Marketing Your Author Website

SEO

Author/Editor Annette Young

by Annette Young

As an author, it is imperative that you have a website and start building your brand, but it’s easy to fall foul of unscrupulous marketing practices if you are not 100% certain what you are doing. Having fresh content added to your website regularly is important and will help keep your dedicated readers coming back as well as ensuring that Google and other search engines will start to notice your site.

For any author, there is no getting away from social networking and as many authors are going the indie-route these days, any marketing falls solely at the feet of the author. Even with traditional publishing now, the more the author can do to get the word out the better.

As an author myself, I know the importance of having a popular website. Take the Creative Competitor site for instance, in the last few months, visitors have trebled. I am sure this is because I promote the site and content regularly and I always try to make the articles and posts informative. If you are designing your author website, think in terms of simplicity. Marketing and design are both important but I know authors who have spent a fortune on having the most whizzy of designs but in user terms, frankly, it’s too annoying to wait for pages to load. Think always of the user experience. This will also stand you in good stead for search engine placement. Why? Because Google, (who let’s be honest runs the show) change their algorithms regularly with the visitor in mind.  So, fresh content, easy to read and informative equals quality in their eyes.

If you have searched the web in recent years you may well have come across poorly written articles all geared up towards high density keyword placement and it ruined the articles. If you are not sure what high density keyword placement is, good. Don’t bother. Just write your blog posts with your readers in mind. Keep it fresh and entertaining. Some people will mention back-links to you and will offer you their services, do not fall into this trap. Some savvy but not so honest marketers went the way of the paid back links but they were not genuine links and Google soon saw through this new little ploy to beat their latest rules.

Also worth considering is whether people can view your site easily on their mobile devices and tablets, so if you are looking for a website theme currently, keep this in mind. Mobile access is likely to exceed  access via the traditional desktop or laptop devices.

For 2014, Google has specified that good quality content written by authors with specific expertise will be a main focus (my words, not theirs) so in which case, become an expert in  your area and, if necessary, pull in the services of other experts to write pieces for your blog.  Content always has and always will be king, but fresh and quality content will always beat tired, old recycled articles- even if they are well-written. When you have your website in place, make the decision to add new content several times a week. If you start with a dedicated plan of action, write blog posts, or add excerpts from your books and do this each week, your site popularity will soon build. It doesn’t have to be just blog posts or articles of course, use video, PowerPoint and social media clips to keep the content fresh.

Never forget why you are setting up your website and what you are offering to your visitors. You are a writer, so enjoy the craft of writing for your readers. SEO – search engine optimization is important, but just as important is having your vision and providing tantalising snippets of information that will keep your readers coming back. Make your site a popular one and you can bet that the search engines will find you.

If you need help promoting your books, ask us. We provide a professional but affordable marketing service for authors globally.

Why Anchor Text Could Be The Most Important Aspect Of SEO

Copyright (c) 2011 Lee Dobbins

Anchor text is perhaps one of the most important aspects of
Search Engine Optimization but it is also one of the least talked
about.

This one element of SEO is important to understand because it can
help your page get ranked for a target keyword and also help you
evaluate your competition more precisely.

The latter is critical and, in fact, if you don’t take anchor
text backlinks into proper consideration when looking at the
competition for a keyword you could be missing out on some hidden
gems that are easy to rank for.

What Is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the hyperlinked text you see on a webpage. It is
the visible words that you can click to take you to another page.
Anchor text html code looks like this: <xmp><a
href=”Your” _mce_href=”http://www.yoursite.com”>Your”>http://www.yoursite.com”>Your Anchor Text</a></xmp>

On most websites, you typically see this as blue text that is
underlined and when you click on it with your mouse, you are
taken to the corresponding url.

How Bloggers Use Anchor Text

Bloggers and website owners use anchor text naturally to point to
other pages on their website as well as pages on other sites that
they find relevant to what they are blogging about. You’ve
probably even done this yourself when writing a post where you
referenced another post on your site, an affiliate product or
even a post on another site.

Usually a blogger will use a phrase that indicates what the page
is about in the anchor text, as opposed to a url, so that the
sentence reads correctly.

The anchor text in these links helps both the visitor and the
search engine spiders figure out what the ‘linked to” page is
about.

How Search Engines Use Anchor Text

Search engines use anchor text to help them figure out what the
hyperlinked page is about. So, as you can see, getting anchor
text backlinks with relevant phrases in the anchor text is pretty
important if you want the search engines to rank you for a
particular keyword phrase.

In fact, anchor text is such an important factor in ranking a
page that pages can rank for a keyword phrase even when that
phrase does not appear in the url on on the page!

There are several cases where this has happened, but perhaps the
most famous is where the Adobe Reader download page ranked #1 for
the search term “click here” for many years even though those
words were nowhere on the page. So many people had linked to that
page using the anchor text “click here” that it got to the #1
spot without any on page SEO for the term.

Search engines place a large importance on external anchor text
(links coming in from other sites) and some importance on
internal anchor text (links from within your own site) when
ranking a page so it stands to reason that you should make
getting anchor text backlinks with your target keyword phrases a
priority.

One important thing to note is that it is widely thought that if
two links on the same page target the same url, that only the
first link is counted by Google so you want to be sure that you
use your desired anchor text in that first link.

How Anchor Text Is Important When Judging Competition For A
Keyword

If you think about how important anchor text is to the search
engines when determining ranking for a keyword, then it’s easy
to see why it is a critical component of analyzing the
competition for a particular keyword phrase.

Google even provides you with a search operator to do this –
the allinanchor operator. You can use it by typing the following
into the google search bar:

Allinanchor:”your keyword phrase”

This will return the pages which have anchor text pointing to it
that contain the quoted keyword phrase.

I hope you can see how powerful this is – first of all, Google
must think it is an important element of a page because it
provides the allinanchor operator. Just the existence of the
operator would seem to indicate that it uses the anchor text when
deciding what a page is about and ranking it.

Secondly, using this operator will show you which pages are
optimizing for your chosen keyword phrase!

It makes sense that only the pages that have anchor text
backlinks with your phrase are the ones optimizing for it so you
can forget about searching for your phrase in quotes or any of
that non-sense.

Not only that but, you can take a look at the actual backlinks
for each of your competitors and see how many of them have that
anchor text and what the strength of those links are to make a
more educated guess as to how difficult they will be to beat out
for that top spot.

Anchor Text “Best Practices” For Your Website

Now that you know how important anchor text is to your rankings,
I’m sure you will want to pay more attention to it in your SEO
efforts but you don’t want to go hog wild and create tons of
anchor text backlinks all with the same keyword phrase or you
might find that your efforts don’t yield the results you want.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Vary Your Anchor Text – We all know that Google prefers it
when people link to you naturally and when that is the case, they
don’t all use the same anchor text. So, when you are linking to
your site from your articles or web2.0 properties you want to
make sure you don’t always use the same phrase as well. Using
your target phrase in about 50% – 60% of the links is probably a
good idea.

2. Links From Relevant Pages – For the best results, you want
your anchor text backlinks to come from pages that are related to
the topic because this is what would happen naturally if people
were linking to you because you had great content it would most
likely be from a blog post on the same topic.

3. First Link On Page – Don’t forget that Google only counts
the anchor text from the first link that it sees so if you will
have more than one link to the same url on a page, act
accordingly.

4.Plan For Natural Linking – There’s nothing better than
having people just naturally link to one of your posts but, of
course, you can’t control the anchor text they use when they
do. Since most people will naturally use your headline as anchor
text, you want to be sure to consider that when coming up with
the title for your blog posts.

Anchor text is crucial to both your SEO efforts as well as when
analyzing the competition for a keyword phrase. Taking the time
to use it properly can be the difference between ranking in the
top 3 and not ranking at all so it’s in your best interest to
start putting better anchor text practices to use in your
business today!
About The Author:
Anchor text backlinks play a key role in SEO.  Get a free copy of
Lee’s”Website Promotion Blueprint Guide” to get more website
traffic: http://hypertracker.com/go/leedobbins/PhantomWriters/.

Read More Articles From Lee Dobbins:
http://thephantomwriters.com/recent/author/lee-dobbins.html

Writing Articles

by Annette Young

I enjoy writing articles but one thing that I have always been concerned about is that many writers focus solely on littering their articles with keywords so that the articles are picked up by the search engines, therefore increasing their sites popularity.  Even though Google have changed their algorithms to ensure that quality wins over poorly written and keyword swamped content, some writers are still continuing to add highly targeted and sometimes irrelevant keywords throughout.

 Now I’m not against any writer marketing their website, building up a niche for themselves or using search engine optimisation, I have after all been writing SEO articles for years for my clients and I have written them for myself but…I always endeavour to make sure that any keywords used do not detract from the inner message of the article.

If you are not sure what SEO is, it’s worth learning how to use it to your advantage if you are trying to promote your work or plan to write for clients as many will ask for their articles to be optimised, but it’s worth doing it right so that you don’t alienate your reader. 

When I am writing articles, I always think about what I am trying to convey to the reader. I pick a topic and either write a generic article that introduces a reader to the subject as a whole or I plan to narrow down the topic and make the article a lot more concise and informative. Once you have established what your article will be about, then you can choose keywords that support the article minimising the risk of keywords becoming obtrusive.

The most important thing when writing articles is always to write for your reader first of all and then think about keywords second. It’s possible to write an excellent article that is fully optimised and yet the reader would never know about it because the flow of words is seamless. Good SEO is a skilful technique and it really can make your articles list high in the search engine rankings but don’t ever forget that writing articles is all about informing, educating or entertaining others and if we forget who or what we are writing for, the reader may well decide to not bother reading our words at all.

Image: © Vladimir Voronin | Dreamstime.com