Category Archives: Author Websites

How Do You Spell SEO? Copywriting Tips So 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?

How To Help Your Author Website Designer “Get You” And What You Want | Web Design Relief

You’ve looked at other author websites and you know what you like and don’t like. Now you have a pretty good idea of how you want your author website to look and function. But making your ideas a reality isn’t always easy. The experts at Web Design Relief know that effectively communicating with your web designer can mean the difference between getting what you want and being disappointed with the results—which is something that neither of you wants.

How To Effectively Communicate With Your Website Designer

Know What You Want Your Author Website To Do

If you’re an author who wants to sell books, you’ll want your book front and center. You’ll need a Buy Now button. And you should supply your design team with the highest quality, largest image available of your book.

But if you write short stories or poetry or don’t currently have a book to promote, you may want the website’s focus to be about your bio, your process, and your publication history. Knowing what your main goal is will help your web design team determine how to set up the pages on your website.

Help Your Web Designer To See What You See

Give an overview of style and format. Your author brand is important. It’s why your readers are following you instead of another writer. So it’s essential you have a website that reflects the image your fans expect.

Before you sit down with your design team, do your homework. Find examples of websites that have a similar aesthetic to what you envision for your own website, and show these to your designer. Explain which elements you like on these websites so that the designers have a better idea of what to focus on when developing your site.

Images are a vital part of website design, so if you have specific images you’d like to use, you should let your designer know at the beginning. There could be many reasons why your preferred images can’t be used, such as blurriness, potential copyright issues, or simply not working with the genre you write in. So the sooner your designer can address these issues, the better. You might consider choosing royalty-free stock images from websites like http://shutterstock.com. Or you can let your designer make the choices for you based on your preferred website examples. After all—that’s what they do!

Have a recent headshot ready for your author website—and if it’s a professional headshot, even better. Check out ways to get great results in your author photo.

Be ready for a reality check. Your vision of the perfect author website may not be technically feasible. Website design is advancing every day, but it still has its limitations based on the template and management system on which your site is being built. Not all templates accept all plugins.

There may also be limits based on your budget. If you’re paying for a basic, no-frills website, you shouldn’t realistically expect all the bells and whistles. And just because a big, splashy banner works well selling expensive couture jewelry doesn’t mean it’s what your readers expect to see when they visit your author website to learn more about your poetry or cozy mysteries.

Remember: Your designer isn’t a mind reader

Don’t give vague input: I don’t know, whatever you think is best. While web designers are experts and will have definite ideas about what works and what doesn’t for your particular needs and genre, leaving every choice up to the designers without giving them direction means they will have to guess at what you want. If you were secretly wishing for an image of foreboding cliffs beside the ocean for your mystery author website and the designers give you a castle in moonlight, there’s a chance you may not be happy with your website design.

Your designer wants to make you happy, and effective communication is key to making that happen. You’ll understand any limitations, and the design team will understand the aesthetic you want for your readers. Working together, you can create an author website that works perfectly for you!

 

Question: What do you think is the most important thing to tell your web design team?

Behind The Scenes: 10 Secret Tips For Creative Writers Who Blog | Web Design Relief

Creative writers who blog tend to drive more visitors to their author websites than those who don’t. But what are the secrets behind a successful blog? The experts at Web Design Relief offer ten insider tips for writers who blog!

10 Tips To Help Creative Writers Boost Their Blogs

Post original content. While this may not exactly be a big secret, it’s important to offer readers fresh content on a regular basis. (Google loves original content too!)

Provide relevant metadata. Metadata is the text that is visible to search engine algorithms. When you provide a relevant metadata description, it’s easier for people to find your blog. These 156 characters represent the first point of contact with your author brand, so make them count! Learn how here: Through The Eyes Of A Search Engine: Metadata And Your Searchability.

Get new traffic to old posts. At a loss for new content? Promote your older blog posts on Twitter by using special hashtags like #WaybackWednesday or #ThrowbackThursday.

Use a great blog post title. Don’t let an awesome post languish because of a boring title! A great title sells the content of your post to people who see it on social media, RSS feeds, etc. Use a web analytics tool like Google Analytics and URL shorteners to see which titles drive the most traffic to your site.

Comment on other blogs. When you comment on other blogs, you gain backlinks and a higher volume of traffic, all while building your author brand. Leave thoughtful comments that show you’ve read the post, and use a Gravatar—an image that follows you from site to site to help cement you in readers’ minds. Don’t forget to add your site name next to your own name to further increase traffic when you comment!

Use keywords. These are the words or phrases people are mostly likely to type in when using a search engine, and successful bloggers know that incorporating keywords in their blog post titles and strategically throughout their post content can help boost their rankings. Just beware of “keyword stuffing.” (Hint: Use the Google Keyword Planner for suggestions. It’s free!)

Optimize your images. You have the option of adding alternate text for the images you upload to your blog, which can also boost your SEO efforts. Image-alt text describes the image for search engines, so it’s important to provide descriptive and informative filenames for your images. Include keywords and use hyphens between the words for best results.

Discover the secret of the Yellow Box. Yellow is a color that draws the eye. Consider presenting your call to action in a yellow box (or whatever color matches your brand) within your blog post, and make it easy for readers to subscribe, download a PDF, or buy your book!

Aim for clear, concise posts. You have limited time to interest readers before they get bored and bounce to another site. So make sure you’ve eliminated the clutter of filler words and long, rambling sentences.

Connect with readers. End each post with a question or a call to action to encourage interaction. Here’s more about how to engage your readers.

Ready to optimize your author website’s blog? Before you dive in, check out more tips from Web Design Relief: How To Revise Your Author Website For The Better.

 

Question: Do you have a tip to share when it comes to driving traffic to your blog?

5 Biographical Elements NOT To Include On Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re a New York Times Best Seller or a new writer ready to self-publish your first book, the moment your author website goes live—you’re a public figure. Your readers will want to get to know you better, and you’ll be eager to tell them your life story. But along with true fans and interested… Continue Reading

Author Website Tips For Writers Who Don’t Want To Deal With Having An Author Website | Web Design Relief

Sure, having a well-maintained, active author website is a vital element in your author platform and social media support—but who has the time to deal with that? You have your day job, appointments to keep, groceries to buy, children to drop off and pick up, and your writing time to squeeze in. You may wonder… Continue Reading

How To Monetize Your Author Website (Without Annoying People) | Web Design Relief

By the time you factor in expenses like Web hosting, site design, updates, headshots, registration fees, etc.—maintaining an author website can take a big bite out of your budget. But with a little creative thinking, you might be able to get some of that money back by turning your author website into a source of… Continue Reading


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