An SEO Primer For Book Authors

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By: Penny Freedman, Fri Nov 17 2017
Penny Freedman

Author: Penny Freedman

You may have heard the term Search Engine Optimization (often referred to as SEO), and figured it’s just something for marketing folk and web writers, but did you know it’s important for book authors too?

For starters, SEO is what connects people searching online to the content they’re looking for. When you write a book about, for instance, the economic effects of air pollution you want to make sure that you capture the next economist or environmentalist searching the web for the topics your book covers. You want your book to display at the top of their search results so that your content is found easily and quickly. Springer optimizes its websites to help search engines like Google find and index our content as best as possible, but there are things you can do to help too.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes

What would they search for? What is the main topic of your book and how would it apply to the corresponding researcher? Think about the keywords that would matter to them, and create a phrase or two that best describe each of your chapter’s contents.

Use keywords in your book’s title and chapters

Now that you have those essential keywords, incorporate them as best as you can into your book’s title and chapters. Don’t forget – the first few words count. Words earlier in a title and chapter are given more value, so choose wisely

Use headings within your chapters

Titles aren’t the only way users find content. Using relevant keywords, be sure that chapters are highlighted with headings that articulate what smaller sections are about

Use keywords in your content

Keywords shouldn’t stand on their own. They should be included in the text of your book as well. While still insuring that your content is readable, the sweet spot for keywords is when they occur at least once, but preferably 3-4 times in a text of 200 words.

Synonyms and related words are important too

The words you choose might be slightly different than the words chosen by someone else even when the overall meaning is the same. Be sure that you are also utilizing synonyms and related words in your content. Test it out by looking at Google’s search results. What other words show up in a normal search?

Link to your book’s page and content

Search engines like Google look at links to webpages as “votes.” The more you share your book and chapter’s links on profile pages, social media, and websites, the better ranked your book’s pages will be.

Learn more about SEO, and find more tips and guidelines on writing your book manuscript on our book author page.

Featured Image Credit: SEO by NOGRAN s.r.o.. CC 2.0 via Flickr.

Penny Freedman

Author: Penny Freedman

Penny Freedman is a Marketing Manager on the Author Experience & Services team, based in the New York office. She works closely on sharing insight and guidance on the benefits and services available to our editors, reviewers, and authors.

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