Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

seo-tips-for-authors

seo tips for authors Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for AuthorsWhat’s SEO? If you have to ask, that’s okay. It stands for “Search Engine optimization” and it basically means that you try to find all the ways to make your web page friendly and desired by the search engines so that people can easily find you.

There are many, many ways people will try to tell you they have all the answers to get your page up to #1 or #2 in Google. Some of these materials you will pay for will help your search engine ranking increase (but don’t count on #1!)

However, a lot of the skills can be learned with a few technical changes to your web site. And guess what… some of it’s free!

High Search Engine Ranking has a list of free tools to help you get started.

 Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

links

links How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the InternetWhen you are writing content for your website or for another website and are able to add links, how well do you use these links? Your two goals are to (1) increase the number of people who will click on the link; (2) improve the odds of people online who are searching for your topic of information to locate you easily.

When I talk about search engine optimization, authors often get a look on their face that says “This is way over my head and not something I am interested in.” But search engine optimization can be a full-time job for a staff of 100 and large corporation or you can simply learn a few tips to improve your ability to be found on the Internet where as of December 2009 there were about 234 million web pages.

One of the simplest ways for an author to improve the odds of people finding his or her content (meaning an author’s book, article, topic of interest, speakers information, etc.) is by effectively using anchor text.

WHAT IS ANCHOR TEXT?

“Anchor text” is defined as a keyword or a keyword phrase that you write when you are linking from any website to your own or when you are linking from one webpage in your site to another webpage. Search engines use anchor text to decide the subject and relevance of a web page. Their “spiders” can see what you are linking to and they like to see that you have done some “homework” and have typed out the words to a good resource link and then linked to it.

EXAMPLE OF POORLY USED ANCHOR TEXT

Let’s say you write an article for a well known blog and you are given a “resource box” at the end where you are allowed to have a couple of sentences with your biography.

You may be tempted to write something like this:

Sandra Dee Smith is an author and speaker who talks about such topics as how to improve your hair and makeup so that you look 10 years younger than you really are. She has a new book out called “Look Good And Feel Young” that can be purchased at Amazon or click here for her website.

Now, this is a poorly written biography, but we won’t go into that right now. Instead, we are going to look at where the links are.

Let’s do a search on Google and see how many people are linked to the word “click here.” I got 6,890,000,000 results. Despite how tempting it can be, never, ever, use the words “click here” and link it to your source.

[Yes, I am guilty of this and you will find in my past writing I have done this.]

But it removes all of your opportunity immediately for people to find YOU and your content.

The word “Amazon” has 1,580,000,000 people linking to its web site.

So, would “her web site” or “her website” have been a decent option? Nope! For the term “her web site” – Google has 1,590,000,000 results. And for “her website [no space] 970,000,000.

Imagine being a vendor and having a table at  trade show to sell your book and you get there and find out there are 970,000,000 other people with tables that want to sell books to the attendees. Kind of disheartening, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why you would not want to use those terms in your links?

EXAMPLE OF WELL USED ANCHOR TEXT

Here is a much improved biography as far as links are concerned:

Sandra Dee Smith will take 10 years off your looks with tips from her new book, “Look Good And Feel Young.” [This link should go where the author wants people to buy the book--either Amazon or her personal website, etc.] As an author and speaker she can help you improve your hair and makeup so you look great and feel younger in just days. Get 20 free beauty tips you can use today at her website Inner Beauty Plus Extensions.

See the difference? The search engine also believe that you are more legitimate resource if the keywords in your anchor text actually do somewhat match the word you’re linking to.

Let’s break this down. . .

Sandra Dee’s website is Inner Beauty Plus Extensions and her website address is www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com

This is good!

Her book is called “Look Good And Feel Young.”

At first she had this for sale on her website and the address was:

www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but:

  • she may get tired of writing out that URL address many times
  • if she decides to tell people exactly where to find the book on her website, they are not going to remember this address
  • when she is on the radio promoting her book no one will remember it, especially if they are in their car
  • search engines will rank it less high if someone searches these terms than those who have more descriptive URLs

TIP: When you are selling a specific book that is yours you should always try to buy the URL that is the title for that book. If it is not available you may want to try to buy the www.titleofbookBOOK.com . It will not only help you in search engine rankings, but it will prevent someone else from buying it in the future who may have a different reputation then you want to have associated with you and your book.


HOW TO IMPROVE THIS BOOK’S ANCHOR TEXT

So Sandra Dee buys the URL lookgoodandfeelyoung.com for about $10 a year and then has it “forwarded” to the address www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm . (Check with your web site hosting company to discover how to do this. Some charge a small fee but for many it is free to forward an address.)

Now, whenever she writes the title of her book “Look Good And Feel Young” she will link it to www.lookgoodandfeelyoung.com

IN CONCLUSION

Every day as you are writing articles, commenting on other websites, using a signature in your email, or posting your biography, you have the opportunity to add perhaps one or two links. Choose the phrase that is most descriptive of where you are actually linking to but also keep keywords in mind that are descriptive and interesting to the person you wish to have actually click on the link and visit your website.

This is an easy step that you will come to do automatically in just a few days of practice. For example, when you write about your book on your webpage or in any place online, many people are tempted to write something like this:

You can read more about my book on my webpage by clicking here.

This sentence should be rewritten as:

You can read more about my book, “How to Train Your Dog in Three Days” on my webpage, Dog Training Tips and Tricks. I also recommend my free report on “The First Three Steps in Training Your New Puppy.”

And by using a tool such as a Firefox plug-in called MyWords you can come up with a variety of short phrases like this that you can say and then just randomly pick one to insert where necessary.

 How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

stats

stats Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

Recently, I tried to explain to some writers for one of my web sites that the titles of some web posts were having significant impact on the percentage of people who were opening and/or reading e-mails from our organization (or not!), as well as the click through rate from the web site. One of the writers responded that this was just a “notion” of mine and that all writing should be written from the heart.

I realized then that there are many people who are authors or writers online, who do not actually understand the amazing ability we have to track statistics of the visitors of our website. Although we do want to write from the heart, we also want to reach people with our writing, correct? If you are writing an article on how to get over a broken heart, would you like to reach an extra 500 people today with your tips by using the term “brokenhearted” rather than “broken-hearted”? Simple changes by understanding keywords can have a dramatic impact on how many people you reach.

Looking at our recent posts on my organization’s website the graph of the “reading rate” looked something like a roller coaster, with large ups and downs. And I was able to track that some of this was due to the fact that titles were not specific enough to gain the interest of our readers.

If you have a website you have the ability to receive statistics that will give you a treasure chest of information. Depending if you want free statistics or are willing to pay a price for more specific information, statistics can easily be set up for any website.

They can tell you:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • How many people are visiting a particular page on your website
  • How long those people spent on a specific webpage
  • Where in the world people live who visited your webpage
  • The trail of their visitation, meaning the order of the pages they visited
  • What page they came to first on your website
  • What page they left your website and link to someone else’s website
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit or have they been here before?
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit today or have they been here more times than once today?

With other sources you can find out what people are searching for on your webpage and if they receive results. For this with my WordPress site I use the plug-in Search Meter.

With most newsletter programs such as Get Response or AWeber you can find:

  • How many people receive your newsletter (it did not balance, their e-mail is correct)
  • How many people opened your newsletter
  • How many people clicked on the links in your newsletter
  • What links they clicked on in your newsletter
  • Sometimes it can tell you if the sale was made due to a link that was clicked on in your newsletter

One of the best sources for thorough, free, and easy-to-install statistics is Google Analytics .

One of the amazing things about using the Internet and reaching people through its channels is that very little has to be based were wrong on our gut instinct. As web designers we are given the ability to have a generous source of statistics that tell us a lot about where our site is or is not meeting the needs of the visitor.

Do you use statistics? Do they change how or what you write about? For example, if many people are searching for a particular term on your website and not finding it, are you encouraged to write an article on this topic? Have you ever used statistics to help you decide what chapters or content to write for a book, what to title it, or how to best market it? I look forward to your input on this as well!

 Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

newspaper-titles-so-important

newspaper titles so important How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?When I was the editor of a magazine, I received a wide range of articles with titles that were very undescriptive, depressing, and even unsettling. It is expected that every editor will change titles of material and one of the keys to becoming a welcomed writer at any magazine is to send in submissions with titles that could actually be used.

In fact, as the editor of a magazine, in my guidelines are described them of our needs as “Look at the cover of Good Housekeeping and study the titles. Then write articles that reflect these topics in addition to adding on the terms chronic illness and Christian faith. This will help you understand the type of articles we are looking for.”

I recently tried to explain to a couple of writers who contribute to one of my websites that I was occasionally updating titles of the content. This was for a few different reasons:

1. The title is the most descriptive part of the message and if it is not appealing or interesting people will not click on it, and therefore it never even have the opportunity to be read.

2. Many of the titles of articles people were submitting were the same or very similar. For example, if 3 people send you articles with titles like, “Getting Through The Baby Blues”; “Dealing With The Baby Blues” and “Coping With The Baby Blues” –even if all of the articles are different in conquering the challenge of baby blues– will your readers know this? No. They will think you are just reposting the same content and updating the title (as many publishers do read books that they re-release with new titles)

3. On the Internet everything comes down to best describing your content so that it can be found by those who are searching for it. Rather than having a title that says “Waiting to Adopt” one should have the title of the blog posts be “Getting Past The Discouraging Moments Of Waiting to Adopt from China.” This is of course, assuming that the blog post is actually about getting past the discouraging moments while waiting to adopt from China.

I recently read in an article, “5 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content” by a nonprofit organization, “Titles are the very first things people read in their email subject line, RSS reader and Twitter or Facebook feed. You could argue that this is the single most important part of any content you produce because without a great title people won’t click (and the all mighty click is what you’re after, right?).”

And Copy Blogger writes in “How to Write Magnetic Headlines”

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” They have an excellent 11-part series that gives some specific guidance that will increase your ability to write better headlines in just hours.

I have also found that by focusing on a quality title I am forced to be more specific in my writing and that it sometimes takes me in a new direction and creates a topic that I had not previously planned on writing about. There are times when I have a title and I start writing the article and soon it turns into three or four different articles.

Some publishing houses now go to the extent to buy Google Ad words. They create 2 to 5 different ads and have the title of each ad be a possible title of one book that they are going to publish. In just a few hours or perhaps a couple of weeks, a publisher can do inexpensive research and find out which title is the best possible one to use on the book.

I was taught as a speaker many years ago from Florence Littauer at CLASS that the best way to find not only what is trending but also how to write great headlines is to pause at the grocery store checkout line and examine those “magazines” that we are often too embarrassed to buy even if we find the headline enticing. There is a reason that everything from the National Enquirer to People magazine sell each week even when the content itself is poorly written or even false. It’s those titles!

I would love to hear your comments about how you have improved your writing of titles for blog posts, or perhaps how you chose the title of your book.

 How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

Make Marketing Easier Tip #4 – Mashapedia

Mashpedia.com defines itself as a “web encyclopedia enhanced with cutting-edge functionalities and sophisticated features such as multimedia content, social media tools and real-time information.” Okay, so, deep breath. What in the world does that mean exactly?

If you are looking for a one-stop website to find out what people are saying about your topic in which you specialize, and/or write a book on, I strongly recommend this web site.

It is free to use and you can quickly glance at it to see what people are saying across the Internet about your topic. Mashpedia is unique in the way that it integrates different online services and applications which include blog posts, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google News, Books, and more. And the best part of all? It is all in one page with a simple to read interface providing live feeds (such as twitter).

Each time you visit the content will be different and you are able to see what kinds of articles, photos, and blog posts are feeding into the stream of content online and gaining attention. For example, you may see a trend with your particular topic if there are blog posts about it, new stories, videos, and tweets.

You can also see the value of having photos in Flickr with your images titled with specific keywords that describe not only their content but may also come up in the feed.

Stick a keyword into the search engine and see what you get. I randomly put in the word “popsicles” and received a ton of information including a lot of fun photos, a book recommendation called “Always Have Popsicles: The Handbook to Help You Be the Best Grandparent…” by Rebecca Harvin, and an article “‘Popsicle Pastor’ returns home.” It’s no surprise that there are many people actually treating about eating or making popsicles and there are tons of videos on how to make an effective great tasting popsicle.

You can also see on the right-hand side of the articles that are most popular on this topic that has been “Dugg” repeatedly. What would it take for you to have an article here? What topic within your topic could gain the attention of these folks who are actively discussing it online already? Things to ask yourself…

In just a glance you can see who is tweeting about your topic, what books are highly recommended on your topic, who is making videos about your topic, and new stories and more.

 Make Marketing Easier Tip #4   Mashapedia

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