1 billion search queries are typed into Google every day, and most people enter websites by clicking on Google or Bing search result links. In order to display your website, search engines need to be able to read it. And if you want to appear amongst the top Google search results for the appropriate keywords, you have to convince Google that a) the website is offering the perfect answer to that one particular search query and that b) it is way more famous and awe-inspiring than all the other websites on the same topic could ever be.
First of all, there are various ways of appearing in the Google search results. If you are willing to make a monetary investment, don’t dismiss buying a Google ad out of hand; if you’ve got a blog or write articles regularly, absolutely do check out the Google author tag. But I’m going to talk about appearing in the “organic search results,” about making Google display your website when somebody types a relevant query, just because Google wants to. There are two equally important ways of achieving that: on-page optimization includes all improvements you can make by changing stuff around on your website; off-page optimization is everything you can do in the rest of the Internet.
If author Darcy Doodle wants her lesbian romance novel “Into The Sun” to be found on Google, she doesn’t just want to appear whenever folks type the words “darcy doodle into the sun.” Ideally, she’ll also want to appear when people are looking for “lesbian fiction.” However, “lesbian fiction” is a huge keyword with a lot of results. A lot of people want to be found for that query, including unbeatable professional sales platforms such as Amazon.
“Lesbian romance set in idaho” would be more promising, but on the other hand, would anybody be looking for lesbian romance set in Idaho? (not a rhetorical question, actually, as Google’s keyword planner can provide an exact answer of queries per month. Maybe the world has been waiting for lesbian romance set in Idaho) So before you do anything else, do sit down and pick the right keywords. Then place those keywords on your website and your blog strategically, phrasing your website texts around them. Implementing SEO standards on your website, by the way, will also make it more accessible for people with disabilities.
Google will now be able to make a connection between the website and relevant search queries. Now Google needs to be convinced that the website is more relevant and famous than other websites with similar content. This is where Google counts all the links pointing at the website. So as the most important off-page tool of SEO, you’ve got to start creating links systematically. (But be cautious about buying them from link sales platforms. Google famously penalizes cheaters.) One of the most efficient ways of building links for authors is activity in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. It isn’t just easy to come up with good reasons to place links there; Google also has a preference for them. Google also enjoys links in press releases, on websites that already rank well in Google on their own, as well as links placed on blogs and in articles. When my boss asked me what use writing these blog entries would be for us, I gave him “link building” and here I am now, typing.
About the Author
When not working on a PhD in German literature, Angelika Niere is a director at BIEG Hessen, an office established by various Hessian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to help small companies improve their online marketing. She is in charge of writing and publishing marketing guides, specializing in content marketing and social media marketing in particular.