Building your SEO as an author doesn’t have to be a complicated and overwhelming task. There are tons of SEO tools that you can leverage to grow your presence online without having to be an expert at search engine optimization. When you’re focusing on your writing career, you don’t have time to learn the ins and outs of SEO and marketing, so this article will help you focus on only the tools you need.
Free SEO Tools for Authors
Keep in mind that we’re covering useful SEO tools for authors, but this article won’t give much insight into how to use them. We’ll be posting other how-to articles on how to use each of these SEO tools for growing your online presence, but for now, you can allow yourself to become familiar with them.
You’ve probably already heard about Google Analytics and what it does, but just in case you haven’t, we’ll explain. Google Analytics is an essential SEO tool for any author or writer trying to grow online. This is relatively simple tracking software that will provide highly useful information about the visitors who land on your website. Setting up a Google Analytics account and using it is completely free, and all you have to do is paste a short code into the head of your website to start collecting essential user data on your website visitors.
Don’t worry. We’ll show you how to use this tool in a later article. In the meantime, some of the audience insights you can collect using Google Analytics on your author website include:
- Total traffic per month
- Bounce rate (how many people come to your site and leave immediately)
- Average time on your site or a given page
- User behavior (which pages they land on and where they end up traveling throughout your website)
- How users discover you (whether it’s social media or search engines)
- General demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
- Popular devices (learn if your users are mostly using cell phones or desktops when exploring your website)
This information is invaluable to you as an author because it’s going to help guide further SEO and marketing decisions you make as an author or writer. For example, if you find out that your bounce rate is 90 percent, and that users are leaving your website within seconds of hitting your home page, then you may want to look into how you adjust your homepage to make it more appealing to those visitors.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another simple and free tool by Google that you should most certainly use in conjunction with Google Analytics. Google Search Console will allow you to monitor your website’s indexing status and optimize its visibility online. Some features you’ll find useful with Google Search Console include:
- Ability to easily submit your sitemap to Google’s search engine
- Ability to see any indexing errors for specific pages as they occur
- Easily see search rankings and search engine impressions
- Learn which keywords and search terms you’re showing up for on Google
We’ll cover more on how to use the Google Search Console in later articles.
Ubersuggest is an SEO audit software by the search engine marketing guru, Neil Patel. Competitors like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush charge $950 to $9,900 a year, but Ubersuggest is extremely affordable at $29 per month for individuals. You simply can’t beat that kind of pricing with all that you get from Ubersuggest, not to mention that you don’t even have to keep your subscription for an extended period if you don’t want to.
Some amazing features that you get with Ubersuggest include:
- Website SEO audits
- Pinpoint SEO errors on your website
- Keyword ideas
- Backlink ideas
- Competitive analysis
- Domain authority overview (you or a competitor)
- Top SEO pages (you or a competitor)
- Content ideas
I have used Ubersuggest to help clients boost SEO, and it truly is one of the absolute best tools I have ever used. I highly recommend it for freelancers, writers, and authors looking to boost their SEO.
WordPress is the absolute best website platform you can use as a writer, author, or freelancer. As a writer, your primary focus is most certainly writing, but it’s important to consider which website platform makes the most sense for your writer or author brand in the long term. Unlike other website platforms that are extremely user-friendly like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and others, there’s no other website platform as powerful and SEO-friendly as WordPress.
With WordPress, you fully own your website and have the power to do just about anything on it, including countless SEO optimizations that just aren’t available on other website platforms. Not only is WordPress far more affordable than other website platforms, but it comes with the ability to install tons of free tools that can help optimize your website SEO for you, as well as create added functionality that isn’t available on other platforms.
If you’re a freelancer, writer, or author, it’s highly recommended that you switch over to WordPress. You will not be disappointed, and you will most certainly rank higher in searches on a WordPress site than you ever will on these other plug-and-play platforms.
Some great benefits of WordPress include:
- It’s more affordable
- You have more control over the design
- You have more options for SEO
- It ranks better in searches overall
- There are TONS of free plugins that can easily add functionality
- It’s relatively easy to use once you learn your way around
- It automatically supports TONS of other software, so you integrate just about anything, including your email provider for automated newsletters.
Yoast SEO is one of the most powerful and robust SEO tools on the market, but if your website isn’t built with WordPress, you won’t be able to use it. Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin designed to help you optimize your blogs and pages for SEO with a user-friendly, guided experience. While there is a premium version of Yoast, all the features you need are already free to use with the plugin.
Some of the SEO features available with Yoast include:
- Custom meta descriptions and guidance for creating descriptions that can rank better in search engines.
- Guidance on whether or not certain page content is optimized for SEO, including a checklist of what you can do to improve it.
- Automatic sitemap creation (this is needed to help search engines crawl your website)
- Simple integration with top search engines so that you can easily submit your website for indexing.
Why SEO Matters for Authors, Freelancers, and Writers
Whether you’re trying to sell more books, land more projects, or get new clients, SEO should be an important piece of your marketing strategy. With the right amount of focus and effort on SEO, it will eventually decrease the number of marketing dollars and time you have to invest because you’ll be showing up more online where it counts. That being said, you shouldn’t have to become an SEO expert to see great results from it. By leveraging the tools in this article, you should know enough to be dangerous, which is all that matters! If you want to learn more about boosting your SEO as an author or writer, check out this article.
Mel Beasley has a bachelor’s in creative writing and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He brings 9+ years of digital marketing and writing experience to the table by writing for publications such as Lumina News and Encore Magazine. He spent 2 years as a college-level writing tutor, and is a certified writing tutor through the CRLA, which is a prestigious cert recognized by the Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession. He is a professional SEO blogger with experience writing for brands such as Boardworks Education and The Greater Wilmington Business Journal. One of his latest website and marketing projects has been building the website for the now New York Times Bestselling author, Nina de Gramont.