Guest post by Alan K’necht
You’ve no doubt spent countless days, weeks even months writing and editing your book. Along the way, you most likely had a working title, an interim title and finally the official title for your book. Congratulation all that is left is to market you book is to ensure that people who hear about can find it.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. If you’re like most non-technical authors, you might have never heard of SEO or even considered it in the name of your book. Yet you’re about to come face to face with the reality of SEO. So prepare yourself and get ready to start working on it.
Even before your book is published go to Google and Bing and search on the title of your book. Take a look at what comes up in the search results. Believe it or not this is your first level of competition. When I did this search for my book entitled “The Last Original Idea” I was competing with numerous blogs, news paper articles, etc. that were lamenting that neither Hollywood nor the TV industry has had a truly original idea in decades. Many of published article/blog post had title similar to my book “what was the Last Original Idea in…”, “The are no more original ides ….”.
As a marketer I knew how to get people spreading the name of my book and that was great if people happened to go directly to Amazon (or other online books store) to purchase it, but what if they wanted to know more details about the book or what if I wanted to capture people searching for the last original idea in marketing? To ensure that my book would be found and dominate the search results, I executed a SEO strategy.
As part of this strategy, I was aware that Google will only show 2 listings per website on a page of its search results. Simply building an SEO effective website would only get me 2 spots out of the default 10 which isn’t good enough. How could I ensure that they were the first two listed? I wanted to own the first page of results and if possible the second page as well. I’m happy to report that I do and here’s how I did it and now you can you!
- Register a domain that is the title of your book (i.e. thelastoriginalidea.com) (to protect yourself from others hoping to steal your thunder also register similar domains (i.e. lastoriginalidea.com)
- Build a website according to SEO best practices ensuring that you are focused on the title of your book and the subject of your book
- Create a Facebook page for your book and register a custom URL that includes the name of your book (i.e. https://www.facebook.com/TheLastOriginalIdea)
- Start a blog that does not operate under your website. This means using a different sub-domain (ie blog.thelastoriginalidea.com)
- Use the blog to not only post book happenings (book signings, status updates of your book, etc.), but your thoughts on related topics. This is a great opportunity to create both excitement for your book and to demonstrate your knowledge on the subject.
- Submit your book for various online contests that will create a page about your book or at a very minimum list it as an entrant with a link to your site.
- Contact book reviewers who have blogs and regularly post reviews. Not only will the review help get your name out there, you can easily get them to link to your site and that’s part of step 8.
- Now get active and get links & fans to both
Getting Links and Fans
This may be harder or easer depending on how involved you are already in Facebook. Step 1, tell all your current Facebook friends about it and encourage them to pass the word on. To entice people to become fans create a simple contest (become a fan for a random chance to win X copies of my book). Don’t stop with you current Facebook friends; market this fan generating contest through your email list, twitter followers, LinkedIn account and simply by telling people you know and meet.
On your Facebook page you will of course have a link to your books website. As you get more fans the value of this link will go up and help both the Facebook page and your website rank higher in the search engines.
Don’t forget to post regularly in the Facebook page to garner likes and shares. This activity also help keep and generate new fans, Likes and Shares. Remember your blog (step 4), make sure you post a description of each blog post on your Facebook page as well. This helps generate links to your blog, plus lets people know about and encourages people to read your blog posts.
Ensure that in description area of your blog is a description of your book with a text based link on the books name to the books website. When done correctly, this link will appear on every blog post creating a new link to your book with each post. While not as valuable as links from unique domains, they still count and help your site rank in the search engines.
Last but not least the most critical part of the puzzle the book’s website. This is where you need to get tons of links. Here are some sure fire ways to get links:
- Send out a press release with an established/quality PR distribution company and ensure that it has a text based link to your site in it. When done well, the press release will get picked up by 10 perhaps several hundred websites creating a large quantity of links.
- Register your website with as many author /book directories as possible
- Arrange for interviews that will be published online and insist that they link back to the books website.
- Run a contest that requires people to submit written entries that will be posted on the site and voted for. This works wonders in getting other people not only to tell people where to go, but in many cases they’ll put permanent links to their content on your site (known as deep links)
The Fruits of Your Labor
If you’ve done everything well, now when you search on your books title, you should be dominating the listings (6 out of 10 on the 1st page maybe even a 10 out of 10 on the first page). To truly reap the benefits of this effort, make sure you have a link to where people can purchase your book on each of the pages listed. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal of all your efforts?
Alan K’necht is the author of “The Last Original Idea – A Cynic’s View of Internet Marketing” (www.TheLast OriginalIdea.com) and a founding Partner at Digital Always Media Inc. (http://www.digitalalwaysmedia.com) a full service agency specializing in search engine and social media marketing.