We’ve said it before. SEO is a serious source of competitive advantage, especially for authors and yet on first glance, it can be overwhelming. In our last Mastering SEO For Authors post, we focused on writing great content. We keep these posts short and succinct but by following the points in these posts any author can improve the ranking of their website. Of course, the ultimate goal is page one on Googles search results but these will give you a significant boost in the right direction.
The majority of authors have traditionally used pre-designed templates to create their websites but with WordPress becoming ever easier to use more and more authors are designing their websites from a blank template. The advantage is clear in that they have greater control over their artistic expression but it does bring some challenges and one of the areas most overlooked by those taking control of their website build and design is on-page SEO optimization. In simple terms, this means optimizing a web page so that it shows up in searches performed by Google and the like. Here we want to focus on two things authors can’t afford to get wrong.
1 Getting the title right!
Choosing the right title is essential to standing out from pages and pages of search results. Many SEO experts will say it’s the most important on-page SEO factor and we would have to agree. The title you choose gives search engines a high-level overview of what a page is about. To do this it has to contain the keyword or phrase which best represents the content AND reflects what readers are searching for. We will focus on keyword research for generating titles in another post.
2 Never forget your meta description!
Google now recommends that you write your own meta descriptions. If you don’t they will simply pull a snippet from the content of your pages which might not do you any favours. Your page or posts meta description needs to be the main take-away of the article. It needs to be short and to the point but above all it needs to be captivating. Why would anyone leave a description of a web page or post to chance when they have invested their time in writing it? This is low hanging fruit so don’t let your meta description go to waste!
That’s it. Short and sweet. But taking these small steps can make a big difference.