This summer, Google changed the rules for us about on-page optimization. It seems that short, exact match domain names are now cool, affiliate marketing is out, and we get extra points for sharing and commenting on social media (as opposed to liking and reTweeting). As fickle as it is, it is important to keep up with Google because Google directs how we receive traffic as much as Amazon controls how books are sold. Although we are writers living in a video-is-content-king universe right now, words still matter. The words we use in blog postings and social comments can attract or divert traffic.
Nonfiction, more than any other genre, lends itself to being discovered through keyword searches. While a novel is more likely to be recommended by word of mouth, a how-to book is more likely to be discovered through an internet search engine. The use of search term analytics to develop your keywords can be advantageous, but only if an author knows what to do with them.
Here are some power keywords for authors:
- book reviews
- free books
- social networking
- books list
- book blog
- book sales
As mentioned earlier, nonfiction subgenres and subjects benefit the most from keyword indexing. Nonfiction authors have three analytical tools that can help them sell books—keywords, skill sets, and articles. Here are some ways that nonfiction authors can increase traffic to their websites and blogs.
Make it an annual event at the beginning of every year to pull up Google Adwords and retest the keywords and phrases that work with your material. Pick the terms with the most hits and the lowest competition. Note new terms that are rising. Discard old ones that are losing rank. Make a list of this year’s keywords in descending order of importance. Use them on your website, in your blog posts and articles, and in social comments.
As LinkedIn expands and diversifies, more and more of us are finding our experts there. Did you know that LinkedIn now allows 50 skills per profile? Add your keywords and phrases as LinkedIn skills. Observe the new connections who reach out to you on LinkedIn afterwards.
Backlinks (incoming links) plus content still reign for gaining page rank on Google. Submit new articles with your latest keywords on the sites that are currently #1 for your top keywords. Doing this will integrate your analytics strategy.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you write an article that contains the bulk of the keywords in the above list. You then link that article to the site that is #1 for your top keyword. In time, your own site should begin receiving traffic from the site with your article on it. Furthermore, the new traffic you’re receiving should be from visitors who are keenly interested in your main topic.
Nonfiction authors who know their best keywords and phrases, and can articulate their skills are more likely to be found. When authors place their keywords, phrases and skills in carefully located posts and articles, they draw their readers to them.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist was voted Best Book Promotion Service by Preditors & Editors’ Readers Poll in 2011. Client successes include an IndieReader Best Book of 2011, a 2011 IPPY and a 2011 Sarton Memoir Award Winner. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn, and follow her book marketing tips on Twitter and Facebook.
Register here for her next free Keyword Magic webinar.