Now that you have a fabulous new website, it’s time to talk about getting people to visit it.
One of the ways people find your website is through search engines and you can improve the chance people find you through the various search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo through what it is called search engine optimization or SEO. In short, there are some things that people can do to optimize your site and improve your chances search engines will send your website visitors.
What makes search engine traffic so great is #1) it’s free. Who doesn’t love promoting their books to people for free? Why pay for ad space when you can just get it for free, right? #2) Search engine traffic is usually highly targeted and that means that it often times has a far better rate of success. What this means is, the person who comes to you from a search engine, usually is looking for what you are talking about – your books or you n general and targeted traffic statistically is more likely to buy your books than if you were to have gotten that person via a paid ad. This is why people love search engine traffic. If I happen upon a site about shoes that’s fine, I might look at them or if I click a Facebook ad for some pretty red shoes, I might or might not buy them. But if I go to Google and search for red shoes and visit a site I am by far more likely to buy them. So in the end, this is why it’s worth doing little fixes to your site, to make it more attractive to search engines. Long story short, this is all about getting you new fans to help you sell more of your books!
#1 Unique Titles
Every single page on your website should have a unique and descriptive title. If you have 14 pages on your website, then every one of those 14 pages needs their own unique title. No two pages on your site should have the same title, ever.
If you are using what they call an SEO plugin on a blog like WordPress that lets you define the titles of each post page, be descriptive and lengthy. For this post, my title should be something like Tracy Tegan – My Top 5 SEO Tips for Authors – Book Marketing — it’s my name, title of my post and the category of the post. The idea here is to make sure the title is unique, description and the appropriate length. A little bit longer is always better than just the title of your post.
#2 Tell Don’t Show
In writing, we are told – SHOW DON’T TELL, but when it comes to your website you need to do just the opposite and tell, don’t show. What I mean by this is that search engines aren’t able to look at any pretty picture you may post and know what it means because well … they are computers. They can, however, read any text you put. So if you have to choose between pretty pictures or lots of words on your page, always choose lots of words.
Computers may be getting smarter every single day but still the one thing they can’t do is guess what in the world some picture you’ve posted may say. Look at this picture below – sweet, huh?
The problem is, while your fans may love it, what about search engines? They have no clue what that picture says. Sometimes however you need (or want) to use a graphic like this. So what can you do? Use both! Show the picture and type up what it says below it. Now you’ve got the best of both worlds.
Go for someone who is not only proud to have you,
but will also take every risk just to keep you.
#3 Be wordy! No seriously, go crazy.
Don’t be afraid to be extra wordy when it comes to your post. Search engines love text and the more you can give them, the happier it makes them. While sometimes you just don’t have a lot to say about a subject and that’s understandable, but when you can, make your post as long as possible. Search engines give bonuses to websites whose posts are unique … that means you are writing your own words and not just copying something someone else has already said, and are long and insightful. So if you are writing about your new book and how you came up with the idea for it, don’t be afraid to go crazy and make the post 500, 600 or even 1,500 words. Doing so really may bring you in more new visitors to your site than you realize, especially over the long run.
#4 – Think before you speak
Let’s say I want to buy some new red high-heeled shoes. I go to Google and search what? I probably start my search off by typing in red high-heeled shoes. I don’t just type shoes or red shoes, I type in the full “long tail” search of red high-heeled shoes. Okay sure, some people will just type in red shoes, but the point I’m trying to make is, before you start typing up whatever it is you want to say to your fans or readers, I want you to think for just a moment about what it a person would Google to find that very article you are writing about.
Let’s say you have decided to do a free book giveaway and will be autographing a special copy of your next book. What would a person type into a search engine to find your post about that? Keep in mind they don’t even know you yet, they just happen to be googling something you happened to write about. I would say they probably would search free book giveaway or what about free mystery novel or top free mystery novels? Think about who you are trying to attract and what it is they may think of in their mind when looking for something on the internet. Now when you are typing up your post about how you are going to autograph a copy of your next spy mystery novel, be sure and use those specific words in your post.
Those words are called keywords. Here are some samples of keywords …
- Red Shoes
- High Heel Red Shoes
- High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes
- Free High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes
The more specific you can get, the more you can tailor your post to a specific thing, the better. So in the case of the above example above, if I was giving away a pair of free shoes I would in the body of my post use the keyword phrase “Free High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes”. I would also put that in my TAGS, and quite possibly even name my post “Free High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes”.
So to be clear if I wanted to attract people to my site, I would write a post about how I was giving away a free pair of high heel red shoes with open toes. I would very clearly say those exact words in the body of my post. I would make sure my post was at least 300 words, make my title “Free High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes”, and put in the tag “Free High Heel Red Shoes with Open Toes”. Now that’s about as targeted as it gets. Chances are, if I did all the other things I talked about in this post, I am going to attract the right people to my site – not right away, not this minute, but in time I’ll attract a steady stream of people looking for what I was offering and it cost me nothing but the time it took me to make that post. Who doesn’t love a free way to promote their book to people actually interested in getting their hands on it? 🙂
#5 Get links
And last but most assuredly not least, we have come to what is probably the most important part of your website marketing process and that is getting other websites to link to you. Search engines think that the more people who link to your website, the more important it is so the more people they will send you. So what you need to do is get every book review blog you can to review your book and in that review, link to your official website. I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is. It doesn’t matter what their review of your book is. Google doesn’t care about good or bad reviews of your book. What they do care about is that link that says the author’s official website is (YourSite.com). The more people who provide a link to your website, the more traffic you are going to get from search engines, it’s just that simple.
If you have 93 people who reviewed your books from 93 different book review blogs, make sure every single one of them – and yes I mean actually call or email them if you have to, make sure every single one of them provided a link to your website.
Search engines use a highly sophisticated ranking system and the more people that link to you, the more points (for lack of a better word) your website gets and the more points you have the higher rank your website is to them and the more traffic they will send you. So even if a book review blog called your book the biggest piece of poo they’ve ever had the displeasure of reading, you don’t care – okay, maybe you care, but what you really really want from them is that precious link back to your official website.