How They'll Find Your Book Online
Winning at Search Engine Optimization
by Fern Reiss, CEO, PublishingGame.com/Expertizing.com
Search engine optimization, or the art of getting your website to appear when people do an online search for something related to your book’s topic, is a complicated topic to cover in a one-page article. But if your goal is just to get your book website’s ranking up fast, here are the first five things you need to know:
- Think about search engine keywords before you buy the domain name—or title the book. The easiest way to get Google and the other search engines to find your book’s website when someone types in your keywords is to include those keywords both in the domain of the website and in the title of the book. There are other ways to optimize your search engine ranking—but this is one of the easiest. So before titling your book and choosing a domain name, think carefully about how people are likely to search for it. And then choose both the title, and the domain name, based on that search. (My book on nutritional approaches to infertility became “The Infertility Diet”—and the website became InfertilityDiet.com—when I realized that that was how most people were likely to search. This worked so well that when you Google for ‘infertility diet’ only two of the listings on the first page do not relate to my book.)
- Put up some articles on your website. The more content you have on your website directly related to your keywords, the higher your search engine ranking will climb. This is why blogs are so good for search engine optimization; the search engines like new content, and blogs are one way to get that new content on a regular basis.
- Put up some articles on someone else’s website. Known as ‘online syndication,’ the more articles you have on the internet that link back to your website, the more likely you are to pop up when someone does a search. (Do a google search for “media attention for your business” for example. Even though these aren’t my principal keywords, there are at least three mentions of me on the first page!)
- Select keywords carefully. The smarter you are about choosing your keywords, the more likely you are to rank highly for them. For example, “literary agents” is a phrase that is just too popular—too many other sites are vying for these words. But do a google search for “Find a literary agent” or “Get a literary agent” and up pops PublishingGame.com. Go for the keywords where there’s less traffic.
- Think carefully about indirect marketing. What I mean by this is, think not only about how to grab your target market—but about how your target market can find you. For example, I offer books (on how to find a literary agent, how to self-publish, and how to successfully promote your book) to writers. My primary market is the writers themselves. But an indirect market for me is anyone who knows a writer. This spawned a whole side business of mine—gift baskets for writers, in prices ranging from $39 to $99. And when you google ‘gifts for writers,’ guess who comes up? That way, I’m getting a slice of that indirect market, too.
There are dozens of books you can read about search engine optimization, if you’d like to learn more about how to get your online rankings higher. But these five simple tips will get you started—and get your rankings up there right away.
Fern Reiss is CEO of PublishingGame.com (www.PublishingGame.com) and Expertizing.com (www.Expertizing.com) and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers (www.AssociationofWriters.com) providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm. Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm.
Copyright © 2011 Fern Reiss