Author Toolkit: Free SEO Tools for Writers
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), that part of internet marketing that helps you rank better on Google’s search result pages to drive more traffic to your site, is not the easiest task to tackle for most authors. The idea of writing certain keywords into your posts instead of letting your words flow can be a little daunting. But using keywords has its advantages and it does not mean you ave to stuff unnecessary and repetitive words all over the place.
To make things a little easier, I thought I’d share the free SEO tools for writers that I use right now. What makes them good for writers? Nothing in particular, just the fact that I am a writer and use them so that my books and my website can be better at attracting new visitors/readers. There are paid and more targeted solutions, but this is a cheapo guide for starving authors, so those will be added to a different post.
Free Beginer’s Guides to SEO
First thing’s first: you have to have a basic understanding of SEO, how it works and what it’s good for. I selected two great beginner guides that you can start with. I’ve been following both MOZ and Search Engine Journal for years (or is it closer to a decade now?), and they are my go-to resources foe everything search engine.
Yoast Plugin – SEO Tool for WordPress Blogs/Sites
For on-page SEO, Yoast is the best plugin I’ve used. You install it on your WordPress, and it helps you determine a focus keyword for each page/blog post, and then make sure your content is optimized for that specific keyword. There is a paid version to add more keywords, but the free one works just fine for me.
With Yoast I discovered I should have the keyword in the post title, in a subtitle, in an image description, etc. It also tracks readability, which always helps me write better, easier to read posts.
KW Finder – For Keyword Ideas
KW Finder is an awesome tool. Not only does it let you search for keywords, it also suggest related keywords and shows you search volume for each of them. What I like most about it is that it has a difficulty score, so you can have some idea how hard it would be to rank for that specific keyword in the future.
You can only search for 3 keywords per 24 hours with their free version, but that’s generally enough for me.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
Good Ol’ Google and Amazon Search
This must sound weird, but Google and Amazon searches should be included in your tasks. If you have keywords you want to use for your books or your blog posts, it’s a good idea to search for them, see what shows up. If you look for gay science fiction, for example, you will find a lot of gems. Like best gay scifi lists on Goodreads or blogs, or posts about new releases. It’s a good idea to try and get your book added there. Derek Murphy from CreativIndie has an amazing video on how to find keywords and categories for your book that you should definitely watch!
Hope you found this list of free SEO tools for writers helpful. A special thanks goes to Anna Butler who suggested I should write about SEO in the first place. If you want more content on this topic, I can try to get some people with more experience than I have to write a more detailed piece. Just let me know in the comments!
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