Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

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 effective methods is to improve your author website search engine optimization (SEO).

The Importance Of SEO For Selling Books

SEO is the process of optimizing certain elements on your author website, most importantly the text, in order to boost your site’s ranking in relevant web searches. A higher rank on a web search means more readers will discover your book, increasing the opportunities for making a sale.

Relevancy is key. If you’re selling books, you don’t need to be highly ranked in searches for dishwashing liquid or dieting tips—unless that’s what your book is about. You want your dark contemporary potboiler to be seen by people searching for their next thrilling read.

The best way to raise your website’s ranking is to skillfully pepper your text and metadata with the precise keywords and phrases that accurately describe your book and will attract an audience that’s looking for your genre.

Choosing the right keywords and keyword phrases can take some time and practice. It’s a good idea to brainstorm in order to come up with more keywords than you need, then trim the list to only the best.

Home In On The Keywords Your Readers Are Searching For:

  • Define your book’s genre in a way that will attract specific readers. Instead of fiction, for example, consider “dystopian young adult fiction.”
  • Break out the thesaurus and come up with synonyms for the above, like “apocalyptic young adult fiction,” or “dark young adult fiction.”
  • Fiction writers: Search for lists of fitting tropes, such as “tragic genius,” “love triangle,” or “manic pixie dream girl.”
  • Nonfiction writers: Drill down to the specific problem your book addresses that your reader is trying to solve, such as “dieting without hunger” or “city gardening for apartment dwellers.”
  • Consider the keyword phrases your ideal reader might use when searching for a book like yours, such as “perfect beach read,” “children’s book about siblings,” or “vegan recipes for Thanksgiving.”
  • For inspiration and guidance, check out similar books on e-retailers to see which genre categories have been chosen and which keywords your competitors use in their book descriptions.

How To Optimize Keywords

Once you have a list, it’s time to select the best of your keywords. There are several ways to determine their strength and popularity:

  • Search Engines. Type your keyword phrases into Google and note the websites that come up on the first page. Are the websites similar in content to yours, or are they utterly irrelevant? Choose the keyword search terms that sync up most closely. You can also try this on Amazon, which acts as a big search engine for books.
  • Google Ads and Bing Ads. Signing up for Google or Bing Ads gives you access to their keyword planner tool. Type your keyword into this tool and you’ll get information about the average monthly searches for that keyword as well as a rating of the competition on their ads platform. A relevant keyword that has a lot of searches and low competition will likely help your website rank higher.
  • Amazon Incognito Search Function. If you start to type a keyword in Amazon’s search box, Amazon will auto-populate a drop-down list of keywords. This list is a measure of the most popular keywords that begin with the string of letters you’ve typed. It’s important, however, that you do this search in an “incognito” window so that the results aren’t warped by the data Amazon has collected about all your previous searches.

Using Keywords Effectively To Maximize SEO

Once you have a short list of highly relevant keywords, it’s time to use them in your text and within the back matter of your website. Use keyword phrases in important places for SEO, such as:

  • Author website title
  • Blog titles
  • First and last sentences of blogs, bios, etc.
  • First and last paragraphs of blogs, bios, etc.
  • Headers and subheaders

The more thoroughly you can use these keywords in the text on your website, on the landing page, on the author page, in the blog, and in the book descriptions, the better the chances you’ll rank higher for those Google search terms.

SEO is an effective way to raise your website’s visibility, which in turn increases your opportunities to draw more traffic to where you sell your books. Remember, however, to avoid keyword-stuffing, which can render your copy robotic. Smooth, compelling, and effective writing trumps all, so use keywords wisely.

 

QUESTION: Which keyword phrases would you use to describe your most recent project?

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?

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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

Mistakes That Can Lower Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings

Your author website is the hub of all your marketing and publicity efforts. And the more fans who visit your website—the more newsletter sign-ups, event attendees, and book sales you’ll get! Since about 75% of searchers never scroll any further than the first page of search engine results, it’s important to optimize your website to… Continue Reading

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


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