Saturday, July 30, 2011

SEO Keywords for Writers

Since search is one key way people can find you on the Internet, I've argued in the past that a basic SEO strategy is important to a successful online strategy for writers. However, a writer can know this but still not know which keywords to use in blog posts and on web pages.

Here are a few keywords writers should try to include when relevant on pages:
  • Your name. In my case, that would be Robert Lee Brewer. If possible, work your name into the url of any sites you can. This will definitely increase search result rankings on your name.
  • Your book titles. If you have published books, include these titles on as many relevant pages as possible. Also, link to pages that sell your published books if you include them. This will increase your search results on your book titles and hopefully sales too.
  • Your articles, poems, etc. If you have any published pieces, dedicate a page (or more) to these. I've read several poems in literary journals, for instance, that have led me to search out the poet to interview on my Poetic Asides blog. All I might have at hand to search on is the poet, poem title, and publication the poem appeared in--and sometimes, I'm not able to easily locate the poet and the interview never happens. Help people like me find and promote people like you. Include your name, piece, and publication the piece appeared in, and you may be receiving more page views and interview requests.
  • Your location (and previous locations). You don't have to give a mailing address, but location can help people searching you out to know if you are someone they may know. For instance, I've spent my life in the Dayton-Cincinnati, Ohio, and Duluth-Atlanta, Georgia, areas. Make it easy on people who are trying to find you.
  • Work experience. Again, this is helpful for people who may know you from a current or previous job. Even if the job is not related to writing, you may have mentioned your passion for writing at another job and customers or previous co-workers may be curious about whether you're still writing away. So anyone who knows me from F+W Media, F&W Publications, United Dairy Farmers, WeatherGuard, Delphi, Skyline Chili, K-Mart, Woody's Restaurant, Burger King, University of Cincinnati, or the City of Moraine Parks & Recreation should be able to find and identify me in this blog post.
When possible (and relevant), try to combine keyword opportunities on the same page. As you can see, I included several of my own keywords on this page as examples, but you can easily do this on your own website or blog by having an About Me page and/or a Previous Publications page.

I do want to clarify something: The goal is not to load your pages and blog posts up with keywords just for the sake of adding keywords. If they aren't relevant for the page or post, don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole. However, I know many writer sites and blogs that completely pass up SEO opportunities.

For instance, I've read posts by authors who mention their book as "my book" throughout a blog post without ever once referring to it by name. You better believe that if I mention either of my poetry chapbooks that I'll refer to them as ENTER and ESCAPE at least once in the post. In fact, the same goes for my two big books: Writer's Market and Poet's Market.

Here are a few more pieces on SEO:

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Jackie Layton said...

Very helpful Robert. Thanks!

Not available. said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the very useful information.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks for reading!

Unknown said...

SEO writing can be difficult especially when everyone is competing for the top pages of search engines. This is very useful information to help writers in choosing the most effective keywords or key phrases to optimize their web page’s searchability because it draws people to visit their website by appearing as one of the top results in a search.

Emilia Loza

Staci Burruel said...

Thanks for sharing these helpful tips. I think it does not only apply to writers but as well as other careers and even in businesses (except perhaps for the book titles and articles, poems, etc. specifications).

Bryan Douglas