SEO Checklist for Writers – Part 1


What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization? SEO is a set of techniques employed to make a website more visible to search engines like Google and Bing. It helps the search engines to “see” your website.

In this article we want to examine some of the techniques you as an author should employ. Although there are some agreed on techniques and principles, please remember that Google and Bing do not tell us exactly how their search algorithms work.

This means that you might have to fiddle around with these techniques a bit. But rest assured, SEO is not as complicated as Einstein’s E = mc2. If you can write a book, you can figure out how to do SEO for yourself.



Matt Cutts, Google’s face when it comes to SEO, will tell you over and over, time after time, and repeatedly that content is the most important thing when it comes to determining the ranking of a search result.

Have you noticed that often Wikipedia pages rank very high? If you Google a title of a book or a movie, Wikipedia usually outranks the relevant homepage. Good content creates demand.

Somehow the Google algorithms can determine whether your content is actually relevant or if you are using keyword saturation to make it appear relevant. You should, obviously, still use keywords, but the content and how you use the keywords are more important than merely using keywords.

Make sure that your website provides relevant and unique information on every page. While describing your book as exciting, intriguing, well-rounded or whatever might interest a potential buyer, it won’t tickle the search engine’s fancy!

Linkable Content and Social Signals

Social signals represent the influence an article has in the social sphere of the Internet. These would include things like Facebook likes, shares, comments, Tweets, links via LinkedIn, etc.

Search engines are paying more and more attention to these social signals. This means that your content MUST be socially available. On all of the better websites, there are “One click” options to share a page via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Moz argues that if content can not be shared or linked, search engines are not very likely to rate it.


A keyword is, as the word implies, a key word, for the relevant topic. (Moz has a great article on how to determine which words are key to your SEO success.)

Keywords are those words typically associated with a specific search. For instance, you know or hope that there is a sequel of a book like A Catcher in the Rye but you do not know whether the book exists! So you type in the key words: A Catcher in the Rye and sequel. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Keywords should not be over used on a page. It seems that the current theory argues in favor of 4 repetitions per page.

Title Tags

Title Tags are how you tell the search engine what the relevant page is about and to which Keywords it responds.

Each page on your website should have unique Title Tags. Suppose you have seven pages that share the same tags, you are telling the search engine that all of these are equal to the searcher’s query.

Even if you have seven pages about one book, for example, the pages should still have different contents and different tags.

Tags should be short, preferably not more than 55 characters. You should place the most important and relevant tags first, and your brand name at the end.

Example: eBook – publishing | InstaScribe

For more info on Title Tags please read the articles by Moz and Orbit Media.



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