Category Archives: Author Website Design

6 New Ways To Get People To Visit Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Ideally, you’ve designed your author website to project your unique author brand. You’ve maximized your bio, included a list of books with blurbs and reviews, started a blog or newsletter, and provided the necessary contact information. Since your author website was launched, you’ve been driving as much Web traffic as possible to this hub of all your promotion and marketing activity. But with the Internet always evolving, Web Design Relief asks—are you sure you’re taking advantage of any new opportunities available?

Six Up-To-The-Minute Ways To Get More Visitors To Your Author Website

Use Hashtags To Boost Web Traffic

You’re probably already using social media to announce new releases, blog posts, sales, and personal appearances. Escalating the reach of those posts, however, can help expand your audience and increase the number of visitors to your home page.

Hashtags are a way to sort and see all posts on a single topic. For example, the announcement of a book giveaway can reach far beyond your own followers if you include hashtags (#freebook, #bookgiveaway, #freebiefriday, and #freereads) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.

Craft Blog Post Titles That Optimize For Keywords

Smart writers use blogs to provide fresh content on their website on a regular basis. But how much time do you spend on the title of your blog? Maximizing your blog title for keywords can make a big difference in how high the post ranks in the search engine results. The higher it ranks, the more people will see it and presumably click.

One effective way to check for relevant keywords is by using the Google Keyword Planner.

Cross Promote

Guest blogging and inviting other writers to blog on your site are great ways to promote cross-audience Web traffic and increase the hits on your website.

Another way to cross-pollinate is to do a multiauthor giveaway with one or several other authors in the same genre. You can promote the giveaway on your blog or newsletter, and the other authors will do the same, sending highly targeted visitors to your site.

Tweak SEO

Stuffing the content on your site with massive numbers of keywords is sure to make you sound like a robot. Fortunately, you’re a professional writer, so you know how to hook readers with scintillating text and hold them fast. Do that—except give your content an SEO keyword makeover by using better, laser-targeted keywords relevant to your book categories and themes.

Do a little housekeeping as well. Go through your author website to make sure all your links are live, your graphics have correctly coded alt-tags, and your title tags and metadata descriptions on each page are optimized for relevant keywords.

Speed Up Your Website

Are large video, music, or graphics files slowing down your website’s loading time? Do you have too many plugins? Selectively paring these items will allow search engines to crawl through the content on your site faster, creating more organic Web traffic. Wait times of as little as three seconds can make a reader flee, so speeding up your website can also help you keep casual fans engaged just a little longer.

Share Your URL

Are you broadcasting your author website everywhere you can? Consider these places you may have forgotten to put your Web address:

  • In your email signature line
  • In the front and back matter of every book
  • On your business cards, bookmarks, postcards, etc.
  • On swag: pens, notebooks, book bags, etc.
  • In your Twitter, Goodreads, BookBub, Pinterest, and Instagram blurbs, and the “About” section of your Facebook Business page

Whatever techniques you decide to use to increase traffic to your website, make sure you monitor the effectiveness. Track your Google Analytics both before and after and keep an eye on traffic, unique visitors, page views, and pages per visit in order to determine which techniques are working best.


Question: Do you use or follow hashtags in social media? If so, what are your favorites?

Author Website Spring Cleaning: Don’t Skip These Yearly Updates | Web Design Relief

When was the last time you checked on your own author website? Hmmmm…that long ago? Then it’s time to take a look and determine if your site is still delivering a pleasant, informative, efficient experience for your visitors. Or has it become static, outdated, and just plain dull?

The experts at Web Design Relief know that website trends, advancements, and plugins are continually evolving. So there can be real consequences for letting your author website go stale—including sinking search-engine rankings and bored, unimpressed readers, editors, and agents who quickly bounce off your site.

Make sure your author website is still working effectively and engaging your audience with these annual spring cleaning website updates:

Update Your Author Website Home Page

Does your landing page say “Just Released” about a book that was published a year ago? Have you included all the reviewer blurbs you’ve worked so hard to gather? Is it time to change the purpose of a landing page from promoting a new book to building newsletter subscribers? Does your home page include all the essentials along with very clear calls-to-action?

Update Your Author Photo

The New York Times best-selling author Susan Wiggs once said that if you’ve been in this business long enough, your greatest fiction will be your author photo.

Was your publicity shot taken more than eight years ago? It might be time to update it so that your fans recognize you at the book signings you’re hoping they’ll attend.

Update Your Author Bio

Has the number of books you’ve written increased since you last wrote your author bio? Do you have new accolades to crow about? Or perhaps your author bio reads like a curriculum vitae and it’s time to get more personal to encourage readers to care.

Update Your Social Media

New social media platforms are being launched all the time. Have you recently joined Snapchat? Started a YouTube channel? Have you included a link to your BookBub profile to encourage people to follow you there? Have you taken down your links to defunct services like Vine? Are social media icons clearly visible on every relevant page to encourage readers to join you on social media platforms?

Update Your Website Design

Are you tired of your website’s color scheme or design? Is there a better way to bring across your author brand with different website elements? Could your header use a tighter, more relevant tagline?

Update Your Books

Even if you’ve included all your current books on your website, consider whether you’ve updated them for the awards they might have won, or the great reviews or blurbs they’ve received, or soaring review numbers on Amazon.

Also add any up-and-coming books or works-in-progress so your readers will have something to look forward to.

Update Your Links

Annual website maintenance should include testing every link on your website to make sure none of them are broken. Nothing can kill a potential purchase more quickly than a link that doesn’t take the reader directly to the sales page.

While you’re testing links, consider starting new income streams by updating vendor links with affiliate tags. Authors can sign up for multiple programs including the Amazon Associates Program, the iTunes Affiliate Program, and the CJ Affiliate Program for Barnes & Noble.

Update Technologically

Is your website design mobile-friendly? More and more people are surfing the Internet on their phones, so having a website that adapts to small screens is important. Have you included a pop-up to ask for newsletter subscribers? If you’re active on Twitter or Facebook, have you included plugins that will allow readers to see your scrolling posts without leaving your website?

Update Your Author Website Security

Is your website safe against hackers? If you use WordPress, are your platforms and scripts up to date? Have you considered additional security plugins like BulletProof? Is it time to update the passwords that access your website? If you’re taking credit card orders, shouldn’t you invest in an SSL Certificate?

Making website maintenance an annual task is a smart way to keep your author website fresh and up to date. Readers, editors, agents, and search engine machines will all notice the difference.


Question: What’s the first page you go to on a new author’s website: About The Author, Book List, Contact Page, or Blog?

How To Turn Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine | Web Design Relief

Sure, you have an author website—these days, what smart, proactive author doesn’t? As the marketing experts here at Web Design Relief have often said, an author website is now synonymous with “online business card.” But unlike a flat, unchanging paper business card, your author website shouldn’t be a static “poster” site, existing just to give information. Not only does a static writer website make your Google Analytics sink like a stone, it also defeats an important reason why many authors have a website in the first place: to sell books!

5 Tips For Turning Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine

Offer A Clear Call To Action

Although it’s tempting to stuff your home page with every detail, an overload of information doesn’t offer direction. A smarter strategy is to focus on a single, clear call to action that directs readers toward what you really want them to do.

For example, if you have a new or upcoming release, you’ll want readers to buy the book. Craft your call to action to funnel visitors toward online book sales.

  • Use the imperative mood, such as: Read An Exclusive Excerpt Here, Buy Now, or Preorder Today!
  • Hot-link the call-to-action text.
  • Use larger type, a box or border, and/or a pop of color to bring attention to the call to action.

Write Text That Sizzles

Writing marketing and promotion copy is a unique skill. A novelist who has written dozens of books may struggle to write a short, sizzling book blurb that makes the novel sound irresistible. Traditional publishing houses hire professional copywriters to do just that, because they know that good copy can make the difference between a skip and an online book sale.

Take a good hard look at the text on your website to determine whether it’s effective for selling books.

Invite Readers To Join Your Mailing List

Because the road to a long and healthy writing career starts with gathering a tribe of fans, many author websites focus on building a mailing list rather than making an immediate sale.

  • Use a prominent, front-and-center “Sign Up For My Newsletter” call to action to harvest the emails of fans who are already checking out your work.
  • Some authors run monthly contests on their websites to entice readers to join their mailing lists.
  • Even if selling your latest book is your primary call to action, you can also use a pop-up dialogue box to offer bonus material or other reader magnets in exchange for their email, without messing up the website design.

Add Social Media Buttons

Not everyone who lands on your home page is going to immediately buy your book or sign up for your newsletter. Beyond the primary call to action, an equally important purpose of your website is to parlay reader interest into more connections. Adding a flight of social media icons somewhere on your website makes connecting easier and will increase online book sales down the line.

Develop Clear And Easy Navigation

Many readers may arrive at your website with a very specific goal in mind, whether it’s figuring out the order of your series, determining which of your books they may not yet have read, or learning the time and place of your next personal appearance. Website design that offers clear menu navigation will put the necessary information at your visitors’ fingertips quickly.

Author websites should offer at least:

  • Home page
  • List of your books
  • Contact information for the author
  • Author bio

But may also include:

  • Latest news
  • Upcoming events
  • Blog and/or newsletter

A professionally designed author website can be a powerful marketing and promotion machine to grow your online sales. If you’re considering starting or refreshing your writer website, make sure to choose a website designer who fully understands the unique challenges and needs of the book business—like Web Design Relief. Schedule your free consultation call today!


Question: What’s the primary call to action on your author website home page?

6 Author Website Elements On Publishers’ Wish Lists | Web Design Relief

  Traditional book publishers are always on the lookout for the next best seller, whether it’s a topical nonfiction project or the latest Great American Novel. But before they accept a manuscript, book publishers want to know whether the author will also be a good business partner. Web Design Relief knows that publishers have a… Continue Reading

How To Choose The Right Author Website Design Company | Web Design Relief

In today’s online-focused world, an author website is a must-have. Whether you’re ready for a new author website or a redesign of your existing site, hiring the right website design company is vital for the best results and long-term effectiveness of your site. Web Design Relief’s Insider Tips For Choosing An Author Website Design Company… Continue Reading

Online Marketing Tips For Writers Who Have More Than One Pen Name | Web Design Relief

There are several reasons why an author would use multiple pen names. Perhaps you write in three different genres and don’t want to confuse your separate audiences. Or you are published with a traditional publisher but also self-publish under a different name. Maybe you just want to start fresh. But the experts at Web Design… Continue Reading

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