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Website Traffic and SEO for Authors

Posted by Sherrie Wilkolaski on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

by Tim Rice

Photo courtesy of Sachin GhodkeLet'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.

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Tim Rice is an Author Advocate at Infinity Publishing.

Image courtesy of Sachin Ghodke.

Getting Publicity for Your Book

Tags: website traffic, SEO, google, keywords, book discovery, book marketing

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