Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

Ready To Launch! 7 Signs Your Website Is All Systems Go | Web Design Relief

Most writers understand the importance of having an author website to act as an online business card and an information hub. But at Web Design Relief, our experts know that before you press the button that launches your website, it’s important to make sure everything is all systems go! You don’t want to make your author website live, only to discover functional or navigational issues and typos that will make your visitors cringe—and bounce.

Start The Countdown! Questions To Ask Before You Launch Your Author Website

Have you proofread your site? Yes, proofreading is as vital to website-building as it is to poetry, prose, or books. Typos will make your website look amateurish. This is especially true if you’re an author! Make sure your Oxford commas are in order and your proper nouns are properly capitalized before launching. Learn how to become a master proofer here.

Do you have something to attract visitors? Your author website should showcase your writing and broaden your readership. Make certain that you have pages featuring excerpts of your book, blog posts, or links to your literary publications. You may also want to have a dedicated page where visitors can purchase your books, or you can include “Buy Now” buttons to third-party sellers to increase book sales.

Is social media integrated into your website? While it is unlikely that visitors would spend several hours a day on your author website, the opposite is true for social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have social media buttons prominently featured on your author website that link to your various social media platforms so visitors can follow you.

Pro Tip: Verify that your social media pages are ready for the public. This means that your social media accounts aren’t set to private and aren’t flooded with personal posts that don’t pertain to your writing. In fact, don’t link to your personal social media—create separate accounts for your author persona, including a Facebook author page!

Do website visitors have a way to contact you? Having a contact page is essential—literary agents or editors may want to get in touch with you! It also gives your fans and followers the opportunity to reach out to you through an easy-to-use form. A contact form is a safe way for you to connect with your audience while limiting spam and protecting your privacy. Which brings us to our next point…

Is your website safe? To protect yourself and your visitors, limit the personal information you share, especially your email address. This can attract unwanted spam from automated bots and leave your site vulnerable to hacking. Make sure you have effective Internet security in place by installing security plugins and captchas.

Did you optimize your website for mobile use? Almost all websites are built via desktop computers, and while it might look perfect on the big screen, your website may not translate well to mobile use. As more people view websites on their mobile devices, it’s important for your website to look good on smartphones and tablets. Be sure to check that your author website is legible and functional on mobile devices before you make your site live.

Does everything work? Perhaps the most important step before launching your website is to check that everything works! And we mean everything. Does your domain lead to your actual website? Are your hyperlinks live? Does your website work on multiple browsers? Do all of your buttons take visitors to the right location? Be your own guinea pig! Test your entire website prior to launch.

Once you’ve confirmed all systems are go, you can rest assured that your readers will enjoy visiting your author website and learning more about you and your writing. Ready to help your writing career take off? 3…2…1…launch!

 

Question: Which item on the checklist do you think is most important?

How Writers Can Be More Googleable (So People Can Find Your Writing Online) | Web Design Relief

Have you Googled your author name lately? What shows up in your search engine results? If the first page doesn’t include your website or other sites mentioning your books, you may want to reconsider whether your efforts to build an author brand are working. At Web Design Relief, we know that your being “Googleable” makes it easier for readers, editors, and literary agents to find you.

7 Tips To Help Writers Boost Their Google Results And Discoverability

Search Engine Optimization

Every writer needs an author website. Without it, you’re losing a valuable opportunity to create a hub for all your marketing and promotion activities. You’re also missing the chance to optimize that author website to boost your “Googleability.” Your website should be the first Google result that pops up when someone types in your name to find you.

Optimization can be both technical and content based. Techie back-end improvements include the effective use of header tags, metadata keywords, alt-tags on photos, and smart use of hyperlinking. Front-end, content-based improvements that you can do yourself include frequent updating with new content, providing easy connections to social media, and taking advantage of multimedia tools such as photos, videos, and slideshows.

Blogging

Blogging is a great way to keep content fresh and draw traffic to your website—a quality that search engines love. But setting a regular schedule to post is not the only way you can boost your rankings by blogging. You can also:

  • Guest blog on other writers’ sites
  • Promote your blog on your social media platforms
  • Do blog launch tours and interviews when you have a new book release
  • Follow and comment on other people’s blogs

Byline And Book Listings

Authors who quickly release a lot of books tend to have a strong presence in search engine results. It just makes sense that the more bylines you have, the more Googleable you become.

If there’s a big gap of time between releases of your books, you may want to consider doing some short-form publications to keep your name visible. These could include publications in magazines or newspapers or writing short stories or novellas for an indie-published anthology, etc.

Social Media

Social media is so important to Google results that several publishing houses have included a clause in their contracts compelling authors to engage with followers on one or more platforms. Active engagement provides search engines with lots of mentions to feed algorithms.

The bigger social media platforms are preferred by Google because of their massive reach. Consider engaging with your readers wherever they hang out most: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. YouTube is owned by Google, so if you’re comfortable with “vlogging,” YouTube will give your search engine results a big boost.

Deep engagement on a few social media platforms is far preferable to shallow engagement on many, but there are some sites where book authors should at least claim their profiles. These would include:

  • Goodreads
  • LibraryThing
  • BookBub
  • LinkedIn (particularly for nonfiction writers and journalists)

Google Account Optimization

You already have a Google account if you have signed up for Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, etc., but how long has it been since you checked your Google profile? Make sure to include a tagline and an introduction about your work in the personal information section. Integrate relevant keywords to help improve your Google results and rankings.

If you use Gmail, create an email address that includes your author name, rather than “bookwriter234” or something equally unspecific.

Writing Contests

Finalists and winners of writing contests are often publicized by the contest coordinators, adding another listing of your name to search engine algorithms.

Indie Writers Go Wide

If you’re a self-published indie writer in control of your own book distribution, consider “going wide” rather than being exclusive to a certain vendor. When your work is available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, OverDrive, Scribd, Tolino, Playster, Bibliotheca, and Baker & Taylor, your Googleability will rise.

If you want to build a brand and get your writing in front of readers, editors, and agents—being Googleable is mandatory. Discoverability depends on increasing your visibility in search engine rankings, and the results can make all the difference in your writing career.

We just typed your name in the search bar. What will we find?

 

Question: What methods do you use to increase your visibility in search engine results?

How To Pick The Right URL Or Domain For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

At Web Design Relief, we know that choosing the right URL or domain for your new author website is just as important as designing and developing the actual website. Your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the web address that people will use to find your website on the Internet—it will represent you to your fans, visitors, and even literary editors and agents.

Choosing A Memorable URL For Your Author Website

It is essential that you pick a domain that is easy to remember. If potential followers can’t easily remember your URL, they will be less likely to revisit your website. What makes a domain easy to remember? So glad you asked! Here are a few simple rules to help you choose a catchy name for your writer website:

Keep it short and sweet. Long URLs are tedious to type and difficult to remember. Which would you rather remember (and type out on your cell phone): JoeyDavidAuthor.com, or JoeyDavidWriterOfTwinPeaksFandomAndOtherTopics.com?

Don’t include numbers or special characters. In today’s world of cybercrime and Internet spam, you don’t want your author website to look suspicious. Having numbers or symbols like hyphens or hashtags in your URL will look questionable to visitors: Is this really your author website, or a ploy to steal their information? Stick to using letters. Remember: You want people to click on your website, not shy away from it!

Use your name (if possible). You want people to know they are in the right place, so it’s a good idea to make your name the focal point of your domain! If your first and last name as a domain is already taken, try a variation of your name and keywords related to writing. For example, YourLastNameWrites.com is easy to remember and clearly states who you are and what your objective is for your website. It’s also a good idea to use a keyword if you have a name that’s difficult to spell.

Keywords are the words your audience will use when searching for you as a writer and your website. Because keywords are tracked by search engines, they can increase your website’s traffic. There are hundreds of ways to combine keywords and your name for a writer website, so put that creativity to work!

Decide on the best website extension. When coming up with your author website URL, you should also think about which website extension you want to use. An educational website would prefer .edu over a .co extension, and most nonprofit organizations use .org. Typically, we recommend that writers use the familiar .com extension, but other options include .net and .ink extensions.

Follow these tips and tricks and you’ll have an unforgettable, practical author website domain. And the time to act is now, before someone else nabs your URL. If you’d like more help with building your author website and purchasing the best domain, talk to the experts at Web Design Relief today!

 

QUESTION: What’s the most interesting, unforgettable URL you’ve seen?

How Do You Spell SEO? Tips to Help Search Engines Find Your Books | Web Design Relief

With thousands of books published every day, one of the biggest hurdles for up-and-coming authors is discoverability. In order to successfully sell your book, an interested reader has to know about it! So how do you get the word out about your book? The experts at Web Design Relief know that one of the most… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading


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