Creating an EBook is a great way to get creative with your content and offer your readers something a little bit more detailed than a blog post. Although oftentimes EBooks are given away for free, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. They are a great way to really show your expertise, offer something extra to your loyal readers (or help encourage people to become “loyal” readers), and even gather leads from those who download the EBook. For most companies, these benefits are enough to justify spending a little bit of time and resources on creating a 15-20 page EBook.

However, what many companies forget is that there are ways that EBooks can improve your SEO. This may not be quite as popular, or even as successful, as contributing content (guest blogging) for SEO help, but with a little bit of awareness about EBooks and SEO, one of the benefits can be improved organic rankings on a SERP. It’s up to you to make it happen.

Tips to Creating and Advertising an EBook

Before jumping into how to help your EBook help you SEO, you have to first create a quality EBook. Below are some of the requirements for a good EBook and tips to get started:

  • Consider the length. A good EBook is around 15 pages long because it won’t overwhelm a reader and it won’t seem unmanageable, but it’s much longer than even the most detailed blog post. Of course this is up to you and will depend on your topic and your goals. If you do decide to go longer, giving it away for free may not be your best option in terms of ROI.
  • The content should be informative. An EBook should definitely not be a sales-pitch. The goal of a good EBook is to inform, and adding in a little bit of entertainment won’t hurt!
  • Keep the EBook specific. You do not want to write about a broad subject. The goal of an EBook is to give readers a deep understanding about one subject (something you can’t get from a blog post).
  • Include visual elements whenever possible. EBooks are a great place to use visuals. You’ve got the space, so the easier you can make your topic to understand, the better.
  • Consider the format of your EBook. Many companies use the EBook for EBooks template from Advice Interactive where you can fill in the blanks to setup your EBook and use the useful design. If you don’t use a template, it’s up to you to format the book correctly for downloading and easier writing.

In addition to creating your EBook, your next step should be thinking about how to market your EBook successfully before worrying about how it can help your SEO. Most companies will give an EBook away for free so that more people will be interested, but also for several benefits this can offer the company. For example, you can use your EBook to urge visitors to subscribe to a newsletter. If you ask visitors to download the EBook, that is a lead you can use in the future.

The future of SEO is all about creating relationships and offering quality content, so it’s clear why an EBook is the perfect combination of the two. Your third step is then thinking about SEO. Just as with blog post articles, readers have to come first and SEO second.

How to Use Your EBook for SEO Benefits

Once again, your EBook isn’t necessarily going to help your SEO if you don’t position it that way. Below are some of the top ways you can optimize your EBook to help you earn SEO benefits over time:

  • Website Links. Put a link to your Ebook on the homepage of your website and on some of your high traffic pages. This will help earn visibility for the EBook and hopefully help you earn some natural links.
  • Create Relationships. Collect the emails of people who downloaded your EBook and establish a relationship. This could lead to earned media opportunities.
  • Use Analytics. Setup analytics so that you can measure your ROI and therefore improve your next EBook. This can also help give you even more insights into what your audience likes to read.
  • Get Your EBook. If possible, try to sell your EBook on Amazon and eBay. This is another way to improve visibility and earn SEO link juice from authoritative websites. You can still give you EBook away for free on your website, but for those who don’t want to subscribe or give you an email address, purchasing the book might be a good option.
  • Directory Benefits. Consider submitting your EBook to directories if possible. Keep in mind, however, that many directories off poor quality content; so be selective.

In the end, EBooks are only going to become more popular. I highly recommend checking out this article to learn more about creating an EBook and this article to learn more about how EBooks affect SEO.

Do you have any ideas for using an EBook to improve your SEO? Let us know what works for you in the comment section below.