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Be a Better Blogger: Improve Your Book Blog’s SEO

Posted 4 October, 2015 in Features / 1 Comment

Be a Better Blogger is a monthly challenge to help you tack your blog’s to-do list. Each month is themed – just add your own to-do list to join in!

You all know that I’m a big advocate of building passive traffic. Of optimizing your blog so it can get traffic without you doing anything – without you going out and promoting it.

At a BEA BloggerCon panel, I told book bloggers that the two most important ways to optimize your growth were:

  1. Optimizing for social media, so that your readers to the social media promotion for you.
  2. Optimizing for search engines (SEO), so readers find your post exactly when they’re looking for that kind of content.

A lot of BABB challenge members were excited about improving their book blogs’ SEO when I wrote about it last month. And whenever I’ve polled you guys on which challenges you need to do, SEO is always a top choice.

I’ve been putting it off until now, mostly because I know it’ll be a doozie, requiring a lot of Bumblings Blog Tips posts and resources. I’ve been nervous about that because squeezing in challenge-themed tips on top of regularly-scheduled programming (…I spend way too much time around TV). I want to do you guys right, and with other commitments, I haven’t been sure I could do that.

But this shit’s important – the longer you go without paying attention to optimization, the more work you’ll have later.

So I figured out a compromise. The first few posts on my list of challenge resources are usually the ones that get written. So the first tools will all be resources to start you off with, before we dive into unique, book blogging-specific stuff. Those will definitely get written. And should the other posts show up here a little later than planned (at least I’m self-aware 😁), you’ll still know how to get your challenge stuff done.

First, what is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and means to position your blog to get the most traffic possible from search engines. Since so many websites have large search engines now, there’s several subsets of SEO.

“Traditional” looks at optimizing for traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. But there’s also stuff like Amazon SEO for getting products you’re selling to get more traffic from Amazon’s search engine. Pinterest SEO to make sure your pins get seen. Twitter SEO, YouTube SEO, etc., etc., etc.

seo-blogging-definition

The 3 main “forks” are on-page, off-page, and technical optimization.

  • On-page optimization is about the actual content on the page. For example, your title and description, headings, and keyword usage.
  • Off-page SEO is about ways to improve your ranking with activities not happening on your website. The main focus of off-page optimization is usually inbound links, or the number and quality of other websites linking back to your blog.
  • And technical SEO is about making it as easy as possible for search engines to crawl your blog.

A lot of people consider SEO to end at getting pages to rank higher and more frequently in search result pages. But I don’t see the point in ranking well if you’re not getting results. So I consider it to also include optimizing to get clicks and results your search listings. Optimization should be helping you reach your goals, whether that’s traffic, subscribers, or affiliate sales.

So we’re going to talk about a few things that many don’t consider to be “SEO.” Like writing meta descriptions and improving your blog’s readability.

To start optimizing your book reviews, check out this post and download a free SEO checklist!

Why SEO rocks

Like I’ve said before, SEO is pretty passive. I spend maybe 5 minutes per post on it, if that. And it’s still responsible for 40% of Book Bumblings’ traffic. More than Twitter, which I actually put time and effort into.

It’s also something you can do a little bit at a time and improve. It doesn’t need to be a big, hairy, huge project. You can just take 15-30 minutes per week to:

  • Better optimize old posts
  • Plan out the optimization of new posts and pages
  • Research news and best practices

Seems a lot less daunting than social media, right? 🙂

Upcoming posts

book-blog-seo-challenge-details

So, here are some of the posts that are gonna help you get through this challenge:

  • Places to learn more about SEO
  • SEO tools for bloggers
  • X components of an optimized book blog
  • How to build book blogging landing pages
  • The importance of an organized blog post
  • Tips for internal linking

Be a Better Blogger Challenge

So, how are we going to take all that and put it into this month’s challenge? You can pick. Here are some goals you might want to put on your challenge to-do list:

  • Go back and optimize a certain number of book reviews
  • Optimize your blog images
  • Improve your blog’s speed
  • Make your blog mobile-friendly
  • Write attention-getting titles and meta descriptions
  • Add internal links to your posts

My Own BABB Challenge Goals

  • Find a way to speed up my site.
  • Go through and add internal links.
  • Create 2 landing pages. (These are landing pages targeted at something specific you want to get traffic for. In this case, I’d like to create “hubs” for different genres. For example, creating a new adult “hub” with all of my NA content, that’s targeted for people searching for reviews of that genre. They rank well, provide a lot of internal links, and tend to get shared a lot, so they’re a triple win!)

So, are you joining in this month?

Do you want to be a better blogger? Get challenge updates by entering your email below:

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