As I am writing this my book, SEO Help: 20 steps to get your website to Google’s #1 page is riding high on the Amazon.co.uk best seller charts at the number 17 slot which is great (plus the highest it’s risen since it first came out in January this year).
As an author I have been following the ups and downs on Amazon’s best-seller list for the last seven weeks. It made, for instance, the Amazon.com best-sellers chart at place number 49 within ten days of publication and has, since, been featured on the top 100 books six times. To say that the roller-coaster ride is also one mirrored by my own excitement as I watch it rise high (and the black mood which assails me when it drops) is an understatement. Authors always put in so much of themselves in their books that we tend to take everything personally.
As a search engine optimizer (SEO) I have also been able to detach myself a little and watch to see how my SEO efforts have been pivotal to the success of my book. My website is on Google’s first page, for instance, for over 50 related search terms and it is on Google’s first three pages (and rising fast) for over 100 additional search terms. This kind of optimization tends to bring some very serious, targeted traffic to my website which, in turn, impacts positively upon the sales of my book on Amazon as well as their sale on Kindle (and my site), all of which brings me to the fact that SEO, these days is a vital part of the author’s arsenal for self-promotion.
Authors have always been responsible for much of their own publicity when it comes to getting heir books known and the web, these days, gives them pretty much a global market and the means to directly reach their potential readers, provided, of course, that they know what it is they must do. This is where search engine optimization becomes, for authors, their best online friend. By optimizing their websites they increase the reach of their name and the number of new readers who find out about them plus, at the same time, increase traffic to their books some of which ought to translate into more sales.
If you are an author with a book to promote online the SEO rules to follow are simple:
01. You need to have some kind of online presence. - I know that’s obvious but for authors it’s still new ground. If you have not got an official website as an author you should at least have a Blog (you could even get a free one from Blogger), have a Twitter account and a Facebook page, like mine, and maybe even a MySpace account. The reason for all this is in the fact that while your target audience spends a large chunk of their day online they are unlikely to spend much time on your website, or even remember to return to it. This is why you must make it as easy as possible for them to keep in touch by giving them as many means as possible to keep tabs on your site and your book and tell their friends about it.
02. You need to put in place a means of creating regular content on your website in order to communicate with your target audience - You are a writer, so write. Communicating with your target audience is vital because that’s how you create a following and get readers. You need to be able to get the conversation going which means you need to have a content creation strategy in place which allows you to create posts on a regular basis. For me, for instance, I have my SEO Blog which becomes the place where I put in writing which is SEO-related (like this post) but which also sparks my interest and allows me to create posts, like this one, pertinent to SEO and of real value to readers.
03. You have to publicize what you post – Content is great but the greatest content in the world does little if no one sees it. Link your website (or Blog) to your Facebook and Twitter and alert your fans and your friends to the fact that you have created new content which they can now respond to.
Of course search engine optimization is a lot more than just that. If you really want to learn how to do it properly and save time in the process you should take a little time to familiarize yourself with the basics. But if it comes down to doing nothing or doing a little, then the three things detailed here will give you a much more search engine optimized presence which will result in more readers and greater book sales.