You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Website’ category.
Authors ask me all the time why their websites, blogs, and Facebook Fan Pages don’t appear on the first, second, third, fifteenth page of Google after doing a search for related words. There is no magic button to make your website appear on the first page of the search. It’s tangled in a science called SEO. There are people whose entire job is understanding SEO, so don’t feel lost if you can’t figure it out right away. But here are some little things that you can do to increase your SEO.
The most important thing you can do to make Google like you is to provide good content and to update it frequently.
You’ll want to link to relevant sites and get relevant sites to link to you. You may do this in a kind letter letting the webmasters know how much you enjoy their site and how you’ve linked to theirs on your own, which may be of interest to them. Don’t forget that the words you hyperlink should describe or be the name of the site, not the words “click here.”
Buying Google Key Terms
This is something you have to pay for. You can pay Google to link your website with certain words, which will nudge your site toward the top.
No Graphic Text or Flash
Don’t use pictures or Flash media instead of words. Google can only read words if they are actually hilightable text. If you do use an image, at least include alternative text or a caption so Google has something to pick up on.
You want to get all the important words on your site, preferably in the title and web address. By important words, I mean words that people who should find your site will most likely look for. For example, authors interested in social media will search something like “social media for authors” or “social networking for writers.” That is why both the URL and the text title say Social Media for Authors. The more specific the keywords, like longer keyword phrases, the better chance that you’ll be at the top of the search page.
Note: Beware of keyword stuffing. Google is getting smarter by the day. It knows when you’ve flooded your page with keywords just to get better SEO. Remember, content is king.
Ultimately, you will get a better ranking if your site is popular. It will be popular if there’s A) Good content, as I said, and B) usability. Don’t let there be a single dead link. Make it look nice, easy to navigate. Don’t use forest green text on charcoal backgrounds. You know what I mean.
10 Key SEO Strategies Every Facebook Page Owner Should Know (Inside Facebook)
55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love (Search Engine Journal)
9 Expert SEO Tips (Small Business Trends)
10 SEO Tools Every Blogger Must Use (Daily SEO Tip)
10 Simple SEO Tips (Social Media Today)
A website is a good way to get all your information to your readers. It’s a place to send them when they ask you about your book. It’s especially useful for authors with multiple books. You can have a website dedicated to the book, the series, or the author as a brand. This can be more expensive and time-consuming than some other online endeavors, but gives you more freedom. There are also free and easy alternatives to getting a domain name.
Here are things to include on your author website:
- A jpeg of the cover of the book you’re promoting
- Publication date
- A short description of the book
- A link to buy the book (you wouldn’t imagine how many people forget this!)
- Recent news (unless you want to dedicate a separate page to News and Site Updates)
- Share buttons (ShareThis)
- A place for people to sign up for your mailing list
- Your contact information: leave them your email address. Putting your email on a website can make you vulnerable to spam, so many people use contact forms on their sites, but users don’t like using them. If you’re worried about spam, create a second email account used just for your website, but don’t forget to check it every now and again!
One of the best ways to get people to link to you is if you link to them. You can have a Reference page and list useful websites that are related to the topic of your book. You can also link to useful tools in the book world or in the genre of your work. It’s also common to keep a Blog Roll in the side bar of your blog (This is a list of blogs that you read that your readers might enjoy, too).
Tip: Don’t just list the URL. Make sure it’s a hyperlink. Also, don’t hyperlink words like “click here.” Hyperlink the title of the website or a short description like Jaime’s Portfolio.
About the Author
Why should your readers trust you? Tell them your qualifications for writing this book. You only need a paragraph or two like the author bio you find on your book. You can also include links to interviews, etc. Here’s a good article about what you might want to include to boost your reputation. Here’s an article full of examples of fun and unique bio pages. Don’t be afraid to be creative.
You don’t need a separate page for this, but make sure you link to all your other online platforms. Do you have a Twitter account? A Facebook Fan page? Link it on your homepage, your sidebar, your links page, or your author bio.
If you are doing an author event either live in person or having a digital book tour (blog tour), list the dates and places. Give a sentence or two of what people can expect. Is it a reading and signing? Is there a presentation? Q&A? Workshop?
One page where the press can get all they need to do their article or interview. This means hi-res photos of your cover and author photo. Include a couple sentences about your book, a couple sentences about you, a couple blurbs or reviews, maybe a Q&A, and your topics of expertise. Here is an excellent article about online press kits with examples.
If you have more to say about your book than a short description for the front page, you can create a separate page for more info about the book. You can include things like reviews, links to interviews, etc. This is also a good idea if you have more than one book.
Some authors will choose one or the other: a blog or a website. If you have time to keep it up, you can include a blog on your website. There are pros and cons to hosting the blog on your websites. Another option is hosting it on a blog site like Blogger, LiveJournal, or WordPress and linking to it directly on your website.
You may want to include extras on your site to hook people in. You can have a separate tab for excerpt from your book. Or maybe your first book is out already and you want to post the first chapter of the sequel that has yet to come out.