SEO For A Book Blogger – Things You Can Do Today!

Jun 19, 201925 comments

I am glad you are still with me! I was wondering if I had chased of all you guys with those technical (read as: boring) blogging terms. And I am gonna go out on a limb and imagine that you are here for my next post on the series on blogging for book bloggers. And today let us talk about SEO for a book blogger.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization are just techniques to help the search engines find your site easily. Do you focus on SEO as a book blogger? If not, why? Let us talk. Click To Tweet

Guide to SEO for Book bloggers

SEO or Search Engine Optimization are just techniques to help the search engines find your site easily. I know it seems like some sorcery to increase the traffic but it is not so. Maybe it is, but I am only talking about those little things that you and I can do without having to relearn blogging entirely. 

While I still want book blogging to be fun and a place to talk about books and writing, I don’t mind taking these extra steps that may not take much of your time if you add it to your routine. Also, it is not like you have to do them all. Just pick only what you can do and enjoy blogging rather than stressing yourself too much.

1) Choosing the right keyword

Keywords are the search phrases that we type on the search engine. I have discussed more on what keywords are in my earlier post and let us focus on how to put them to use effectively now.

SEO For Book Bloggers

The aim is finding a balance between using an unique keyword (that nobody uses) and using something that everyone uses. Give a bit of thought on ‘What search queries would your post answer to? ‘ and this will help you in achieving a better SEO as a book blogger.

For example, let us talk about the keyword for my review on Fahrenheit 451, instead of using just the title of the book, I use the title and the word book review, just to make sure it is not the film but the book that I am reviewing.

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This is just to give a basic idea, there are several free keyword planner tools online to help you choose better. But that is a topic for another day!

While I totally support using the keyword three or four times in your post, DO NOT JUST DUMP THE KEYWORD IN EVERY ALTERNATE SENTENCE. Google will punish you for overusing (keyword stuffing) it !

2) SEO friendly title

The whole objective of a title is to tell the reader (and the search engine) what the post is about. I know it may sound obvious but you will not believe the number of blogs that fail to do this. The easiest way to achieve this is to use the keyword itself, when it is possible. 

I have been using this “book review: title of the book” as a standard format where title of the book is the keyword. Quite recently I found out “Title of the book – a review” works better, the keyword being at the beginning. I will let you know if changing them makes a difference.

3) Permalinks

Having a strong permalink or URL to your post is kinda important too. Make sure it is not too long or too short. And it ideally should contain the keyword. In case of a review, I usually include the title, the term review and if that is too short I add the author’s name too.

SEO For Book Bloggers

One of the major advantage of moving to WordPress is that I got to change all my permalinks (AKA the URLs) and get rid of those dates from them. The dates do not have anything with SEO, but I personally didn’t like them because they dated the posts and made the permalinks too long.

4) Use shorter paragraphs and headings

It should not come as a surprise when I say we, readers, have a short attention spans and that shorter paragraphs in your posts work well. But including relevant headings to your paragraphs makes the search engine appreciate it better, because you are now telling it see what is important, ie, your heading.

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Make an attempt to use headings (H2) and sub headings (H3) in your post, as relevant. If you can, include the keyword in your H2 tags (the headings) without making it too conspicuous.

5) Meta description

Another place to sneak in the keywords is the meta description, which is like the blurb to your post. Since it is the first few lines that a reader sees make sure it piques the interest of the reader before they click the link. 

SEO For Book Bloggers

In case you don’t write a meta description, the search engine will use the first 160 characters of your post which may not be as good as you write your own. So it is always a better SEO practice to include the meta description even for a book blogger.

6) Attention grabbing first paragraph

Like anywhere else, you get to make the first impression just once. Many people stop reading after the first three lines and if you don’t impress them by then they would.

SEO For Book Bloggers

For this reason, I usually avoid copy pasting the blurb content (from Goodreads) as the first paragraph in my reviews. But whatever you add in there, just make sure the keyword is included. 

7) Put your images to use

With blogging becoming more and more visual, we need to make sure our images are top notch. Be it just using the book cover or a relevant image from Google search, we need to make sure they are not only on brand but also SEO friendly.

Though search engine crawlers are essentially “blind”, we can make sure they index and rank our images with the image alternate text/tag. Including the alt text might seem negligible but it will be so much better than “IMG56784” when you fill the alt text with something relevant like “Hating Game review book cover”. 

SEO For Book Bloggers

While you are at it, follow the same rule when you name your image. 

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8) Interlinking

I may have already spoken about how crucial interlinking the posts in your site was and I think it is worth a repeat. Basically you are trying to hold the attention of the reader to your blog and make them go binge reading your posts. Linking to your older reviews or any other relevant posts is a way to reduce the bounce rates as well. 

Creating an archive page like Evelina has at her Avalinah’s Space or a simple index of your reviews is also a good idea. They offer a bird’s eye view of all your posts to the readers and helps the SEO crawlers staying within your blog. 

While you are interlinking, make sure you fix all your broken links. There are lots of free link checkers like this one that list the error links for you. 

Bonus: Install Yoast plugin

If you use self hosted WordPress for your site, do not think twice and install the YOAST plugin for all your SEO needs as a book blogger. It even guides you step by step. 

If you need any help or have a query about any of these things, feel free to DM me on my social accounts or leave a comment here. I would be happy to help you out! 

Previously on blogging tips for book bloggers

Check out this link for more of such posts.

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SEO For Book Bloggers

Let’s chat

Do you focus on SEO as a book blogger? Are you already doing any of these? Or if you don’t, why not? Which of these ideas do you think will be difficult to follow? Let us talk.

25 Comments

  1. Vee_Bookish

    I need to go through a lot of my posts and update to add decriptions etc for SEO, so I’m going to keep this post around to give me ideas for what to do, thank you!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad you found this helpful, V!

      Reply
  2. Ventori

    Hello friend! I have recently created a blog to write down my thoughts from books I’ve read. I’m search some useful knowledge and see this blog. It’s give me a lot useful information, hope I make my blog successfully! Good articles! Have fun, friend!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad to be of use. I will definitely pay a visit to your site as well.

      Reply
  3. Sami

    I love this page, It has been very helpful to me as I have started my blogging journey.

    Reply
  4. eatfrysmith

    These tips help me a lot. Thank you so much!!!

    Reply
  5. Katisha @ Reel Literature

    These are great tips Gayathri!! I just recently when through a bunch of my posts to improve the SEO, and the Yoast Plugin is a life saver!!! I went from have almost no posts with good SEO to almost all of them having that beautiful green dot.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      That is a mighty task. have green dots since I put in Yoast but I should edit the older ones, one of these days.

      Reply
  6. Bec

    Just letting you know that I am revisiting this post YET AGAIN. Your blogger articles are ridiculously helpful, what can I say…

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you. I am glad to be of use.

      Reply
  7. Aïcha

    This is so useful, thank you!

    Reply
  8. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    I personally love Yoast! I wish I could afford the pay to go one but the free one is still nifty. I tried to take out the dates and all of my old posts and links failed. I just can’t see going through those posts so I went back and added it back in. It was something I was really looking forward to.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I agree about the Yoast free version. I am sorry that the transfer didn’t work like you wanted.

      Reply
  9. Consu

    This is really helpful! Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

    Reply
  10. Daniela Ark

    These are all wonderful tips! I’ll keep working on shortening my headings! 🙂

    Reply
  11. DJ Sakata

    Thanks for peeling back the curtain for me

    Reply
  12. Finitha Jose

    Was really helpful. Thank you so much

    Reply
  13. Rachael | Pingel Sisters

    Great tips! One addition: try to squeeze your keyword into your meta description if you can!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I do that too.

      Reply
  14. Ara @ Open Pages

    I’m going to bookmark this and keep coming back to it. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yay! I am glad to be of use.

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply

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Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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