Building Your Web Presence for Authors: Introduction

Recently I realized that anybody who was specifically looking for Lizzy Ford or her books was easily finding them. This was great news for Lizzy; she is selling more books now than ever. This was horrible news for me since now that we have met our first goal by establishing our web presence so people can find us (which is fairly easy to accomplish), and have to move onto the more challenging second goal: we have to start going after those who aren’t specifically searching for Lizzy, just for a book (MUCH harder). Thank goodness I don’t have a hobby…

Last night Lizzy asked me to take a look at the website of Julia Crane (author of “Coexist (Keegan’s Chronicles)“) whose site she said was beautiful, but was getting little-to-no web traffic. I took a look and sure enough, she was right on both counts. Instead of just emailing Julia a few tips, we asked for her permission to use her site and ours to illustrate things authors can do to help themselves build a web presence.

Julia’s site: www.juliacraneauthor.com

My first impression: what a beautiful site! I was also thrilled that my #1 fear hadn’t come true. The site was (Adobe) flash free. Some of the most beautiful sites on the web are made with Adobe flash or with fancy graphics instead of text. The only problem is that Google can’t read movies or pictures, only words. If I used fancy flash animations or graphics to put the “Lizzy Ford Ebooks” button on our site, Google would have no idea what the link description was, which makes it harder for people doing searches on search engines to find you. A good web designer can overcome these challenges, but most never do. There is nothing worse then the look in someone’s eyes when you tell them that the website they spent thousands on, which is beautiful, should be re-built from scratch. I’m sure I will have to say that again someday, but thankfully today isn’t that day.

So first off, good job, Julia! Making your site search engine friendly will be much easier for you!

Enough with boring tech talk, let’s get to the “fun” stuff. I’ll be writing articles on each of the following three initial actions you should take if you haven’t already. I’ll be walking you through these using Julia’s and Lizzy’s websites as examples.
 

  • Setup google analytics so you can track where your website is getting traffic from
  • Evaluate your current rank
  • Do some simple keywords analysis

Once you’ve done these three things you can begin the fun journey of optimizing your site, based on what you’ve learned. This will probably be a long series of instructive articles, and I’d like to make it interactive as well. Please feel free to post any question you have. A lot of the basics we will post can be found other places, but we will attempt to make it as simple as possible, and give practical examples from our experiences. Once we knock the basics out of the way, we can also start adding in some things that are author specific, and some things that aren’t as well known, but can seriously boost your websites traffic.

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