Building a website should be a cornerstone of your book marketing, but it’s quite another accomplishment to get Google to notice it.
SEO rules have changed so much over the last few years, it’s hard to keep track of what’s really going to get you traction in search and make your book marketing efforts worthwhile.
Why does SEO matter? Well, Google ranks top in search and you want to be found.
In fact over 65% of us search on Google with only 7.31% searching on Bing (this is down from 33% in 2015). The remaining percentages are divided up among sites like Ask, Yahoo, AOL and others.
I recently noticed our site fell off page one when you searched for our keywords, and mostly it was because I stopped paying attention to all of the factors that go into SEO. And we’re the book marketing experts!
Thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot of work to bring it back. And if you have a site that’s been around for a while your job gets easier. That’s one reason I always recommended authors establish their site early on in their book marketing journey.
But keeping an eye on SEO is also a big part of your book marketing. So I’ve created a list of the elements that get great ranking.
First and foremost, know your keywords. Remember, Amazon is a search engine too so you can use what you’ve learned about Amazon SEO on Google as well. You can read my piece about Amazon keywords….
If you aren’t sure what your keywords are, ask whoever designed your site to show you where to find your site data. We use a plugin called Yoast, and we also use Google Analytics to asses what keywords are best for Google.
This tells us specifically what keywords people are using, and which ones brought them to our website. This is hugely important for reasons I’ll go into in a moment.
Be Keyword Savvy
What Keywords are on your homepage? This is where some of these keywords will come into play. Having these on your homepage and spread throughout your site is a good way to gain some traction and appeal to the Google gods of search. But don’t make your homepage too wordy. Keep it to 250 words if you can. Remember the elevator pitch you created for your other book marketing? Here’s another great place to use it.
Book Marketing and Blogging
While it may seem boring and labor intensive, using blogging in your book marketing is still the number one way to get the attention of consumers and Google. Use keywords in your blog title and sprinkle them throughout your blog post.
Blog often. Most SEO experts recommend three times a week. The more you blog, the better your search is. Generally, I recommend content in three lengths, so long content (1000-1200 words) shorter content (750 words) and then super short (500 words or even less).
Use Great Images
Images are crucial not just because of the value of search but also the value of keeping your consumer on the page. Our minds are image processors (another reason your book cover plays such an important role in your book marketing), not word processors, so having one or two images per blog post as well as on your site, helps to draw users in.
When you use images, make sure to name them appropriately using your keywords again.
Be Easy to Navigate
Three clicks. Any page on your site should be accessible within three clicks from your homepage.
Have a focused goal on your homepage. While your site can do a good many things (and many sites do), your home page should have one goal. Once you get someone to your web site you don’t want to confuse them. A confused mind doesn’t make a choice and will likely click off to your competition.
Get a good URL
This is part of your book marketing branding. Something that relates to your topic and is easy to remember. Ideally your URL should also have keywords in it. If you have a few different web site addresses (such as your name, maybe an old domain, etc.) make sure they aren’t all forwarding to the same page on your site. Have them forward to different pages, this will also help with your search rank.
Use Google AdWords
Even if you don’t want to run ads, sign up for an account there and dig into that platform to find great keywords. Their results are quite accurate in terms of searches per month and this can help you greatly if you’re struggling to find the right keywords to use.
Broken Links Have to Go
I’ve had this happen, we all have, but 404 links are bad news so check the pages on your site frequently. This is especially true when you have made any kind of changes to your website.
Book Marketing for Mobile is a Must
For the first time since 2014, mobile is exceeding desktop usage and Google is penalizing non-mobile sites, or sites that aren’t mobile friendly. By being mobile it means you need a site created specifically for the various phone and tablet platforms.
Plus, you have an eBook right? There’s a very good chance your readers are reading your book on their phone or iPad, so mobile readiness is also a modern book marketing cornerstone a lot of authors forget.
Getting ranking for your website doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, the thing to remember is that a static, boring site doesn’t help your ranking.