As creatives, authors often focus on what their author website looks like. While you may have a reader magnet, book page and contact us page on your author website, that does not guarantee what your author website will get found on Google.
So what do you do if you are an author and you want to have readers find your author website on Google?
Submit your Author Website sitemap to Google
First let’s look at what SEO is, because that is a key component to having your author website being found on google. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google has things called “Bots” that crawl around the web looking for content. Almost like a colony of ants scavenging for juicy bits to take back to their home. First, Google has to know that you even exist. Just buying some cheap author website or doing the DIY option does not mean that Google is going to direct readers your way.
Make sure your website shows up on Google by submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console. This gives Google a nudge to speed up the indexing of your website.
Choose the perfect Author Website keywords
You may have heard of keywords. But what are keywords for authors and why should they matter to you when you are building your author website? As an author, you need to match the worlds that you have on your website with the worlds that potential raiders are typing into the google search console. But wait, isn’t that what people type into Amazon? Keywords. Absolutely, because at its core Amazon is a search engine. Amazon, Google and YouTube are massive search engines that allow readers, viewers and all sorts of buyers to find what they are looking for.
When there’s a match between the words people are typing into the search box and the exact terms you’ve included on your website, your listing is more likely to appear in search results. So choosing the correct keywords helps Google to match you to your readers.
Let’s say that the holidays are coming up and you are looking for a medieval fantasy series to read over the holidays. The websites that have the highest density of Medieval Fantasy words on their page are going to get noticed.
Does that mean that you just have to type in a medieval fantasy author into your author website hundreds of times? No, in fact, that will just get you penalised. Google and readers are getting smarter. The keywords have to be used in a natural format. Just like I typed “author websites” a few times in this article. If you got an award for your writing, then add it to your website. Something like “Quotes by The New York Times bestselling author DAVID BALDACCI”. Or “How do I get my website found on Google?” You know, questions like that.
Manage your Author Website meta tags
Filling out your site’s Meta tags is another strategy for getting your website on Google. Meta tags are the bits of text that appear in Google search results to give users a snapshot of the content.
When you type in a query on Google, like “best horror authors”, you’ll see the meta tags displayed in a particular format: blue lettering (called the title tag or SEO title) and the short blurb in black beneath it (called the meta description). The Meta Tags and the Meta Descriptions are both referred to as METADATA.
This text doesn’t show up on your author website, but you can pick out clear and concise wording for the metadata of every page on your author website you create. These labels are critical in convincing users to click on your link.
Just as you do throughout your website, remember to weave strategic genre keywords into your metadata. This helps Google identify your content’s relevance to particular book related queries, further strengthening your chances of getting your site on Google.
Optimise your Author Website for mobile
Mobile devices now account for about half of all global internet traffic. Do your readers really want to scroll backwards and forwards because your text on your author website does not fit their screens?
Google seems to know everything. In fact, they even know what sorts of devices people use to view your site.
Have a look at this report I retrieved from my Medieval Fantasy Author Website. There seem to be an awful lot of readers viewing the site from an iPhone. But back to google. Google knows which author websites are mobile friendly and the bots take that into account when recommending which author website meets your reader’s genre search.
Prove that you are a local
This is one of the steps that I recommend to my author clients who run businesses in a local area. Authors who are consultants, editors, copywriters or speakers can make use of this service.
Within the broader SEO world, there is a term known as ‘local SEO’, where Google helps direct location-specific searchers to services in their geographic area. Why is this important? Many people turn to Google’s search box to find the business they’re looking for before they hop into their car to go looking for a business.
Listing your author website on Google My Business helps you to get found. It is a directory of business listings that populates what appears on Google Maps. This service even gives people directions to your business. Besides keywords, creating a Google My Business account is one more way to give Google a hint that your business will be a quality result to display to users. Claim the business, go through some verification steps and list your operating hours.
Lay a link trail
Make sure there are plenty of links both within your author website and also in other platforms that are going to point to your author website. So if you have Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon and Goodreads accounts, remember to add your author website address to these places. If you have relationships with bloggers and reviewers, ask them to add your website link to articles. We call these links Backlinks.
At this stage, you’ll want to make sure your site appears as one of the top results so that users actually see and click on your pages.
Now that you have a bit of a road map on getting your author website more visible, make sure that you pick a website service provider that is going to get you onto Google and test it. If you are going to attempt to DIY your website, take the time to learn what it takes to create an author website that works just as hard as you did to create your book.
Do you need a professional touch for your author website?
Let us help you set up an author website that shows that you are an author that has your eyes set on growth.
Hello, I am Kim Vermaak
I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.
After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking
care of children and slaving away to earn a living.
I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.
Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.
Your Book Whisperer