by Fern Reiss, CEO, PublishingGame.com/Expertizing.com
One of the most common laments in the business world is, “But now that I have a website for my book/business, how do I get people to find it?” Putting up the website is only half the battle; unless people are able to find it, you won’t be improving your business. Using ‘normal people’ techniques (as opposed to computer science tricks) here’s how to fly to the top of the search engines—and stay there.
Optimize for your top keywords
When people search online for your topic, what words or phrases are they looking for? And which of these words can you realistically hope to ‘own’ in the online marketplace? The better your choice of keywords, the better your ranking will be. For example, I advise writers on how to find literary agents. “Literary agents” is a Google search phase that’s extremely popular—too many other websites are vying for this phrase, so my chances of ranking highly would be minimal. But if you do a Google search for ‘find a literary agent,’ a slightly less popular phrase (but one that authors still use), my PublishingGame.com site pops up on the first page. (See my special report, http://www.PublishingGame.com/SEO.htm for more on how to zero in on those crucial keywords.)
Add informative articles
Next, write a few articles on your niche topic. Including content on your website that relates directly to your keywords will cause your search engine optimization to climb. This is one reason why blogs are so effective for search engine optimization; search engines appreciate fresh content, and blogs are an easy way to get new content on a regular basis.
Get a handful of quality incoming links
I’d also recommend writing articles for other websites. Sometimes called ‘online article syndication,’ the more articles you have on the internet that link back to your website, the more likely your website is to rank highly. For example, try doing a google search for ‘media attention for your business.’ Even though these aren’t my principal keywords, there are at least three mentions of my Expertizing.com site on the first page of Google! (But remember that the syndicated articles can’t be too similar to each other—that’s called ‘content mirroring,’ and will actually hurt your optimization efforts.)
Put up an online press room
Physical press kits – a fancy folder, glossy photos, detailed bios of company principals, press releases—are passé: Journalists don’t pay much attention to them anymore, and they’re almost always suggested by PR agencies as a way to produce a pretty deliverable without much effect. But online press rooms can be very powerful. Remember to include high quality resolution photos of yourself and your book; press releases (including press releases that mention your other press attention), and full contact details. Check out http://www.publishinggame.com/media.htm and http://www.expertizing.com/media.htm for more ideas.
Don’t neglect indirect marketing
Think carefully about how your indirect markets will find you. For example, the primary market for my Publishing Game products is books, workshops, and consulting for the writers themselves. But my indirect market is anyone who knows a writer. This resulted in a whole sideline of products for friends of writers—gift baskets for writers, in prices ranging from $39 to $99, particularly popular around the holidays. (Try a Google search for ‘holiday gifts for writers’ and see what comes up.)
Even before your website is up, start thinking carefully about how people will find it. And then get out there and optimize, optimize, optimize!
If you’d like to catapult your website to the top of Google and the other search engines—with a series of techniques that don’t require an advanced degree in computer science—get Fern’s $11 special report “Getting People to Your Website: 25 Simple Tips for Top-Notch Search Engine Optimization” http://www.PublishingGame.com/SEO.htm or call Fern for a one-on-one consultation: http://www.PublishingGame.com/consulting.htm You can sign up for Fern Reiss’s email list on publishing and book promotion at http://www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm; you can get more media attention via her publicity forum at http://www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm