by Gary L. Watts, Author
If you have a web site to promote your book (and you should), coming up in the first few pages of search engine listings should be your objective. This is a lofty goal but you want to try to appear ahead of other websites in search engine ranking to attract more potential customers to your site. First, you need to pick a few phrases or “key” words that you think people will use in searching for your site/book. For discussion purposes we will use the #1 search engine: Google. It has about a 70% share of the business.
In my book: 100 Marketing Trade Secrets for any Business there is a chapter (with a lot of secrets) about web sites. For instance, in Secret #65- Boost Web Site Traffic it gives you an overview in easy to understand terms on how to boost “traffic” to your website.
I want to share a “high value” item I discovered a month ago that is extremely easy to use. Google (and all others search engines) have a mysterious link analysis algorithm that it builds into its programming on how its search engine works. They keep changing it (to make it better?) but the changes are also so no one can “game it. But, one “key” factor in all search engines is: Backlinks. This means getting your website address/link on other highly ranked websites. WebSite Magazine states this: The quality of the other link is vital and the number of backlinks is still one of the most powerful factors in predicting Google rankings (and others). Therefore we need to get quality backlinks to raise our website’s search engine ranking. So here it comes: My backlinks are mainly obtained via “Free Classified Ad Websites”. There are hundreds of these sites. Just “Google” free classified ads to find them. But to reach my objective of QUALITY, I use major high ranking popular sites to place my FREE classified ads. For instant, I use Craiglist (books for sale), EBay Classified, and other super high ranking web sites to obtain my QUALITY backlinks. A list of the top 10 classified ad sites that according to Matthew Myer, of www.quickresister.com who runs a service that will post your classified ads (for a price); these are the top 10 classified sites where you will get major traffic both domestic and international: (Alexa ranking over 150,000) this means that the sites below all get serious traffic.
As far as creating a classified ad, you can easily put one together with a classified ad “shell” fill-in-the-blank –ad site. I found several free sites that offer user friendly templates like, Postmaven.com, PrettyPosts.com and others. Of course the main graphic is my book: click on the links below to see my free classified ads:
Best of luck to you as you better use SEO to market and promote your book.
An accomplished expert in consumer and B2B marketing, he held the position of Senior National Marketing Manager for Walt Disney World, where he coordinated various awareness activities with major corporations and national media. This included comprehensive programs to launch Epcot and event coverage with NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, SIN, CBC, BBC, as well as other major print, radio and television outlets.
Watts is a graduate of Marshall University and has completed comprehensive postgraduate work in broadcast journalism at West Virginia University. He also served as the University's Assistant Director of Information and Publications prior to his 2 year tour of duty as an officer in the US Army where he earned a bronze star for his service. Watts also has worked as Community Relations Director for several radio and television stations and won several national awards for his on-air promotional campaigns.
by Tim Rice
Let's talk a moment on website traffic. You develop a website and get it hosted. You now have the “Welcome Mat” out for visitors. You have made the first move toward getting your message out to the people who will buy your book and read your message.
So, how come no one comes by for a visit? You have pretty pictures and important things to share. So when does the world come to your proverbial doorstep? What more can you do to reach the people who will purchase your book? That is what you want after all.
The answer starts with a term you may have heard, SEO or “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is a fancy term for some fairly simple concepts. SEO deals with Keywords, Content and Linking on your website. Your website has to be found. Search Engines like Google and Yahoo do the work of finding you. Using Keywords, Content and Linking, Search Engines rank you in something referred to as Natural Listings. Natural Listings are the site links returned to you when you search with yahoo, Google or some other search engine. So what do you do for Keywords, Content and Linking?
“Keywords” are hidden in the code. Keywords are those fantastic little words we type into a search engine like yahoo. Hidden in the code of most websites on the internet are a few keywords that the website owner wants their site to be found by. A Keyword can be the title of your book, the genre, your name, the main character’s name. A Keyword can also be a phrase such as Underwater Fire Fighting, Frisbee Athletics or any other 2-3 word statements. So a single word or a phrase will work. When you are designing a new website or updating your old one, create a list of keywords that will make it easier find your site. These should be given to the website designer so they can add them to the website’s code.
The next option is rather easy. This is one where we will take advantage of the Search Engine. A Search Engine also views your website content. If you use a phrase or word multiple times that word or phrase will become another type of keyword. The title of your book will most likely be mentioned several times. The genre may be mentioned. So how do you take advantage of the Search Engine reviewing your website content? The answer is simple. Write content that discussed the book, the main character, the genre, or the message of the book. Don’t skimp on the content. Don’t over fluff it either. You don’t want to annoy the readers. Take the time to write something that sells this wonderful work you wrote and expands a bit more than just a short synopsis. You aren’t being billed by the word. The internet hasn’t figured out how to do that yet! So write something the uses keywords and phrases that relate to your book. Special note here, do not make your pages into images only. Text converted into an image is not read by search engines.
Another element to consider is links to and from your site. The quickest links are to your Facebook page, Twitter or other social media. Always, Always and did I say Always, link to your Facebook page, Twitter or blog. Linking to and from social media has two values. One is for SEO purposes the other is that it makes it easy for your friends and blog followers to find your website. Another bit here is that you should link to relevant sites and have those same sites link back to you. Links should go both ways! Contact the webmaster of the site you want to link with and ask them to link back to you. If your book is on cooking with Peanut Butter you should try to get Peanut Butter makers to link to you. Remember that Search Engines rank you higher in their natural listings when you have links.
Alright let’s close this with a simple recap in English
To get more traffic on your website:
Create a list of keywords (and phrases) to be included in the code of your website. Give them to your web design people.
Develop good content that highlights terms and phrase you want to be found by. Search Engines will be checking for these.
Link to your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Post your website link in those same accounts. Don’t forget to link to relevant websites and get them to link back.
With these changes to the “Welcome Mat” your website will steadily begin to see more people knocking at your door.
Tim Rice is an Author Advocate at Infinity Publishing.
Image courtesy of Sachin Ghodke.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
When people want to search from something online they immediately think of Google.com and they will probably say they are going to “Google” something rather than say they are going to “search” for it. Google offers a variety of free tools that can help authors to position themselves to sell more books and one of these tools is Google Alerts.
What is an alert?
An alert is an email notification that you set-up based on the criteria (key words) you want to monitor. For example, if you want to monitor information about your favorite sports team, movie star or even your favorite author, Google Alerts handles the search for you. You log into your Google account, set-up the key words you want to key an eye out for, and Google will email you the results either as they come in (real time) or in a digest (in bulk, daily or weekly).
Setting-up your Google Alerts.
You need to have a Google account to use this free online tool. It is as simple as going to this page: http://www.google.com/alerts and typing in key words to what you want Google to alert you on.
Go directly to Google for detailed instructions on how to set-up your Google Alerts, just be sure to keep reading on for your 5 tips.
How Google Alerts Can Help an Author Sell More Books.
Knowledge is power and having the information you need, right at your fingertips is what will help any author get in front of their competition, be more readily available to the media and marketing opportunities and will help them have a better understanding of where their book stands in the market.
Here are the top 5 ways an author should use their Google Alerts:
Monitor online activity that is tied to the book title and author name. Authors should set-up a Google Alert for both their book title and their author name. This will monitor things like new book reviews that are posted, online discussions, blog article mentions and any other activity that is tied to their book title. These types of alerts should be monitored in real time, so that if something is posted, the author can address it almost immediately. For example, if there is an online discussion about an should On a regular basis authors ask me how they track what is going on with their book marketing, reviews and potential online discussions about their books. It is very simple.
Follow the competition. Authors should monitor the top 5-10 competing books in their genre. Watching where and when your competition is posting, being interviewed and what readers are saying about their books, will give you an incredible list of resources to help you better market and promote your work. If you find that your competition just picked up a guest blog post on a website that is ideal for your book, use that information to get out there and get your own guest blog invite. There is no end to what you can do with competitive details.
Look out for current events relating to your book topic. If you’ve written about a sailing, for example, you should be looking for current events that are tied to that subject. Think outside of the box and use your story, you book and genre to connect yourself to a media story that is already in flight. Keep current on the media coverage and blogs that are talking about your subject matter, then make the move and jump into the discussion or reach out to the media to let them know you’re available for an interview!
Watch out for future opportunities. Use Google Alerts to think ahead and be on the lookout for media queries for author interviews and PR opportunities. It is typical to find other authors, bloggers and media personalities posting via their own sites and social media networks for authors to interview for future articles, interviews, etc. It’s usually first come, first served so if you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field or genre, set-up Google Alerts to notify you. Examples: “vegan cookbook authors” or “healthcare experts”
Local marketing and PR events. Using Google Alerts to get you better synced up with your local media and writers communities is a wonderful way to put yourself “in the know” and keep you out in front of the completion and giving you a greater chance to be called on as the local author expert. Use your key words and add your location to the alerts. Another way to use location is to help you find opportunities that tie to specific regions that you’re interested in marketing to. If you have a book written about Montana, but life in California, it makes sense to focus on both your local CA and Montana areas, for potential happenings. You can always call into a radio station for an interview from anywhere.
Google Alerts can be an author’s secret weapon for tracking their online exposure as well as helping to build their online platform, if you make the time to use the content you’re receiving to your advantage. Let Google do the search work for you, it will save you time and will help you find information that you may not have found on your own.
Do you use Google Alerts? Tell us about it…