Free SEO Tutorial for Authors

My Three Readers
how to read

A brief mini-tutorial on how to SEO (search engine optimize) your book for Amazon or Google..

Now, it is true that the number one factor to rank your book to the first search page on Amazon is # of purchases and reviews. But, there are also things that ARE in your control to rank your book.

For Amazon, 

work on these steps and see if it helps your page ranking at all. For me, once I implemented these keywords, it took a day or two to see my listing climb.

1. Research KEYWORDS applicable to your book. Put yourself in the mind of your target reader. What keywords might they use to find a book like yours? Jot down several that come to mind, and then go to these places to refine and expand that list.

For example, if I wrote a book on how to make paper airplanes, I might choose these keywords: "how to make paper airplanes", "making paper airplanes", "paper airplanes", "how do I make paper airplanes", etc. Note that these are 4 separate keywords - most are 3 words or more. (Your title and derivatives of your title should also be keywords)

Repeat with the other keywords you came up with until you have done great keyword research for your book.

3. Take allll the keywords, choose the best ones or as many as apply, and MAX OUT your book description using these keywords. Use every character they give you! Search engines will pick up on these words and rank your book much better. Take some of the keywords and add them to your author bio also.

4. Go check out your rankings. (what you see at the end of your book listing, such as this example for a paper airplane book I looked up) Check out the "Amazon Best Sellers Rank" and see what categories your book is in:


(continue #4)... Now, do a little research to manipulate and get yourself listed in more categories, watch how yout book performs in each category, and make adjustments as needed.

Check out THIS ARTICLE that I think does a great job of explaining how to categorize your book for Amazon.

** HINT: If you do this, and all of a sudden you see that you are a "#1 Bestseller" in a certain category,  be SURE to get a screenshot of this because those may not last and you can use that screenshot to advertise and talk up your book! Or just to keep looking at to make you feel proud 🙂

5. Do this for each format on Amazon that your book has to offer. You can maximize each listing you have.  

To Optimize on Google:

Now, this is a whole 'nother monster! You could spend months, years learning how to rank on Google. People do this for a living!

My brief tip here would be to repeat the steps above for keywords to rank for. Your keywords should be what are called "long-tail" keywords, which means they are 3 words or more, more likely to be a phrase or a question a person asks google to find what he or she is looking for.

Pick ONE keyword you think you can rank for. To do this, make a list of keywords and for additional keywords, check out the bottom of the search results screen to find the section called "Searches related how to..". This will give you a LIST of suggestions of what else people are entering in the search bar for a subject related to your book.  When you compile your list, add these keywords to the website and page your book is on. Pick ONE keyword you think you can rank for (honestly compare yourself to the competition on the first Google page of your keyword results).  Add it to the title, the url, at least one H2 header, and in the first paragraph of your body text, and also in the alt description of at least one graphic on the page. 

Within the body of the text of your page, also incorporate the other keywords related to your primary keyword (from the "Searches related" section of Google.

For both Amazon and Google, be sure to use those fabulous writing skills of yours and make the keywords flow "smoothly" to make a great description for your book. You don't want it to sound weird or unnatural just to get those keywords in! For some keywords I've wanted to add but could not, I'd simply add at the end of the description, "Keywords: example one, example two, example three".

So, those are just a FEW tips to get you thinking, in case this is not something you have not already tackled! You can always go way further down that rabbit trail by Googling or asking Pinterest for "SEO Tips".

I hope they help! Happy Monday, 


(Links below are Amazon Affiliate - if you click and purchase, I may get a teeny portion at no cost to you!) 😉