Category Archives: Get More Traffic To Your Website

Are People Visiting Your Website And Clicking Like You Want? | Web Design Relief

You just launched your brand-new author website and you’re posting on your blog frequently. Now the question is: How can you know for sure that people are visiting your website—and how can you get more to do so? At Web Design Relief, our designers know all the online tools that will track whether people are visiting your website and who they are. You can also learn which pages of your website are most interesting to viewers and are visited most frequently. One of the most comprehensive online analytic tools available is Google Analytics.

Using Google Analytics To Track Your Author Website Visits

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful free-to-use tools online today. With Google Analytics, you can measure everything from real-time site visits, to social media referrals, to average time spent on any particular page, and much more. Google Analytics even gives you tips on how to optimize your site for better results. Everyone from self-published authors to large publishing companies use Google Analytics to keep track of visitor data.

At first, the Google Analytics interface can seem a little intimidating—but once you know what kind of information you’re looking for, it’s quite easy to find. Google will help you to set up your new Analytics account, and in most cases, you will receive your own unique code that will help your website and Google Analytics communicate. After setting up your Analytics account, you’ll start receiving data in just a few hours.

On the front page of Google Analytics (as of July 2017), you’ll find several charts:

  • Audience Overview
  • Users By Time Of Day
  • Real-Time Report
  • Acquisition Report
  • Location Overview
  • Active Users Report
  • Cohort Analysis Report
  • Mobile Overview
  • Pages Report
  • Goals Overview

Each of these categories delivers very specific data that you can use to evaluate your author website. Most of these reports are fairly self-explanatory, and you can even change dates to cover a specific time frame. For example, there may be an instance where you would like to see a larger timeline of data—so you can switch from a seven-day report to a thirty-day report. Most of the data is presented in line, bar, or pie graphs with accompanying key charts.

Two Google Analytics Charts You’ll Want To Check Daily

Audience Overview

What is it? The Audience Overview includes the number of sessions during a time period, Page Views, Average Session Duration, Bounce Rate, and New Sessions.

How to use it: This analytic lets you know how many people are coming to your site and how long they’re staying. Obviously the more Sessions and Page Views the better—but also pay attention to your Bounce Rate. If your Bounce Rate is high, the majority of people coming to your site aren’t staying very long. This could be due to lack of engaging content or maybe a slow-functioning website. Make sure your website is fast and mobile friendly. Also include more engaging blog posts and website pages to entice more people to visit your site and stay on longer.

Users By Time Of Day

What is it? Here’s where you’ll find the times of day during the week you have the most visitors.

How to use it: Plan your posts! Knowing the times when your author website has the most visitors and capitalizing on that is a great way to keep your site active. If you find that 4:00 PM on Wednesday is the busiest time and day for your website, then that would be the perfect time to post new blog entries or news.

 

Question: Do you have a blog on your website? How often do you post new entries?

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How To Get Fans To Open Your Emails

open-emails

For years you’ve been developing a community of dedicated fans and followers who you’ve convinced to sign up for your newsletter or blog. Yet whenever you send a newsletter, your email marketing provider reports that the percentage of subscribers who actually open your emails is in the single digits. What’s going on?

You’d think that any author with a well-curated mailing list would have close to a 100 percent open rate, but the truth is far different. Email marketing software services like MailChimp keep statistics on average open rates for different industries. For the category of arts and artists, a 27 percent open rate is average. For the media and publishing industry, open rates hover around 22 percent.

If your open rates match these, you’re doing well. But it never hurts to do better. A higher open rate means more folks will see your information and perhaps do whatever you’re asking of them—like click through to buy your newly launched or newly discounted book. Here’s how to improve your email open rate:

Develop A Strong, Targeted Mailing List

Open rates can be affected by several factors, but one of the most important is the strength of your list. Some writers may brag about having a mailing list of thousands, but if those thousands were gathered willy-nilly rather than by thoughtful, cherry-picking methods that target true-blue fans and followers, then fewer of those email subscribers are likely to open up unsolicited emails.

A clean, smaller, curated list is always more valuable than a scattershot one—and not just because of higher open rates. Unfocused lists tend to have higher unsubscribe rates, which can trigger spam warnings from your email subscription service.

Three tips on how to clean up your mailing list:

  • If your list has emails but not first and last names, take a hard look at how you’re collecting data from your fans and followers. Subscribers are more likely to open an email if it’s personally addressed to them.
  • If you have one master list that gathers emails from several different sources, such as from different pen names writing in different genres, consider segmenting the list. Separating your horror fans from your sci-fi fans allows you to send emails laser targeted to the individual audience, which can increase open rates.
  • Consider using the “double” or “confirmed” opt-in option for signing up new subscribers. This email marketing option requires new fans and followers to confirm their email before they’re added to your email list. Jumping through that second hoop means your new subscriber is a dedicated one.

Use Intriguing Email Subject Lines That Boost Open Rates

Open rates are all about the subject line. You can write the most amazing email, but your email subscribers won’t even see it if they’re not first intrigued by your subject line. You’ve got to hook your reader in fifty amazing characters—or about five to seven words. Here’s how to write an eye-catching subject line:

  • Avoid screaming all-caps and multiple consecutive exclamation points. They look desperate and spammy.
  • Short and sweet subject lines will better catch the eye of a harried subscriber swiftly scanning through email.
  • A ticking clock is a powerful motivator. If your offer is time-sensitive, reveal it in the subject line.
  • A provocative question is a great way to tempt a fan or follower into clicking open your email.
  • Lists are powerful click-bait. If the content of your newsletter is about the five best YA novels for the summer, use your title.
  • Make a subject line into a call to action, using command words like “Bring a friend!” “Order now!” “Ready, Set, Go!”
  • Alliteration is always awesome.
  • Know your fans and followers and be creative. If your audience enjoys humor, draw them in with a pun, a joke, or a play on words. If your readers love mysteries, intrigue them. If your followers are fact fanatics, give them a statistic so unexpected, they have to open the email to read more.
  • Make use of the subject line tools provided by your email marketing software provider, such as the spam checker from Constant Contact and MailChimp’s subject line researcher and tester.

A mailing list is a powerful, effective way to connect with your fans and followers. While you continue to work smart to build your list, make sure you also engage those fans through your newsletters and announcements. The better you know them, the better they’ll come to know you and your work.

Question:  How often do you like to hear from your favorite authors?  Once a week, a month, a year?

5 Author Website Issues That Make Visitors Bounce Off In Three Seconds Or Less

AuthorWebsiteIssues

A memorable, effective author website will act as your online hub and boost your writing career. But there are Web design elements that can sabotage even your best efforts and send potential fans bouncing off your website. Since visitors will decide in the first few seconds whether they’re going to stay on your site or click out, here are five Web design disasters you must avoid:

Author Website Elements That Send Visitors “Bouncing”

  1. Clashing colors

Whether you choose subtle, understated colors, or bright, vivid hues that match your personality, be sure to coordinate your website color scheme across all the pages of your website. Clashing, poorly matched colors will look amateurish and be uncomfortable to view for any length of time. And what happens when something hurts your eyes? You close them—just as quickly as your visitors will close their browser windows. Be sure to use only a few, complimentary colors, and don’t forget to pull shades from your backgrounds and images.

  1. A cluttered homepage

If you’ve ever walked into a crowded, noisy room, you know what your first reaction probably was—to turn around and walk right back out. Your homepage should have one clear focus and a strong call to action, making it easy for visitors to process what they’re seeing and easily navigate your site. Think about what you want your homepage to promote: You, as a writer? Or a particular book you’ve just published? Then save any additional content you have for the inside pages. A sleek and simple homepage with a singular focus will make a great first impression on visitors to your website.

  1. Outdated information

Fans who check out your website are looking for new, fresh content, and relevant information about your writing. If your homepage brags that your latest book is “coming soon in 2010”, or your blog hasn’t been updated in years, visitors will leave your stale website and search for better info elsewhere. Even if you’re short on time, there are quick, easy ways you can spruce up your author website to keep your content up-to-date!

  1. Background music

It’s jarring—and annoying—to have audio or video content play without warning. If you want to feature music or video on your author website, make sure it doesn’t activate until visitors click the “play” button!

  1. Broken images and links

Before launching your website, make sure all the links are working properly and your images appear as intended. Continue to check in even after your website has been live for a while—links can break when the other websites go down. Also, images and other design elements may become distorted or misaligned.  Always review your website across multiple operating systems, browsers, and screen resolutions—even on your phone! Glaring design errors will convince potential fans to click over to another, better site.

Bounce-Proof Your Website For Better SEO

Having a sleek, professional author website with useful links and great content will encourage visitors to spend more time exploring your pages and to return often. And by effectively combining design, content, and links, you’ll also attract the attention of search engines and boost your site’s ranking.

 

QUESTION: Have you ever clicked off a website because of one of these issues?

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How To Identify (And Focus On) Your Promotional Strengths

Your dreams of being a successful, published writer probably didn’t include visions of pounding the pavement and sending out email blasts, trying to sell your book. But whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, doing your own marketing is the new reality. The trick is to find out what you’re good at (and what you’re not!)… Continue Reading

Inbound Marketing For Authors: Setting Up Your Mailing List

In our first article about Inbound Marketing For Authors, we learned how Inbound Marketing can benefit your author brand. Now we’ll take a look at how to set up a mailing list, integrate it into your author website, and send out your first mailing. Let’s get started! Set Up Your Mailing List Your mailing list… Continue Reading

6 Author Website Tips Just For Short Story Authors

Having an author website can be a great way to promote yourself as a short story writer! People are always curious about the writer behind a great story. Editors reading your cover letter and intrigued by your pitch may want more information about your publishing credits and range of experiences. Literary agents reviewing online journals and magazines… Continue Reading

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