Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts

SEO for Authors Part9 – Duplicate Content

Some bloggers (book marketers) are under the misconception that having their article reprinted on another website is a problem. They fear Google will penalize them.

This is NOT true. And, this comes from expert advice.

But, first let’s understand what duplicate content is. It’s when the identical or near-duplicate content appears on more than one webpage.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s on your own website or whether you have a guest post on another website, or whether a scraper site steals your article and posts it.

Scraped content is when a site takes your content and posts it on their own site without permission. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this, but you don’t have to worry about being penalized for it.

Allowing Reprints or Syndication of Your Blog Posts

According to Moz, Google understands syndication. What will possibly happen is the duplicate content (reprint) “will be filtered out of search results.”

I use guest posts on my site because it adds value to my readers. It brings a wider perspective and hopefully more information on a topic. So, I’m not concerned about it being in search results for the content.

On the flipside, I allow my articles to be reprinted because it broadens my visibility. The hosting site has its own readers and visitors who will possibly see my content for the first time.

This is a win-win for me and the hosting site. I broaden my marketing reach and the hosting site gets fresh content that will hopefully help its readers.

To further emphasis the myth of duplicate content, Neil Patel says:

Googlebot visits most sites every day. If it finds a copied version of something a week later on another site, it knows where the original appeared. Googlebot doesn’t get angry and penalize. It moves on. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.

Playing It Safe and Being Ethical

Syndication can be a valuable marketing tool and it’s definitely a legitimate strategy, but to play it safe and give credit where it’s due (for Google’s sake), always reference the original content link.

You might be saying, “But, I allow the author a tag or bio that links back to their website.”

While this may be true, it has nothing to do with Google.

You want to let Google know that the content you're reprinting originated from another webpage. Again, your blog post may not be put in the search results, but you’ll be playing the game right.

I try to always reference the original URL of a guest post I use. I say “try” because sometimes I’m in a rush and forget to do it even though it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten. I do have to try harder.

What Google Says on the Matter

Did you know that Google has a page just about duplicate content. Below is what it says about allowing reprints or syndication of your content:

If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you'd prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.

If you have a question related to this post, just enter it in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer it.

To read the previous articles in this SEO for Authors series, go to:

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-classes through WOW:


Importance of Email Signatures

Reasons Why to Self-Publish Your Nonfiction Book

Book Marketing – To Give or Not To Give

SEO and the Author P8 – Images and Website Speed

In a previous SEO and the Author series post (see the link below in More to Read), I talked about how to optimize your website images. However, I didn’t touch on what the size of the image files can do to your site.

For the average author website, most use JPGs or PNGs for their images. The problem that may arise is the size of the file. The larger the file the slower the website.

So, why should you care about your website speed?

Because of Google, of course.

When your website takes a long time to load, and we’re talking just an extra few seconds, it affects your website speed.

One of the things Google looks at when they decide to list your site in a search result is the speed of your website. A factos that effects how quickly or slowly your site will load is the size of the images you use. 

If your site is slow to load, people who land on it won’t bother waiting – they’ll just leave. This is considered a bounce.

Google monitors your bounce rate. If a lot of visitors bounce (leaves your site before it loads or leaves very quickly for other reasons), Google will note that you have a high bounce rate which means poor performance.

According to MOZ, “A poor performing website results in a poor user experience, and sites with poor user experiences deserve less promotion in search results.” (1)

Okay, that was a bit of a sidetrack, but I wanted you to understand the importance of speed and your website.

Back to Images

Going back to images, the longer an image or images take to load, the slower your website will be. So, when deciding whether to use a JPG or PNG, go for the JPG.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because PNG files are much larger than JPG files, sometimes double the size for the same image.

This means that PNG images take longer to load.

According to Thrive Themes, “Even on a fast connection, large image files can take several seconds to load. And when it comes to website speed and conversion rates, you don't have several seconds to spare [. . .] Loading several, large, uncompressed images can slow your pages down to an absolute crawl and that will send your bounce rate through the roof.” (2)

Why would anyone use PNG images?
While in most cases, the JPG and PNG images may look similar, the PNG files are clearer, crisper. For some sites this difference makes a difference. But for most of your uses, it’s not worth the extra load time and space taken on your computer.

For a more comprehensive look at images types and sizes, read:

(1) How Website Speed Actually Impact Search Ranking 

(2) Image Type and Size for Fast Websites


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’d like more writing tips or help with your children’s story, check out: Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-classes through WOW:


SEO and the Author P6 - Image Optimization

Items to Bring for Your In-Person Book Events

Build a Successful Online Business: 5 Must-Know Steps

SEO and the Author Part7 - Your Landing Page

The landing page - we’ve all heard this term numerous times. Some people have an idea of what it is and others have no clue.

Interestingly, the landing page isn’t what most people think it is. Most think it’s the first page a visitor sees when randomly clicking onto your website.

This is not the case.

According to Kissmetrics, the landing page is a “specially-designed” page that leads visitors to a specific page - in the exact direction you want to take them. (1)

Okay, so what does this mean?

Well, rather than having a visitor randomly land on your home page and then have to navigate for himself to the important information you want to share, you direct that visitor’s steps from the moment he clicks on your link.

Let me add here that your home page has it's own purpose. It's to attract the visitor and motivate her to dig deeper into your site. Just to keep things clear - every page on your website should have a purpose.

So, How Do You Direct a Visitor’s Steps?

This is simple. You lead them through your content and the clickable URL you provide.

When you’re writing your marketing content, you will include a link to the page you want to bring the visitor.

Here’s an example of this strategy in action:


Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 170+ page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent and marketing your books.

Notice that I have “Writing Fiction for Children” linked to my landing page or sales page. I add this blurb as an ending to some of my blog posts.

Also, note that I have an image of the product included. If you’re using WordPress or another CMS that offers image optimization, you can link that image to another page on your website or to your Amazon Sales Page.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have an image optimization feature.

Aside from that though, it’s pretty easy to understand, right?

But, What Exactly Is the Purpose of a Landing Page?

The sole purpose of these pages is to convert visitors. In other words, you want the visitor on that page to take an action you want her to take.

You may want that visitor to:

- Sign up for your mailing list
- Buy your book (as in my example above)
- Take advantage of your services
- Register for a class or workshop you’re offering
- Download a free chapter of your book
- Buy your product/s

If your page is well-designed, it will convert visitors. It will motivate them to take the action you want them to take.

In order to do this, you need to have a clear focus for your page . . . a clear goal for the page.

Now for the SEO question:

How Can You Optimize Your Landing Page?

1. The visitor must immediately know what the page is about and what she can do on the page.

2. Your most important information – the WIIFM information - must be quickly visible.

Why should the visitor take action? Why should she buy your book rather than someone else’s? Or, why should she sign up for your mailing list?

Here’s the link to The Writing World as an example of a newsletter (subscriber list) landing page:

3. Have a clear and easy to understand CTA (call-to-action).

4. Give the information before asking the visitor to take action. Put the CTA (call-to-action) below the reasons why she should say YES to your request.

There are exceptions to this rule though as with The Writing World. Visitors to that page know they’re there to sign up for a newsletter (a mailing list) so I give them the option to skip the ‘promo’ content.

5. The entire page should work together.

Kissmetrics states that the CTA is “possibly the single most important part of any landing page . . . and should be supported by everything else on your landing page, from headline and body copy to images and overall layout.” (1)

6. Keep it simple and uncluttered – don’t have multiple boxes to click on. Don’t offer too many choices.

Again, the page should have a clear focus. Don’t dilute that focus.

7. Keep the page updated. If you’ve made any changes to your product or other, update your landing page.

8. Keep the page friendly and easy to read.

According to Marketing Experiments, “People don't buy from websites, they buy from people." (2)

As an author, part of your job is to create and maintain an effective author/writer platform. Paying attention to marketing trends and current SEO tips is a good way to do this.

It’s also important to remember that search engine optimization isn’t just for search engines, it’s for people (searchers’) too. Having your website and landing pages visitor friendly is as critical as having it search engine friendly.

Hope this helps you on your writing and book marketing journey.




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’d like more writing tips or help with your children’s story, check out: Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-class through WOW:

SEO for Authors Part6 - Image Optimization

In Part 6 of SEO and the Author Series, we'll learn that SEO doesn’t stop at text, it’s a part of everything you do online, including your images.

While the search engines can’t READ an image (not yet), you are able to provide that image with keywords and a description in WordPress. It’s this optimization that gives the search engines more details about your post.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have this capability and I’m not sure which of the other free website hosting platforms do or don’t.

So, this article will deal with WordPress.

The first step – finding an image.

The first thing you want to do is find an image that is perfect for your blogpost. When finding an image, be sure it’s royalty free, public domain, and/or creative commons.

Sites that offer free images include:

You’ll also want to get images that are ‘free for commercial use’ and possibly with ‘no attribution required’ (this is a personal preference).

For much more information on finding and using images, go to:
Where to Find Royalty Free Images

Please note – you need to read the information on these sites to determine for yourself if the images are royalty free and FREE to download.

The penalties for accidently using a copyrighted image without permission can be steep, so be careful.

Creating your own images. 

I create about 95% of my own images, including my website header and social media banners. For the other 5 percent, I buy images from BigStockPhoto.

I started creating my own images a few years ago because I read an article about how two savvy sites were hit with penalties . . . in the thousands.

Here are the articles:

Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story

(Read the comments also for tips on safe images)

How using Google Images can cost you $8,000

I figured if they could make a mistake like that, I didn’t want to risk it. So, I attended a webinar for Logo Creator software and became hooked.

I even created an image using the software to sell on BigStockPhoto. I love creating images and when I have the time, I’ll get more up there.

The second step – optimizing the image.

1. Image optimization begins with the filename you give the image when you save it to your computer library.

It’s needs to be keyword effective.

So, when I created the Image for this post, I titled it SEO3.

I should have titled it SEO and the Author. But, I’m always in a rush and I have two earlier SEO images titled SEO1 and SEO2.

2. Next, you will upload the image to your website - WordPress or other content management system (CMS).

- Go to your Dashboard then to your Media File.

- Click on Add New.

- Click on Select Files.
- Find the file you saved and upload it.

3. Once you upload the image, you’ll be brought to an optimization page.

If you’re not automatically brought to the optimization page, click on the image and it’ll take you there.

This is what you should see:

If you notice, I filled in the Alt Text and the Description. This is how you optimize your image.

Note: I should have created a more keyword effective title when I created and saved the image to my laptop.

I might have used Not All Blogging Content is the Same.

The reason you want to create a keyword effective title for your image from the get-go is because that’s what WordPress will use as the title it gives the image in your WP Media File.

This is basic image optimization.


Royalty free – copyrighted images that are free of royalties or license fees.
Public domain – Images created in the U.S. prior to 1923.
Creative commons – copyrighted images that under the creative commons license are free to use commercially. You can modify and build upon these images.
Free for commercial use – you can use these images for any kind of business purpose.
Attribution required – you must give credit to the author and the site that’s offering the image.


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter and 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-classes through WOW:

SEO for Authors Part5: Marketing Trends to Be Aware Of

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, 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:

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.







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:

SEO for Authors Part2: Keywords and Descriptions

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.


If you want to be a savvy book marketer, every thing you do online should have keywords in it. This goes for your webpages and your blog posts.

With that said, you definitely don't want to overdo them.

Keywords are simply words or phrases that people use to search for things online and help search engines to determine what your website and/or post is about. And as an author, you should know the basics for your book marketing journey.

As an example, let's look at the title of this blog post:
SEO for Authors Series: Keywords and Descriptions

This is a heavy keyword title. I didn't do this for search engine optimization in particular, I just wanted to make the article's intent clear to the reader.

Google and the other search engines have come a LONG way. You don't need high-handed antics to get them to know what you're talking about.

But, let's go over the keywords in the title: SEO, authors, keywords, and descriptions.

Since 'descriptions' is kind of a generic term, it really doesn't help searchers. But Google, from the rest of the title and from the article itself, will know that it means in regard to SEO and book marketing. Because of this, they may very well use if for a searcher looking for information on descriptions for search engines.

I wouldn't advise using a lot of keywords in your articles or webpages. This article is full of them because it's the topic and I really couldn't avoid them.

Ordinarily, you only want two or three uses of a particular keyword. In fact, with Google's advancements in their algorithms, they can get the gist of your article without any keywords. That's how advanced it's become.

Other places to use keywords is in the sidebar when you're creating your blog post. You have  areas where you can input keywords. This further helps the search engines index and categorize your article. And, it's a quicker way for them to find them.

Here's an picture of the area in Blogger - the Labels section is where your keywords go:

Here's what it looks like in WordPress:


Now it's on to descriptions. As you can see in the Blogger picture above, there's a separate area to input a brief description of what your article is about.

Unfortunately, most authors don't take advantage of this feature and it's a mistake.

When Google looks for the answer to a searcher's query, it looks at everything, including titles,  keywords, the article itself, the description, and even the optimization of photos. And, if it decides to use your article as the results of a search query, it will use the description along with the link.

If you don't provide a description, Google will, it seems, take the beginning of your blog post.

Now, if your post doesn't jump into a motivating pitch to get the searcher to click on YOUR link, then s/he will  click on another results supplied by Google.

On the other hand, if you create an effective description, you'll have a better chance of getting that click back to your website.

Below is the results for a search for 'book marketing.'

This is what the searcher will see when the results of his query comes up. It's the description that will be a determining factor if that searcher clicks on your link.

And in the Blogger picture above, you can see how I filled in the 'search description' area for this blog post.

So, where ever you have the ability to input information to make it easier for the search engines to use your link and people to find and be motivated to click on your link, DO SO.


The same goes for using social media. Make your posts keyword effective and ALWAYS include a description.

Here's an example from Twitter:

It's an effective, motivating description that will encourage searchers or readers to click on your link.

The next article in the series will be on Outbound Links in your blog posts.


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and ghostwriter. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

To find out more about Karen's online platform classes, visit:


Keywords and Search Engines (What Every Author Should Know)

Why Purchase Your Own ISBN?

Does Your Author Business Card Include the Basics?

SEO for Authors Series: The Basics

Thanks to a suggestion from author of the Frugal Books, Carolyn Howard-Johnson (a contributor to this blog), Writers on the Move will be giving monthly tips on how authors can use SEO effectively.

SEO seems to be confusing and even a bit scary to some. But, it needn’t be. In fact, think of it as your best online friend.

This acronym stands for search engine optimization and its fundamental purpose is to get you visible and build your authority through organic strategies.

This in turn will help you build your readership and help you sell your books and/or services.

Organic means strategies that are free.

And, it's important to understand that having your site and content optimized is for the search engines, searchers (the people using keywords/phrases to search for what they want), and visitors to your site.

Before I delve into SEO, let me talk a bit about websites.

You Need a Website

Every author and writer should have their own website. If you weren’t sure about this before, you can be now.

You can’t rely on social media networks for your only online address. For instance, having a Facebook author page is a good idea, but it shouldn’t be the only place people can find you for a number of reasons.

These networks are continually changing the game. Your organic marketing reach (the other users who actually see your posts) is shrinking more and more. To get more visibility you need to pay to 'boost' your post.

The last I read, organic reach for the average Facebook Page is below 5 percent.

And, if a social network doesn’t like what you’re posting, they can remove it.

To establish a solid book marketing foundation, you need a website.

But, I’m getting off track here.

What is SEO?

SEO is kind of like a popularity contest. Certain actions by people can give your website a vote of confidence (authority). A few of these actions are:

- Liking you
- Sharing your content (blog posts)
- Clicking on your link that leads back to your website (this is considered an inbound link)
- Staying on your site for more than several seconds
- Linking back to your site from their website (this is considered a backlink)

Google considers these actions votes.

If a lot of people are giving you votes, Google will make your website and content more visible to people searching for keywords that are relevant to your site.

An Example of SEO in Practice

Writers on the Move’s basic keywords are writing tips, book marketing, and marketing.

If we’re doing a good job getting votes from people, Google will list our posts higher up on its search engine results page (SERP).

This in turn will bring even more people to our website, giving us more votes.

How it works:

I write a post on book marketing. I share that post on my social network accounts. People see the post and click on the link back to this website to read the post. The visitors find the post informative, so they share it and maybe comment.

Then Amanda comes along and wants to learn about ‘book marketing’. She puts that keyword in Google’s search box.

Google scours its millions or billions of tidbits of information and sees that Writers on the Move has an article that has gotten votes and is relevant to Amanda’s search keyword. So, Google puts the link to that article on the first SERP so Amanda can see it.

Amanda sees the title of the article and the brief description I included. She thinks it will be helpful so clicks on it.

See where this is going?

The more visibility, the more people come to your website. This in turn boosts your authority and ranking along with your chances of ‘conversion’ (turning visitors into customers or clients).

This is SEO.

Sharing and Commenting

Because of this cycle of sharing and visitors and sharing and more visitors, it’s essential to get people to share your blog posts. It’s considered another vote.

And, commenting is yet another vote as to your site’s authority.

Google pays attention to everything.

So, if you’re reading this post and find it’s helpful, PLEASE Share it. And, if time allows, please comment.



Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and ghostwriter. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

To find out more about Karen's online platform classes, visit:


Why Purchase Your Own ISBN?
Does Your Author Business Card Include the Basics?
Writing Tips on Revisions - Do a Verb and Word Check

Article Marketing – Publishing and Optimizing a Blog Post Using Blogger

Writers on the Move's next FREE webinar will be Friday, February 15th at 4PM EST.

Article Marketing – Publishing and Optimizing a Blog Post Using Blogger

Blogging is an essential part of creating and increasing your visibility. It helps put you on the internet’s radar. And, part of blogging is to create engaging, informative, and optimized content in the form of blog posts.

But, simply throwing up a blog post doesn’t ensure the search engine spiders will find and categorize your content. There’s more that has to be done to create search engine optimized content.

That’s what this free screen-sharing webinar is all about.

During the webinar I’ll post an article to the Writers on the Move’s blogsite and tweak it for search engine optimization – all in real time!

And, I’ll show how to find and implement SHARE buttons on Blogger.

While this webinar is focused on Blogger posts, much of the optimization is applicable to WordPress and other services.

So, if you want to make your blog posts more effective and get more ‘bang’ for your online marketing efforts, register today!

To register just click on the link below and fill out the form.

For full details, click on our Workshop Page.

The things we Mom's do. The last webinar I gave, one for the WOW! Women on Writing e-class I'm currently conducting, my daughter's dog was barking and no one was home to take care of her. It was distracting to say the least. So, this time I made my daughter aware of the day and time. She's promised to take the dog out for a while. For those who don't know, my daughter lost her apartment in storm Sandy and she and her dog have been living with me. My daughter's taken over the spare bedroom and her dog has taken over the living room recliner. :)

What's kind of funny is right before Sandy I bought a brand new recumbent bike. Since the storm I haven't been able to get to it - it's in the spare bedroom buried behind and under my daughter's belongings!

Hope to see you at the webinar!

To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi
Award-Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter
Author Online Presence Instructor

Create and Build Your Author Online Presence
Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services


What is SEO and SEO Marketing?

What is SEO and SEO Marketing?

If you’re like the majority of people, you may be wondering what SEO is. Well, it’s simply an acronym that stands for ‘search engine optimization.’

According to, “Just about every Webmaster wants his or her site to appear in the top listings of all the major search engines.” SEO is the means to accomplish this.

SEO marketing is the strategies or techniques used to create visibility and website ranking within the search engines, such as Google and Bing. And, even with Google’s latest update, the Penguin’s SHARING factor, these strategies are still effective, and needed.

Sidetracking just a moment, Google’s latest update takes the ‘social’ element of blog posting to the next level. Along with your SEO tweaks, your content must be SHAREABLE.

Content that others find valuable enough to share, whether informative or entertaining, is what will help get a higher ranking with the search engine.

Okay, back on track now.

Every online marketing strategy includes promotion, and SEO marketing is a promotional tool under the marketing umbrella. The marketing umbrella covers the creation or manufacturing of a product or service, research and development (R&D), distribution, and any other elements needed to get a product from creation to the consumer. Promotion creates visibility, which in turn leads website traffic and customers.

Utilizing online promotion means you will be using the internet and search engines. SEO marketing is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your website and your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword), your site may be one of those on that first search engine results page (SERP), or at least within the first few pages.

Another explanation of SEO marketing:
It is basically the steps you take to have Google, Bing, and other search engines find, index, and put your website on one of their first SERPs whenever people use ‘your keyword’ to search for something.

In essence, SEO marketing is kind of a popularity contest.
When you use effective keywords within your website (title and meta tags) and in informative posting content, Google and the other search engines will find, index, and rank you. This allows you to be picked up and shown on the search engines’ results pages for specific search terms. When a ‘searcher’ finds your link on the SERP and clicks on it, you get a link to your site. The more inbound links to your site – relevant to your keywords or not - the more Google and other search engines ‘like you’ and consider you an authority.

Going a bit further, getting links from other sites with the same keywords in their links that you have in yours, is much better. This is considered as a higher ‘ranking vote’ by Google and establishes your site as having more authority. The more ‘link votes’ you get, the more Google will perceive your site as valuable and give you a higher authoritative ranking.

To be found and ranked by Google, you need to add effective and relevant keywords to your site and content, and have SHAREABLE content.

To find effective keywords, you can go to

Click on the Google Keyword box and it will take you to the Google Adwords search tool.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and ghostwriter. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

Find out more about Karen's online platform classes at: 


Article Marketing – Reprint Strategies Pros and Cons
Creating Images – Simple and Quick


Clever Ways to Promote Your Ecommerce Website

GUEST POST: Clever Ways to Promote Your Ecommerce Website

By Margaret Jules

Until yesterday selling your product was all about maintaining your local customer base and today it’s all about marketing your ecommerce website for a successful business model. However there are no shortcuts to success. You can only apply some smart techniques to get more hits. Website promotion is actually integral to virtual sales. Try multiple ways at a time to drive traffic towards your website. There are a variety of free and paid promotional methods that you can adapt to hit the bull’s eye. Here are some clever ways you can experiment with to increase your customer database gradually.

1. Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO tops the charts when we talk about ways and techniques to get more hits. This is fast becoming one of the essentials for attracting prospective clients to your webpage. Develop internal WebPages focused on each of your target keywords. Your page title should be keyword rich. Try to do away with the filler words to the extent possible and focus on keyword prominence. SEO makes it easier for the search engines like Bing or Google to locate your website and place it in front of your prospective buyers.

2. Create and follow your blog

Blogging is not all about writing; it is also about staying connected. Your blog should have interesting content that can lure your potential visitors and help them learn about your service or product offerings. You can also ask some relevant bloggers to write for your product or proved service reviews. Who knows…you might get lucky. Try to invite guest authors to your blog. Offer links to relevant content on your webpage in your blog. Link your webpage and blog together. Respond to queries and fan comments on your blog. This will help in creating some brand image about your company.

3. Use social networking sites

Social networking is the latest buzz. Social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook can help spread the word. Create your company page on Twitter and Tweet as often as you think is desirable in the interest of business. Tweet about your latest promotions, discounts or any new service offering. Create a dedicated Facebook page and encourage your current customers to become fans and leave comments.

4. Other simple techniques like Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) can help you in topping the charts of the search engine results. Every time a person clicks on your sponsored advertisement you pay a small predetermined charge. This can serve as a tool of viral marketing. This will also help you create immediate traffic for your ecommerce website.

Ecommerce website promotion is all about real time marketing and creating brand awareness. Google+ pages can also help you promote your product and brand, apart from other various simple and easy methods. Letting your targeted audience know about your existence is the key to a successful virtual business.

About the author:  Margaret Jules lives in Finland and has been doing internet marketing for last 5 years. She loves travelling, meeting new people and works at SEO Morpheus.

Other Online Marketing Reading

Headlines That Increase Website Traffic and Website Conversion Rates
Beyond Book Sales Income: Book Marketing and Diversification
Facebook Timeline Banner
Engage in Social Networking the Twitter Way

To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars - signup for The Writing World newsletter on the right top sidebar!

Karen Cioffi
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer
Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012

Find Karen’s eBooks on writing and marketing at: (check the sidebar for titles)

Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services

A Ghostwriter - 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business Part 2

A Ghostwriter - 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business Part 2 

(Features two to five)
By Karen Cioffi

2. A Ghostwriter Provides Informational Content

Information rules in today’s ever changing world. Providing informative and/or instructive content to your staff, customers, and potential customer is now essential, especially with business transparency being a desirable feature that employees and customers look for.

While businesses and marketers can generate their own content, a ghostwriter frees up company time for more productive and revenue generating work.

‘Informational gifts’ is another content product that businesses need to be aware of. Of the thousands of websites within your industry available for customers to find and subscribe to, why should they choose yours? That’s where an ‘ethical bribe’ comes in to play. Providing an informative report or e-book with valuable information that your potential customer will appreciate tends to motivate that individual, company, or visitor to click on your opt-in box, thereby increasing your mailing list. And, every business knows the importance of having a mailing list – it’s crucial with the increasing e-commerce trends.

It’s this offering of valuable and quality information that helps build a relationship with your site’s visitors and keeps them coming back. This ongoing relationship will eventually lead to an increased mailing list and sales.

3. A Ghostwriter for Your Business’ Landing Pages and Products

The first impression an online searcher – potential customer searching for your product or business type - will have of a business, is its landing page. Obviously, a business needs to have an attractive, quick loading, SEO friendly, and informative page. Now, while a ghostwriter will most likely not be a web designer, she can create the needed content for the site, content that will engage the visitor and motivate him to subscribe to the mailing list and make contact with the business.

The mailing list is what generates long-lasting relationships and sales. Through the mailing list you can offer information, along with product and/or business promotion. Marketing experts advise though, to offer a 75 to 25 percent ratio of information to promotion.

Again, information is what people want today; they want to know how to find a solution to their problem or need, and they want to be informed. If you provide that, you will have sales.

Along with creating effective landing page content, a ghostwriter can produce product descriptions and guides. Through the information you provide and additional research, she can create informative and customer appreciated content, thereby fostering customer loyalty.

4. A Ghostwriter – Copywriting and Keywords
In addition to writing articles, newsletters, e-books, reports, and other content, a ghostwriter should know copywriting. While this skill isn’t essential for some aspects of the job, it is important in the event a client requires projects such as landing pages, email marketing, product guides, articles, or other.

And, being aware of SEO and keywords will help the ghostwriter create traffic effective content, leading potential subscribers and customers to the business’ website.

Knowing copywriting and SEO is a surefire way for a ghostwriter to increase her value to business clients.

5. A Ghostwriter Must be a Good Writer
Lastly, the number one quality a ghostwriter needs to have is being a good writer. It’s also a good idea for the ghostwriter to specialize in a couple of different areas – this also increases her value to specific clients.

If you are thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, you might ask for samples and/or testimonials. Note here: testimonials from ghostwriting clients may be difficult, if not impossible to come by . . . for obvious reasons. If the ghostwriter can’t provide testimonials, it’s important to understand why and ask for writing samples instead.

If you missed Part 1, you can read it here:
A Ghostwriter – 5 Features that can Help Build Your Business Part 1

More Freelance Writing Articles

Freelance Writing Work: The Possibilities
You Can Write for Money

To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars - signup for The Writing World newsletter on the right top sidebar!

Karen Cioffi
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer
Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012

Find Karen’s eBooks on writing and marketing at: (check the sidebar for titles)

Karen Cioffi Writing Services
A Team of Professionals for Businesses and Individuals

6 Steps to Article Content Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized

As the founder and manager of a marketing group that utilizes article marketing, I've noticed that some writers don't know the proper formatting of an article. Along with this, there are even more who don't know how to use keywords and tags for search engine optimization.

It's important for any writer writing articles to increase visibility, expert status, and readership to know how to use their content effectively. That's where this article comes in.

Creating article content is an essential marketing strategy. It establishes you as an authority in your niche or on a particular topic, increases your visibility and readership, and brings traffic to your site. It also broadens your marketing reach, which helps bring more traffic to your site.

Bringing traffic to your site to sign up for your mailing list is the real goal to any marketing strategy, even more so than selling a product. The reason for this is that a person on your mailing list gives you the opportunity to build a relationship and promote various products and services – it provides the basis for multiple sales. A non-subscriber, a one-time visitor/buyer is just that: a one-time deal.

In fact, Jeff Herring (Article Marketing Guy) says, “Article Marketing, when done correctly, is one of the most powerful forces online.”

If you notice, Herring says, “when done correctly.”  Part of doing it ‘correctly’ is to have your article content properly formatted.

If you’re taking the time to use article marketing, whether posting to your blog, guest blogging, or submitting to article directories, you should create quality content and have it formatted properly. Any content you publish or share is a reflection of your writing skills – make those skills shine.

Six Steps to Properly Format Your Article Content and Have it SEO Ready
1. Article Titles and Subtitles

According to, “Better Titles = Additional Article Views = More Resource Box Clicks = Higher Website Traffic.”

Your title should be reflective of the article content and the first letter of each word should be capitalized.

Not Effective or Correct: Article marketing: formatting your content

Effective and Correct: Article Marketing With Properly Formatted Content

The normal rule for words such as “a,” “an,” “to,” and “the” is it’s not necessary to capitalize them. And, if at all possible leave out punctuation that can break-up the article’s url. Notice above that the ‘effective title’ eliminated the ‘colon.’

Titles should also be keyword effective. Try to include the keyword at the beginning of the title, not at the end. EzineArticles also notes that “longer titles maximize your ability to attract readers with a specific promise that is highly relevant to your niche.”

The same rules hold true for your subtitle.

2. Include Keywords in the Body of Your Article

Unless you don’t care if the search engines pick up your article, or if it gets more distribution in the article directories, you need to include keywords throughout your article. But, don’t overdo it. It’s important for your keyword to be in your topic headings (if applicable), the first and last paragraphs, and in a couple of other paragraphs.

3. Spacing Your Article Content

Every paragraph in your article should have an extra line between it and the next one. If the formatting calls for it, the beginning of each paragraph should be indented.

You should also keep your paragraphs relatively short. Readers like plenty of ‘white space.” This ‘white space’ allows for easier and quicker reading.

Notice my formatting in this article.

In addition, it’s necessary to use proper grammar and punctuation.

4. Include Your Bio

You’d think every writer would make sure they receive credit for their article content, but if you read some blogs, even those with multiple contributing authors, there are some with no byline. Even if it’s your own blog, at least end the post with your name.

For article directories, each service has its own resource box instructions. For guest blogging you don’t want your byline to be too long – make it short and effective. You can include your name with a couple of sentences letting the reader know why he should click on your link.

5. Article Content Marketing Tags

Including keywords or tags where allowed is essential to article marketing and its SEO effectiveness. Most hosting services and article directories provide specific areas at the bottom of the article for keywords or tags. Take advantage of this SEO tool.

These tags should be relevant to the content and will allow the search engines to categorize and index your content. This in turn will allow your article to be found by people searching for your topic.

So far, five article content formatting and SEO ready tips to get your articles doing what they should be doing: getting read, going viral, and bringing traffic to your site.

6. Link to More Article Content

This step is simple. In any article you publish on your own blog or submit for a guest post link to other articles or a landing page on your site. You can do this within your article content, just hyperlink a relevant word or phrase to a relevant article on your site.

You can also include a “Related Articles” section at the end of your article and list a couple of titles with hyperlinks to the actual articles on your site. Or, after a bit of information within the article add, “For more information on this check out” and add the link.

This allows you to get even more ‘juice’ out of your articles. You may not be able to do this with article directories, but for your blog posts, it will keep visitors on your own site longer and draw them further into your pages, and will bring visitors to your guest posts back to your site. Search engines like this marketing technique.

One final tip: Don’t forget to proof and edit your article content before you submit or publish it.

Happy Article Marketing!

Related Articles:

Video for Promotion with Maggie Ball
Creating Content: 10 Online Repurposing Formats
How to Create an Ebook – 5 Simple Steps

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer

Find Karen’s eBooks on writing and marketing at:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing (children’s author site)

SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions

SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions

In its simplest form, promotion is a tool or strategy under the marketing umbrella. The marketing umbrella covers the creation or manufacturing of a product or service, R&D, distribution, and any other elements needed to get a product from creation to the consumer. Promotion creates visibility.

Utilizing online promotion means you will be using the internet, search engines, and SEO. SEO is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword) your site may be one of those on that first SERP.

Marketing and especially SEO can be confusing and seem like a daunting task to undertake, but once you understand the basics it becomes less intimidating.

SEO and Marketing Definitions

1. SEO – search engine optimization: “the process of creating and adjusting website content with the goal of improving search engine rankings.” (according to

2. SERP – search engine results page – the page results from a search query.

3. Keyword – “any word or phrase a searcher might use to describe or identify a desired resource on the Internet.” When using keyword in your title, it’s important to use the keyword in the beginning of the title. Rather than use “How-to-Guide for SEO,” opt for “SEO: A How-to-Guide.” (according to

4. Organic Traffic or Marketing – free strategies, such as Twitter, blogging, article marketing, etc.

5. Paid Traffic or Marketing – utilizing paid/sponsored ads, such as Google adwords, etc.

6. Ranking – your position (how high up) on the SERP: the higher the better. In other words, you want to be on the first SERP, or at least within the first few pages.

7. Anchor text – linking to other websites and/or pages directly from text within your content. This strategy should be used to bring the reader to your products, to other related articles you’ve written, to another site that has useful information pertinent to your post, and/or to link to a site you’re mentioning.

Providing readily accessible information and links through anchor text will give your readers more “bang-for-the-buck.” It will give the reader a broader reading experience, and she will definitely appreciate it – this builds a relationship . . . and trust.

Using anchor text links will also help search engines, such as Google and Bing, relate your content to other relevant content, and create a target for searchers to hit.

One last note about SEO, keep your keywords simple and concise. And, often it’s of greater benefit to use long-tail keywords. These keywords may not get as many search hits, but they do get a much more targeted audience; this leaves you with less competition.

An example of a keyword might be, “allergy relief.” Allergy relief is a very generic and heavily used keyword. In order to make it more specific and hone in on a narrower audience/searcher, you might use, “allergy air cleaners,” or maybe, “remedies for allergies,” or, “allergy sinus medications.” You want to narrow the playing field.

There are free tools to test out and analyze keywords; here are three of them you might try:

Learn about writing and marketing with Karen Cioffi at Sign up for her free newsletter, A Writer’s World, and get TWO free site-related e-books - get ONE more just for stopping by. For professional and affordable writing services check out

Check out the eBooks pages on writing and marketing for useful information - it's at my Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing site, the link is just above.

Do You Have a Side Hustle?

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Do you have a side hustle? Almost every writer has one but maybe you aren’t calling it a side hustle. I’m talk...