We're back with more SEO for Authors. Part 5 goes over the marketing trends you should be aware of.
- Did you know that 75% of searchers will NOT go past the first page of the search results?
- Did you know that up to 80% of searchers ignore paid ads. They go right to the organic results.
- Did you know that traffic from search engines is more likely to result in conversion?
This information is from Marketo (1) and their blog offered what marketers should be paying attention to. And, if you're an author and have a book for sale, you're a marketer . . . a book marketer.
So, let's go over the 3 tips Marketo offered:
1. Video is taking over the rankings.
Studies show that 60% of people rather watch video than read text.
Fifty-five percent of current Google search results has a minimum of one video.
That's just over half of all search results has a video embedded in the blog post or webpage.
Keep in mind that YouTube is owned by Google, so is it any wonder why this will be the case? Google is favoring video.
This is something I'm not thrilled about as I prefer text over video. But as a marketer, you have to go with the flow.
Bonus tip: Create descriptions.
Randy Fishkin (2) recommends taking advantage of ‘rich snippets’.
These are the descriptions you can give to your videos, images, and other content on most CMSs (content management systems), like WordPress.
If you’re on Blogger.com, you don’t have the option of optimizing your images or video with keywords or descriptions. There are other ‘free’ website hosting platforms that don’t have this capability also.
This is one of the HUGE benefits of using a CMS like WordPress.
What does this mean for you, the author?
If you're not using video already, start incorporating it into your blogposts and on your webpages. The sooner the better.
And, be sure to create a transcript of your video.
Along with the importance of using video for visitors to your site, Fishkin highly recommends that you provide a transcript of the videos within the blog post.
The reason for this is SEO is text oriented. This means while people love video, search engines still use text to gather information from your content.
This for me won’t be difficult as I start with an article or some form of content before I create an animation or video.
2. Google is working on voice searches.
Just like you ask Alexa or Siri questions by talking, Google intends to have voice searches.
This means it will be important to use phrases that people will be saying for searches rather than simply keywords.
Marketo suggests using long-tail-keywords, but it’d probably be a good idea to include LSI keywords (synonyms for the topic) as well.
What does this mean for you, the author?
When writing your content think how people might actually ask a search question about your topic. Then try to write with that in mind. Use long-tail-keywords and LSI keywords to give a broader target.
3. You will need to have a 'mobile-responsive website.
A mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive website is one that can be navigated via a mobile device, like an iPhone.
This means that if someone lands on your website via their mobile devise, they will be able to get to all your pages through a visible menu. While it won’t look exactly like it will on your laptop or computer, it’s able to be navigated.
This is super-important as the results from searchers using mobile devises will take priority over desktops and laptops.
What's this mean for you, the author?
It's simple, make sure your website is mobile-responsive – Google will be more likely to use sites that are mobile-friendly than not.
If you're not sure, look up your site on your mobile phone. If it’s easy to navigate to the different pages, it’s good to go. If it’s not, then look for another theme.
Or, you can check if your site is mobile friendly by using:
Now it’s on to more SEO tips from Neil Patel.
In an article over at Patel’s (3), it notes that Google makes around 500+ algorithm updates a year.
While most of these updates don’t have real significance to authors and bloggers, a couple of them do.
4. Fluff or thin content is out.
According to Search Engine Land (4), if you want to show ads or promote affiliate links on your blog post, MAKE SURE the post is full of useful and 'relevant to your site' information.
In other words, don't write a blog post just to promote an affiliate link or your product. Write an informative post for the reader and naturally add the promo if it works smoothly.
This has been done a lot in the past. Affiliate bloggers would write posts just to promote their affiliate link. The content wasn’t very helpful to the reader, but the blogger didn’t care. They simply wanted the opportunity to get a click on their link and hopefully make a sale.
Those days are over.
Google is watching and sites with 'thin content' or what I like to call ‘fluff content’ will be penalized. This means Google won't send traffic to their site.
While most, if not all, of Writers on the Move’s readers don’t use this blogging strategy, I thought I should include it . . . just in case.
5. Google boosted its 'rich snippets'.
A rich snippet or featured snippet is Google’s answer to a searcher’s query.
Supposedly this was done to eliminate linking to fluff content. In other words, Google is trying to answer the search query with what it thinks is the most relevant answer.
This often makes it unnecessary for the searcher to scroll down to look for different answers to their query. This in turn means less organic search traffic for most of us.
Below is an example of a snippet using the search query: what is a laptop:
For this one I searched for: How do fish breathe?
If you notice, Google highlights the best answer, putting it at the top of the search results and on the first SERP (search engine results page). It’s giving the searcher what it thinks is the best answer.
And often, the searcher will get what he needs from that quick snippet or click on the rich snippet link without looking at the other results.
Why I mention this is to get you to think about your blog post description. If Google happens to choose your blog post as the answer to a searcher’s query, they’ll pick up your description with it.
If you don’t use a description, they’ll most likely use the beginning of your first paragraph.
Creating an effective description can matter. It’s what will help motivate the searcher to choose your blog post to click on.
Below is an example of using descriptions from Writers on the Move (WOTM).
I input a search for “SEO and Authors”. While WOTM wasn’t on page one or two of the SERPs for that keyword, we were on page three.
Considering there were almost 15 million results, being at the very top of page 3 is darn good:
Unfortunately though, it's not good enough as most people never go past page one.
But aside from that, look at the description. It’s got the keywords in it and it gives a clear message of what the article is about.
If I didn’t include a description to optimize the post, Google would have picked up the beginning of the post:
Writers on the Move will be giving some basic tips on using SEO to get more visibility and build authority in your niche . . . and hopefully sell more books. Part 2's topic is keywords and descriptions.
Not as appealing, is it?
What's this mean for you, the author:
Simple: Adding descriptions to your blog posts matters.
6. Deep and lengthy content, that’s what Google is looking for.
It seems that blog posts under 500 words are getting poor results from search engines. Even under 1,000 words aren’t doing so well.
Studies show that Google wants well over 1,000 words, closer to 2,000. Again, it's about digging deep down into a topic.
Neil Patel noted that bloggers (content writers) are taking 1-4 hours to write just ONE blog post.
For most of us, this doesn’t make sense. We write posts to be helpful, to shed some light on a topic we think our readers are interested in or should know.
I think my average posts are somewhere between 600 and 1,000 words. And, I have no intention of upping that.
I write to get the point across and while I’d love to be in Google’s rich snippet or even on its first SERP, I don’t have the time or inclination to write just to appease the giant.
What's this mean for you, the author?
Keep in mind that Google wants in depth content. It wants content that will be of real help to your readers. So, as the article marketing king, Jeff Herring, says, go an inch wide and a mile deep when giving information.
7. Another aspect of this deep content is the use of LSI keywords.
I discussed this topic in Part 4 of the SEO for Authors Series.
Basically, it's about using words/phrases that are broader than specific keywords and longtail keywords, but are still relevant to the topic.
According to Patel, "LSI keywords add context to your content and expand its reach beyond just the original topic." (2)
How it can work to create longer blog posts is that each of the LSI keywords can be used as a subheading for your topic.
I tried this with the keyword ‘book marketing’ using LSI Keyword Generator and this is the results I got:
It does give great ideas for not only subheadings, but for topics under that keyword.
You can use the free LSI Keyword Generator to find words that will work for your topic: https://lsigraph.com/
You can read the full article on LSI Keywords at:
Summing it up.
It's all about the reader experience. Google wants your blog posts to actually help, entertain, or enlighten the reader.
While I’m not going to write 2,000 words articles, unless I’m writing and that’s where it ends up, I do write for the reader.
This post is close to or around 1800 words. I didn’t do that intentionally, it’s just how it turned out to include all the information I thought would be helpful to our readers.
You need strong content - content readers will value. Content they’ll be willing to share.
TO READ ALL THE ARTICLES IN THIS SEO FOR AUTHORS SERIES, GO TO OUR WORKSHOPS PAGE:
Other article of interest:
SEO Trends in 2018 - What the Experts Think
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.
If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-class through WOW: