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A No-Nonsense Guide to Google Search Success For Substackers

Yes, you should do SEO on Substack

Substack is a great platform for writers. Blogging and newsletters combined in a single, free platform that comes with its own social media network in Substack Notes and much more gems.

It’s the platform to be on in 2024.

But what’s about search engines and Substack?

Let’s talk about getting your newsletter some serious Google love today.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why this matters, stick with me. By the end of this guide, you’ll be itching to dive into the world of search engine optimization (SEO) for your Substack.

Why Bother with Google, Anyway?

Look, Google’s the 800-pound gorilla of the internet.

When folks are hunting for info, they’re probably starting with a Google search.

If your Substack articles pop up in those results, you’re golden.

We’re talking more eyeballs on your work, more subscribers, and maybe even some sweet, sweet monetization down the line.

Think about it — wouldn’t it be nice to have readers stumbling upon your brilliant insights without you having to shout into the void of social media every day?

That’s the power of (good) SEO.

Getting Cozy with Google Search Console

First things first, you need to introduce your Substack to Google properly.

Enter Google Search Console — your new best friend in the world of SEO.

Setting it up isn’t rocket science, but it does require a bit of patience.

Here’s the down and dirty:

  1. Get yourself a Google account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Head over to Google Search Console and add your Substack as a property.
  3. Prove you’re the boss of your Substack domain. You’ve got a couple of options here:
    • Use Google Analytics
    • Or go with Google Tag Manager
    • (Check out an in-depth guide here)

Whichever route you choose, you’ll end up with a special code to plug into your Substack settings.

Once you’re all set up, the Search Console will start spilling the beans on how Google sees your Substack. That’ll help you climb those search result rankings.

Getting Google to Notice Your Substack

Alright, so you’re in Google’s system.

Now what?

It’s time to make sure Google actually reads your stuff. There are two main ways to go about this:

  1. The URL Inspection Tool: Think of this as knocking on Google’s door and saying, “Hey, check out this specific article!” It’s great for making sure your latest masterpiece gets noticed quickly.
  2. Sitemaps: This is more like giving Google a map of your entire Substack. Luckily, Substack creates this for you automatically. You just need to tell Google where to find it.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the sitemap approach. It’s less work for you in the long run, especially if you’re churning out content like a machine.

Playing the Waiting Game

Here’s the thing — even after you’ve done all this, Google doesn’t just snap its fingers and instantly index your content. It can take days or even weeks.

In the meantime, you can keep an eye on your progress in Search Console. It’s like watching paint dry, but for SEO nerds.

Troubleshooting 101

Sometimes, things don’t go as smoothly as we’d like.

Maybe Google’s having trouble reading your content, or there’s a pesky error popping up. Search Console is your go-to for figuring out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Common issues include broken links, duplicate content, or pages that Google can’t access. Don’t panic if you see these – they’re usually pretty easy to sort out.

SEO Best Practices

Now, let’s talk about making your content irresistible to Google. Here are some tried-and-true tips:

  • Use keywords smartly: Sprinkle relevant phrases throughout your articles, but don’t go overboard. Nobody likes keyword stuffing.
  • Write meaty content: Google loves in-depth articles that really dive into a topic.
  • Get some backlinks: When other reputable sites link to you, it’s like a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes.
  • Mix it up: Throw in some images or videos to keep things interesting.
  • Stay consistent: Regular publishing keeps Google coming back for more.
  • Spread the word: Share your articles on social media to get some initial traction.

The Long Game

Look, SEO isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s more like planting a garden. You put in the work upfront, tend to it regularly, and over time, you’ll see it flourish.

The payoff is worth it. We’re talking about building a sustainable audience, becoming a go-to source in your niche, and maybe even turning your Substack into a serious money-maker.

Before you know it, you’ll be watching your Substack climb those Google rankings, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start this whole SEO thing sooner.

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