SEO, it means Search Engine Optimisation. If you are not sure what a search engine is, think Google and there you have it, a search engine designed to give you answers to questions. Like, where can I get a takeaway? Who won the World Cup last time? Or questions, like, Where can I buy a good book that features the sinking of the Titanic? Of course, I can answer the last question, I wrote such a book, but I can’t answer the earlier questions. So, you turn to Google on the internet and ask your question.

Of course, if you’re an Indie Author with books you have written and want to sell, then you will need a website or blog, or like me you could have a blog embedded in your website. Either way marketing your books will require you to market your blog, which should lead into marketing your books. I know, it can sound daunting and complicated, but honestly, it’s not too difficult once you get your head past the jargon and technical stuff. This is where SEO comes in handy.

Now, this isn’t a piece meant to instruct you on how to setup an author website or blog, or both. What this piece is about is a warning. A simple warning about paying people to either setup your website for you, or, more insidiously setting up the SEO on your website.

Why do you need SEO setting up correctly? Because you want your website or blog to be at the top of any search engine results page, better known as SERPs. These pages will come up when you ask a question of Google or any other search engine. Try it. Go to your Google page and type in living in cyprus book and press enter to see what comes up. I’m referenced 6th on the SERPs. Now type in operation werwolf and you will see another of my books listed at eighth in the list on the SERPs. You will find me at number 5 if you type in perth western australia travelogue. Now type in demon murder kindle and my book, The Demon Murders is No. 1 at the very top, the ideal place to be.

At the top is good, but even on the first page is good because I have a fighting chance of people seeing my entry, clicking on it and seeing my blog or book pages on Amazon. From there I may make a sale. If I featured lower down in the SERPs I can guarantee I would have no chance at all of a book sale. This is what SEO is all about. Optimising your website and blog to feature on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page. It’s simple, effective, and very much sought after by people trying to sell something. Indie authors should have this at the forefront of their mind. It’s marketing 101.

But, if you don’t have the time of patience to do your own SEO, it’s dead easy to let someone else do it for you, and you will see adverts and receive emails offering services for a small monthly fee. Beware! Here’s how a shark will work the field, sorry, the sea. You have a website; you need the SEO on your website setting up correctly so that you can attract an audience.  To ensure your website is setup correctly, some will choose to employ someone to audit their website and then get the site working correctly. But, in doing so this SEO agency will charge you and, in most cases, they will charge a monthly fee. Be careful, because a classic way of ensuring you have to pay them little and often is to keep finding things that are incorrectly setup. What makes it worse is they will vaguely tell you what needs doing and leave you to make the changes. If you have no real idea what you are doing, you may well screw these changes up. But even if you get it right, you will be told a week or more later that something else is wrong… and so on and so on.

The problem here is you may be charged only $10 a month, but it soon adds up if each month you need to change something else. And of course, the idea is to get a small fee out of you, and many others like you, on a regular basis. So, be aware, it’s a big SEO Sea and there are sharks out there. I would never recommend anyone because my idea of a good company may not be yours. So, choose carefully and wisely, or, like me, do it yourself.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2021




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