I would use how to optimize blog posts for seo as my keyword, I would then examine who is my competition.
As I write this, HostGator is my competition (click on the link to check out their page). Now, there’s a tactic called the the Skyscraper Technique which was invented by a fellow SEO named Brian Dean that suggests if you write a longer, more detailed piece—you could outrank your competition.
This means that content length, images, good writing and details are key to your SEO success as a blogger and author.
Now that you have your keyword, it’s time to write content. You want to make sure you write content from 500-1200 words, though, ideally—the longer the better (as I said). The more content you have the better your post will do on the SERPs.
Choose one keyword that you want as your primary.
You want to integrate that keyword throughout your content. That would be you want to have it in the content at least 3 to 7 times.
Here’s where you need to add the keyword:
Meta Title and Description
Consistency is key. If you want to be a successful writer and blogger, you want to be consistent. In the end, making sure you always have fresh, evergreen content is essential to ranking and site health.
Try and write a blog at least twice a month.
SEO for Authors
When it comes to how to optimize blog posts for SEO for authors, it’s not too difficult. It involves a level of detail that most writers and bloggers already have. You just need to work at making sure you create a blog post that you are proud of and that you can showcase.