I’ve heard it for a while now SEO is dead. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is ensuring that the content of your website is appealing to Google, and other search engines, to ensure that your site receives a high ranking and is indexed properly. Back in the day (like pre-eBooks days), internet marketers taught you that you needed keywords. If you stumble across a website and there’s a whole paragraph of seemingly related, yet unrelated, words at the bottom. That’s old fashioned keyword spamming, and it’s bad now.
If you look at Google’s system (and people use them as a benchmark because they still have a significant percentage of the search engine market), you may have heard avian terms like Penguin, Hummingbird, or Pigeon. These are the code names for their different systems.
You don’t need to be a web guru to understand SEO. Not only does WordPress have an excellent plugin, Yoast SEO, which I recommend, a little common sense these days goes a very long way. This is also, frankly, why I still advocate blogging because it’s an excellent way to have fresh, original content on you site regularly, which is something search engines like. (Plus you can feed your blogs to your social media driving traffic to your website and providing content for your social media.)
Following these few tips will help:
- Make sure the content you publish is 100% unique – never “spin” or copy content. Now, you may be wondering what about blog tours where the company sends you a pre-formatted HTML page. Use these sparingly. Certainly participate. They can help drive traffic to your site. However, make sure you’re also providing original content as well in a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio, if not more. That’s one blog tour to 3 to 4 blog posts.
- Don’t create pages with thin or duplicated content – always try to write a minimum of 200 words per page. Writing “some” content is always better than no content. Thin content would be a page with just your book’s blurb and cover and a buy link. Try adding an excerpt, maybe a different one from what you are using elsewhere.
- In the case where pages with no content can’t be updated with more text, you should consider delisting them from Google’s index to reduce negative exposure. (Hint, Yoast handles this.) This one is a bit more technical, but also a very good idea.
Think about what you would want to see on a website. What content do you want to read? How do you feel when you stumble across one of those “content scrapey” websites where everything seems regurgitated? Ensure your readers will have a good experience and not only will they, but your SEO will work for you.