Marketing for Authors

Add SEO to Your Website with Book Reviews

Did you know that writing a book review and posting it on your blog can increase your SEO?Yes, it definitely can. Keep reading to learn what seven steps to take to add SEO with book reviews.

Blog Header with aqua blue and white desk, keyboard titled Add SEO to Your Website with Book Reviews by Marketing for Authors, Denise M. Colby

But first, are you still needing some encouragement for writing book reviews? Here are some additional benefits related to posting book reviews on your website.  

Three reasons your website (and you) benefit by writing a book review:

  1. Blog reviews provide content your readers would be interested in, which expands the content in your blog. You’re providing interesting content and writing something of interest to both you and your readers.
  2. Build trust and community with your readers and enhance your overall brand by posting reviews and book introductions. You’ll help other authors (who might be willing to do the same for you), and add street cred. Who knows, your readers may find you as a go-to for finding out about new books to read.
  3. Review books in your genre, and use terms that fit tropes & keywords readers use to search for books. This allows your website and/or social media pages to appear in searches with these words.

So, now that you’re ready to write a book review, how exactly do you add SEO when you post this book review?

Seven steps to adding SEO to your Book Review Post

  1. Use the book title and Author name in the Title of your post
  2. Use the book title as the keyword phrase (keyword phrases should only be used in one post, but can be used multiple times within that one post)
  3. Build a category and tag system that includes Genre or Author Name (especially if you review more than one book by the same Author)
  4. Include a photograph of the book cover and make sure that the file name has the book title in it or the Author name, as well as the alt text. You could even include a photograph of the author. 
  5. Link the photo of the book to a sale site for easy purchase (outside link builds SEO)
  6. Link the photo of the author to their own website (outside link builds SEO)
  7. Mention the book title and author name within the body text of your review at least one other time (this builds on your keyword phrase)

When readers search for these authors and book titles, your blog review could appear in their search results

Example of a book review

You don’t have to write a lot to feature a book in a blog post.

Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly

Sing in the Sunlight book review example by Denise M. Colby. Including an image with alt text can add SEO value to your book review

This is book 2 in her Chaparral Hearts series, published by Wild Heart Books (and yes I’ve read book 1 and looking forward to book #3). The historical setting is in California, mostly in the San Diego area.

Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is a special story of love, kindness, & patience.

I loved the characters, their interactions with each other, and the way God’s words were woven throughout the story naturally. 

The historical context was rich with details and I felt right there in the story. 

The struggles of doubt and longing and the lies we believe were very easy to identify with. 

It’s amazing what can happen when one continuously seeks God’s wisdom and stays on the path of doing what’s right. I want to be a better person after reading this. 

I wanted to disclose that I received a free copy from the author but was not required to review it. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share.

Grow your SEO by writing book reviews

I’ll be honest, I’ve found writing book reviews to be challenging, but I’m working on facing that fear. I recently wrote about challenging myself to write a book review on A Slice of Orange blog. That’s where I first wrote this book review.

If writing book reviews feel intimidating, another way to build SEO on your website, is to participate in the First Line Fridays posts. This group of bloggers post the first line of a book they are reading, including a photo and link to purchase. You can add author names, book titles in your posts, and build SEO similarly to a book review.

And, they are fun and easy to be a part of. Take a look at the ones I’ve posted in the past at the link above.

Either way, adding other author’s works to your blog posts extend your potential reach of readers who search for that author or their books. Give it a try. And help another author out by promoting their book!



Marketing for Authors

Custom URL Slug and How to Make One

What is a custom URL slug? A custom URL slug is choosing the words used for the tail end of a URL (website link) that identifies a particular page on a website.

Blog banner graphic highlighting blog post about creating custom URL slugs for your blog with Marketing for Authors logo on it, teal and black colors

Why does a custom URL slug matter?

By customizing a URL slug, you can make a website link compact, readable, memorable, and searchable.

Searchable means someone can find it if they type the exact words or similar words in a search engine and your webpage appears on the search results.

How can a the slug appear in the searches we want?

Choose the right words and customize it.

Remove the extra words that don’t carry any weight in explaining what the page or post is about. Words such as the, and, of.

The simpler, the better. Just 4-5 words max.

And using the Keyword or phrase you’ve selected is a bonus when building SEO. 

When choosing a keyword, think about how someone might search for the content you are writing. What would the words be that they might type into a search bar?

I would recommend doing your own search to see if the slug you are choosing shows search results you would like your page to appear on. This way, you know for sure you are targeting the right words, and the right audience.

Where do you customize the URL Slug?

Everyone’s setup for the website is different. If you see a permalink section, it will display what your currect URL slug will look like, and you can edit it right in that spot.

screen shot of the permalink field in wordpress where you can edit the URL slug
This is what the permalink field looks like where you can edit the URL slug

I highly recommend at least the free version of Yoast, where there’s a specific spot to view and update the URL slug. You can edit it right there in that section.

screen shot of the Yoast URL slug field where you can customize the slug
This is what the Yoast URL field looks like

Don’t change them once slugs are published

If you have shared the page on social media or in a newsletter or on another page, don’t go back and change the URL slug. Even taking out one word will alter the link and anyone clicking on it will get an error message.

I know I have several slugs I would love to go back and change and make them stronger and shorter because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But changing them will create other issues that it’s not worth the headaches to go back. 

Keep in mind, all is not lost. 

If you have favorites you want to better align with your new SEO strategy, consider rewriting them in a new post that you can use with updated SEO keywords and URL’s. 

Build Your SEO Strategy

And keep a log of your URL’s, keywords, and other SEO, so that you don’t repeat the same ones. Remember, no two posts or pages should share the same SEO. This will actually have a negative effect on your overall SEO score.

Learn more about SEO and how to build SEO, by signing up for my Marketing for Authors newsletter (this is one of my URL slugs that was created way before I knew better).

You may also look at past blog posts I’ve written specifically related to brand and SEO on this blog or in my monthly column on A Slice of Orange.