PD Martin's Blog

June 1, 2013

SEO for an author…really?

Filed under: PD Martin website — Tags: , — PD Martin @ 7:18 pm

A short blog today….

I rarely use my blog to voice a gripe—in fact, I think today is a first! But I’ve just hit the tipping point in terms of emails (spam) from web developers offering their SEO (search engine optimisation) services.

The email usually starts with something like: We’ve noticed your great design, but unfortunately your website isn’t optimised for key search words in your field. They try to word the email like they’ve checked out my site, yet clearly they haven’t. I mean, what good are search words for a crime fiction author? Or am I missing something?

Although you may know this already, search engine optimisation is set up so that if you type in a related key word search to Google or another search engine, your site comes up as close to the top as possible. So if you sell chilli-flavoured bubblegum, when someone types “Chilli-flavoured bubblegum”  you want your website at the top of the list.

But does anyone who’s thinking of trying a new author search in Google for “crime fiction author” or “FBI thriller” or “mystery novel”? I think not! Yes, they may do this type of a search on an online bookstore (e.g. Amazon) but I certainly don’t expect to gain any new readers via a random search on a general internet search engine.

In my mind, an author’s website is more about giving existing readers information about you, your characters, other books you’ve written, etc. So really, the only search terms I need to worry about are “PD Martin” or perhaps “P.D. Martin”, and “Sophie Anderson”.

Feel free to chime in…do you ever search for a new author on Google? Or what is your current most annoying marketing/spam email?

Comments (4)


  1. I have to admit that I have done a search for new mystery novels to read before I came across yours at my local library, but since then I have so many authors that I am friends with on Facebook that the only problem I have is getting through my (to be read) pile.

    Comment by Lynn — June 2, 2013 @ 5:02 am

  2. I totally agree. It sounds just as annoying as the e-mails I get claiming a distant relative of mine, and someone with the same surname, has just passed away and I’ve inherited their fortune. After all. My surname doesn’t really link me to any long lost relatives as it’s my husband’s. And besides. Since when did we start hearing about the death of a loved one via e-mail? I’ve never used the search term “new author” or the like. If I were looking for an author I’d heard of, I’d simply search using their name. I think what your getting is poor and careless marketing aimed to target vulnerable people who have no idea about this stuff. People similar to me! :)

    Comment by Jenny Czarny — June 2, 2013 @ 8:25 am

  3. Hi Lynn. Nice to hear from you! I guess a library search is a bit like an Amazon search though – you’re already in the book sphere rather than just doing a random Google search. Still, maybe I should put the phrase ‘mystery novels’ in my website a bit more!

    Interesting point re Facebook…I think Facebook has changed the way we do LOTS of things. :)

    Comment by PD Martin — June 2, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  4. Hi Jennny…yes, I get those inheritance emails, too. If only I did have a large sum of money waiting for me in some overseas bank! Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe we can have a shared relative who leaves us half each. Also happy to go you halves in the lotto!

    Comment by PD Martin — June 2, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

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