SEO Basics for Writers

Writers might think that they don’t need to know much about SEO, but big organizations depend on it for traffic. If you have a website, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow. SEO is important because many search engine users usually click on one of the top five links in the results page. The main goal of SEO is to show your value, your website pages will be ranked highly for queries relevant to the content. SEO helps your customers to find you.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of formatting content on a webpage so it appears in a high rank within results of what people look for on search engines.

What should be added to articles and blog posts for it to show in search engines?

For SEO purposes, consider tagging your posts and articles with descriptors including:

  • Keywords
  • Alt tags
  • Links
  • Meta links
  • Permalinks


What are organic results?

When people use search engines, they are shown a page that contains search results for the keyword they used. Each result page has two types of results: organic and paid.

Organic results are listings on that page that appear because of their relevance to search terms. Paid results are ads paid for and displayed when someone types in terms that match advertiser’s criteria.

How is traffic measured?

A specialized website analytics service is used to measure website traffic. It works by including a short code to your web pages. This shortcode is generated by the service that you use. Depending on the service, the code will track all things including the visitors that visit your site, the pages they visit, how long they stay, the browser they are using and their location.


What are permalinks?

WordPress uses the title of the article as a permalink by default. However, sometimes the title is too long that search engines don’t pick up. WordPress offers a permalinks tool to edit the URL of the article. You should edit the permalink link to about 4 keywords. That helps in making the article rank better. When the article goes live, it will be too late to edit the permalink. If you try to, it will cause “file not found” or 404 error. This causes Google to remove the article from the index.

What are Keywords and how best can I use them?

Keywords are phrases or words that sum up the article. The best way to snag traffic is by adding keywords in headlines and subheads.


Should writers worry about keyword density?

Keyword density describes web content in such a way that many keywords are packed into few words. Writers shouldn’t worry about keyword density. A research has shown that keyword density doesn’t matter. A well-written content always wins in the long run.


What is the best way to choose keywords to describe a post or story?

There are a lot of keyword tools to use. You can use Google AdWords Keyword, Soovle and SpyFu to get popular keywords. Use the keywords in your content. These are the words that people use to search for a specific topic. These are the words that you would use if you were a user to search for content. These phrases are added to the headline or first paragraph. Use the topic and search and see what comes up. Use different word combinations and phrases.  Look at keywords that brought people to your site and use the terms when writing on the subject again.


What’s the importance of Links?

To improve SEO, add links to other web pages in blog posts or stories as a way to get quality websites linking back to you. This will boost traffic and results. Adding links to your Facebook page or blog help in raising credibility with search engines. Sites with outbound links to other websites usually rank better.


How does anchor text relate to links?

Anchor text is a text that you click on in a link. You will see it on most websites as blue or underlined or both.


What are alt tags and what’s their importance?

Alt tags are text descriptions of images that search engines pay a close attention to. A good page has images and these images have alt tags with keywords.


How do you know if the SEO formatting on your blog post is working?

You will need Google Analytics to see recent top keywords and trends over time. These tools will help you get what people are searching for and you can write about that. If you have a website, blog or news operation on WordPress, you can use the Google Analyticator plugin. You can also use Google Webmaster tools to know where your site ranks on specific keywords.


How can Fiction writers use SEO?

They can use SEO to build audience and reputation. Fiction writers can also use SEO to generate traffic and then convert the traffic into Facebook fans and subscribers.


How much time is required for SEO?

Some experts recommend an hour per day. However, you can take as much time as you can. A website will be useless if it can’t be found by users. Writers should focus on what they are good at and hire someone for SEO work. It is a good option if you can afford.

What are some of the SEO mistakes that most writers make?

The mistakes that writers make include using free blog hosts and failing to use Google Analytics. If you want a successful website, get away from Blogger and get a website. Always use Google Analytics to see the trends. You should remember that search engines must understand your content. Create a search-friendly site. Search engines use links to determine trust and authority. Adding more links means more high rankings and trust.


Why do writers need SEO?

Writers need SEO to increase their share of website traffic. Some researchers estimate that total searches per day can go up to 6.5 billion. Since top-ranked results get about all of this traffic, you need SEO to have your site at the top of the search results.

Why is SEO that important?

The only way for your site to rank higher without paying for ads is by performing SEO. SEO helps in maximizing the advantages of using search engines as a marketing channel.


What is web crawling?

This is the process of discovering content on the internet by use of a web crawler. This web crawler is sometimes called a spider. This is an internet bot that search engines use to browse the internet.

How does a web crawler work?

A web crawler is a program used to discover updated pages for adding in a search index.  Google Crawl process starts with some web page URLs. These URLs are generated from earlier crawl processes and then augmented with Sitemap data.

As this bot visit each website, it detects links on every page and adds them to a list of web pages to crawl. A new site will become existing sites and dead links are used to update the search index.


What does web crawling in SEO mean?

Without Googlebot crawling and indexing your web pages, you won’t generate any free traffic.


How can I get Google to Crawl my site?

Web crawlers use automated processes to determine the sites to crawl, the number of times to be crawled and the pages to fetch from each site.

This process cannot be impacted as Google doesn’t accept payment to crawl a website frequently. However, all you can do is ensure that Googlebot knows you. Ensure that Googlebot is not blocked. Create a Sitemap and submit to Google Search Console.

How many Search engine ranking factors are used?

When a user types something on a search engine, Google algorithm searches the index that matches web pages and shows the user results that are relevant. There are over 200 factors that determine relevancy.


Best Practices for search engine optimization

Here are the best practices that apply to all sites irrespective of size, language, topic etc.

  • Use words in URLs. Use a structure that makes visitors know where they are on your site.
  • Make it easy for users to go from general content to specific ones. Add navigation pages.
  • Use text most of the time for navigation menus and links.
  • Have a custom 404 page that helps users to get back to a working page
  • Choose a title that communicates the topic of content
  • Use brief descriptive titles
  • Create unique title tags
  • Use descriptions for each page
  • Write an easy to read text that is on topic. Break the content into logical chunks.



This is just a brief guide to SEO. There are more to it than this, but if you do the recommended ones, you will see good results. Follows this guide to generate traffic and get more audience for your writing and books. SEO optimized pages generates more traffic which directly leads to more people being converted. It will work great when you have great content and ensure that you use the right keyword in the content.

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About the author

Jo Lajko

I've spent 10+ years in book marketing and sales, working for traditional publishers and 6-figures authors. At the end of 2017. I decided to accept new challenges and pursue a career as an independent marketing consultant and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) developer.

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