As an author trying to sell your latest book, I totally get why the whole idea of keywords wouldn’t even make it on your radar. Most of the big book promotion firms don’t address it, and even if they do, they keep the concept pretty vague.

Many authors are confused by the concept of keywords. After all, you’re a writer, not a marketer. So let’s start with a simple definition of what a keyword is and what it does.

Keywords are how consumers search for the things they are interested in online (Google, Bing, Amazon, etc.) and through social media. Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into a search box – pretty simple.

While I have an article planned that will discuss how to authors can find the right keywords for their genre and their book, let’s just talk about the top 5 reasons why authors need keywords in the first place.

1. Author Pages

No matter what online platform you use to publish your book, whether it’s Amazon, Apple, or some other website, you will have an author page or an author biography attached to your book. Using the right keywords for your genre and book will help future readers find you and buy your books.

2. Book Description

As with author pages and biographies, author and book keywords are equally important for your book description wherever you offer it for sale. Even library databases use keywords to search for appropriate books to put on purchase. Good keywords for authors include genres and sub-genres that describe your book, or even comparable authors or book titles. If you don’t use keywords effectively, it will be difficult to get your book to rank higher in online searches.

3. Author Website/Blog

When it comes to people finding you and your book, you are not completely dependent on Amazon. You should also have an author website where you talk about your book and post regular content that would be of interested to potential readers. If you post content about the right targeted keywords for your best potential readers, search engines will deliver that content to people who search on Google for it. It’s another way to target readers without depending completely on Amazon and social media.

4. Social Media Platforms

Social media presents another huge opportunity for you to use keywords to attract potential readers for your book. The only difference with social media is that they use hashtags instead of what we would traditionally think of as keywords. Hashtags are the same thing as keywords and you need to use the right ones to help people find you.

5. Video Platforms

I see a lot of people posting their video content on video platforms, such as Youtube, without using any type of keywords – especially when they’re posting shorts. While Youtube does recognize hashtags to some degree, you’ve need to post your keywords in the title of your video and in the description to help potential readers find you. Youtube has the added benefit of being owned by Google, so when you post on Youtube, your video is likely to get picked up by Google too, if you’ve used good keywords.