8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

Dear Author,

Your home page is a very important page to your website.  It is the most visited page.  Why?  Mostly because you use your home page URL in your marketing.

Anybody you talk to you send to your home page.

Do you have the right things on your home page to convert your readers?

Here are…

8 key elements to add to your home page

Out there in the marketing world, there is only a little debate as to what is needed on a home page.  But for the most part many of the gurus agree on a few basics.

What they all agree on is that your page needs to convert your reader.  Convert your reader into doing something.  What that something is, is up to you.

 

Let’s start with your…

Logo

While many companies spend too much money on developing a logo, you are lucky that you can use your own pic as your logo.

I have found that this is what most authors do.  They don’t have a logo, per se, but they do have a really nice photo of themselves on their home page.

Some have taken some part of their book design and made it into a fancy logo that represented what they were doing.  Some have taken their name or initials and created a creative logo

No matter what you decide, you need to take that same design and use it all across your online presence, so when someone is looking for you, they will know by your logo.

 

Headline

Your headline is likely going to be: “Bestselling Author (your name)”.  And that’s okay.  I would consider adding what type of romance you write.  Such as “Queen of Paranormal Romance”.  This is what Christine Feehan has been dubbed!!

So consider an additional word that you can use to describe yourself.

This will give an added word to be used in search engines that you can be found under.

 

Sub-headline

Not many authors have an actual sub-headline.  But I have seen a few that take a testimonial and added that as their headline!!

This does a double whammy of using social proof and keywords in your subhead to help you in the search engines.

But this could also be a statement about who you are and what you do.

 

Navigation

Your navigation should be easily noticeable and above the fold of your home page.

You want readers to know exactly where they can go to get your books.  So make your navigation easy to use and easy to understand.  Don’t use words that they will have no idea what you plan on doing on that page.

Strive for intuitive navigation.  This is where your site is designed with the user in mind with a flow from page to page.

Use words for each page as close to what you are wanting that page to do.

 

Content Promotion

Do you have a blog that you write for your readers?  If so, having a link to that blog right on your home page will mean that more readers will know where to look for what you have to say.

This can be just a link in your navigation but it can also be a separate text link to your blog page.

This could also be linked to your product page, your book page.  Your readers need to know right away where to go to get your books.

This could also be a place to sign up for your newsletter.

 

Resources

Do you offer any other services other than your novels?  Add this link to your navigation.

 

Social icons

This seems to be the biggest one that is missing on author sites that I have seen.  There are social icons but they are buried on the contact page or the about page.

Having the ability to share on whatever platform your reader’s choose, will enable your readers to share with many others if you make this easy for them to do so.

Having this on every page helps them to do that.  You want them to do that!!

 

A Clear Call-to-Action

Each page has a purpose.  What is the purpose of your home page?  Then you know what your call-to-action should be.  Using keywords will help your reader decide what to do.

 

While there are other things that you can include on your home page, these are the essential elements to include when you are wanting to convert your readers more often.

 

And because I like things to look pretty.

Here’s some

Bonus formatting tips:

  • Keep your most important information above the fold.
  • Choose your fonts wisely.  Don’t have several different ones, pick one or two complimentary ones that work well together.
  • Pay attention to color.  Avoid too many bold colors.
  • Include white space.  This helps the reader be able to scan your page with ease.  Break up the text so they can easily scan your page.
  • Go with simple before you add too many things.
  • Don’t waste the footer.  Put some of these in the footer, the ones that are not as essential but still needed.
  • Set up your analytics so you can keep an idea on who is doing what and for how long.  This helps to develop future marketing plans.

 

One thing that I have learned is that a website is never completely finished.  It is a work in progress.  I know that mine is!!

Let me know if I can help.  Give me a shout if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

3 formatting tips to improve your website

Dear Author,

Your website is a showcase of your accomplishments of your success as an author.  It should reflect who you are.

But the stuff you put onto your site should be formatted with your reader in mind.

And the biggest thing you will deal with is the content.  The content should not just be slapped onto your site.  You need to think about why you have it on your site.  You need to think about what your reader would want.

And that is more than just adding words to your site.  To be an effective seller (of your books) you need to have an website that has marketing techniques that are effective.

To be effective, you need to have a strong foundation of good content.  Content that your readers want to read.

You also need to think about the purpose of your site.  Knowing why will help you in what direction you should be taking your content.

Ask your self these questions:

  • Do I want to improve my SEO rankings in Google?
  • Do I want to add more readers to my email list?
  • Do I want to convert more readers to buyers of my books?
  • Am I looking for more readers to view my site?

The answer to these questions will help you to take your content in what direction.

No matter which direction you choose, you can…

Improve your website by adding these tips

that will help you to make sure your content to what your reader wants to read.

While I could have added pages and pages of improvements, I am only going to touch on 12 things that need to be improved to help your readers enjoy your site more.

I have lumped them into 3 different categories:  Formatting of your site.  Actual content on your site.  Adding rich media for a better user experience.

 

How you format your site is essential

There is a way to format your site that will help your reader to enjoy being on your site more.  This is called user experience.  It is vital to your site being seen again and again by your readers.

 

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Headline

Your headline is the first thing your reader will read.  Are you catching their attention?  Are you pulling them into your site where they are compelled to read more and want to stay?

The headline is the first step in converting your casual visitor into a frequent visitor and ultimately a buyer.  When you do it right, you will have a loyal customer that will shout praises for every book that you write.

 

Your content

Okay, really truly, your content is everything that you put onto your site.  From the words that you use, to the pictures that you add, including the music and/or videos.

But the placement of everything should be given some thought.

For example:

  • Place your most valuable content above the fold.
    • This means the content that you see right when you come to your site before you start to scroll down.  This is what is above the fold.  If you think about where the phrase came from, newspapers penned the word so you would know what is the most valued information in that day’s paper.
  • Don’t add long paragraphs to your page.
    • Each page needs to be scannable for your readers.  The internet is not the same as writing your book, so you have to change the way you add it.  This means that you can throw out every rule that your English teacher ever taught you.  Instead go with how you talk.  Write online like you talk to your friends or your family.  This way you sound like you are a human.
  • Don’t add the dates to your blog posts
    • You are lucky because your books are timeless.  They will always be new to someone new.  When you add the date to your blog posts, you are dating yourself.  Don’t do that.  By the way, this is not your publication date.  Yes, you can add that.  Just don’t add the date to updates or blog posts about your books.
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) on each page.
    • Each page should guide you to another one with a final destination of buying your book.
  • Don’t add your actual email address to your contact page.  I have heard some controversy about this one, but the gist of it is this.  If you add your actual email with the @ sign (youremail@yoursite.com) then the Google bots that scan your site will take your email and give it to those that send out spam.  Instead do either:
    • Add your email address like this:  your email (at) yoursite (dot) com  This way it is not read like an actual address but humans will still understand it.
    • But what would be better is to have a form on your site for your reader to fill out.  This way you can keep track of sign ups in your analytics.

Another thought is to make sure that you add something new to your site on a regular basis.  This will help you to be seen by the search engines and thoroughly enjoyed by your readers.

 

Testimonials

I have heard of different thought when it comes to placement of your testimonials.  Some have said that you should have a whole page dedicated to them.  While others have said that you should have them dispersed throughout your site.

I happen to like the idea of having them dispersed throughout your site.  Why?  Because each testimonial is going to be about a particular book.  Take that testimonial and add it to that particular book’s page.

What happens if you don’t have any testimonials.  My answer is:  Do you have an established email list?  If you do, you can send out an email asking your readers to give you a testimonial of any of your books.  Then add that to your site.

 

Other pages

There are many different types of pages that need to be on your site.  Each page has a purpose.  You need to have:

  • a thank you page
  • a contact page
  • email sign up page
  • author page

You know what??  I am going to do a whole article on this.  Look for this next week.

 

What you say is just as important as how you say it

Please don’t just put the back cover blurb onto your site.  Please add more.  I say this from a reader’s perspective.  The majority of authors only add the back blurb.  Now while that is a good thing.  Add your blurb, but add more.  Your reader wants more from you.  More about your stories.  More about your characters.  More about you as an author.

Does it have to be hard to find more content.  Nope.

Give me a shout and I can let you in on a new idea that I am coming out with!!!

 

Give your readers a better experience by adding rich media

Your readers want to have more of you.  They want to have more of your books.  More of your characters.

Take a moment to add:

  • videos
  • music
  • maps of your communities
  • family book tree
  • pictures of your muse
  • a pdf of your family book tree or a map of your community

Each of these things will help your reader to have a richer experience on your site.

Don’t forget to add the alt tags to each of your images.  This helps for search engine rankings but is also helps any reader that needs the extra assistance.

 

Okay, I know that this is not all that you need to be thinking about for your site.  But it is a start.

Please let me know if I can help.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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3 Essential Keywords in your Content

3 Essential Keywords in your Content

Anything that you write online is considered copywriting.  Your keywords are an essential part of that copywriting.

Knowing how to write them, how to make them most effective is essential to being found online.

Knowing where to put them on your website pages will help you help your readers to find you.

3 Essential Places to Add Keywords in your Content essential keywords in your content

There are 3 essential locations in your content where keywords will help you:

  • In the copy on your site.
  • In your social media.
  • In your email.

Keywords in your copy

The internet is fueled by the keywords that searchers put into the search engines.  But where do you put them?

First, think about what your keywords should be.  Your keywords are your names of your book, the name of your book series, and maybe even the name of your characters.

For a more in-depth look at primary and secondary keywords.

There is a difference between short keywords and long-tail keywords.  We know that keywords are the words that you use to describe the content on any page of your site.

There are…

Short keywords

These are one or two words that identify something.

As an author, these keywords are:

  • the names of your books.
  • the names of your book series.
  • the names of your characters.

Long-tail keywords

These are longer than 2 keywords that are put together to identify something.

There are many combinations of keywords that are out there.  But you have it lucky!!

There is no one fighting over your keywords.  They are yours and yours alone.

How is this possible?

It is possible because you are the only one who connects those words together.

Yes, there might be another author or a person who has the names in your book, but once you put them all together, you have a long-tail keyword that is exclusively yours!!!

How cool is that!!!

When you know what they are, now you can take the time to add them to the right places on your site.

So what are those right places?

Keywords need to be found in:

  • Your URL – when each book has its own page, then the URL can become the name of the book or book series.
  • Meta tags – make sure that the back ground info knows what each page is about.  This helps in search engine rankings.
  • Headlines and subheads – each page needs a title.  This helps search engines, but it also makes sure that your reader knows that each page is about a certain book and not another.
  • Body copy – adding keywords to the body of your page helps the reader to know more about your book.  This is where long-tail keywords can have the most effect.
  • Calls-to-action – where appropriate, you can make a keyword or similar word be used for the CTA.

 

 

Now let’s think about…

Keywords in social media

What are your keywords in social media?  Keywords become hashtags in social media.  So any keyword that you have on your site, you can use in a post on Facebook, or a tweet on Twitter, or a post on Instagram.

You can take your keyword, like the name of your book and make it into a hashtag.

Doing this allows you to see who is using that hashtag/keyword and what is being said about it.

I can guarantee that a fan out there has created a hashtag out of your name.  And if they haven’t, take the time to do this for yourself.

This will enable you to see what is being said about you and your books.

Take a peak at this article about hashtags.  Or even download this pdf about hashtags!

 

Keywords in your email

While Google doesn’t track email near as much as everything else.  It does track what links go back to your site and what words were used to link it.

When you add the link to a certain word, you are telling Google that that word is important and it should pay attention to it.

So decide carefully what words you want them to be.

 

So there you have it.  Keywords need to be thought about and strategically placed on your site.  Don’t just slap them on.  Develop a strategy to add essential keywords to your content.

Give me a call if I can help.

 

 

Email Content vs Website Content

Dear Author,

The content that you write in your emails is not the same as the content that you write on your website.

There are many aspects that are the same but some actually function a bit different.

In this post, I am going to share with you the basics of each item and compare them.  Please understand that while I could go deep on each aspect and write a whole post about it, I won’t do that at this time.

 

Comparing email content with website content

Both the content in your emails and the content on your site needs to be directed to your targeted audience.

The content on your site is directed to your audience as a whole whereas your emails are directed to them individually.  So when creating your content for either, keep that in mind.

Another thing to remember is that there are several different types of emails and different types of content pages.  The purpose of each page/email needs to be determined in the drafting stage of each.

 

 

Let’s start with

Keywords

Keywords are essential in all aspects of having an online business.  If you want to have an online business, you have to master YOUR keywords.

 

Keywords are gong to have more of an impact on your website than they will in your emails.

The keywords, that you predetermine to be what each page is about, will help you rank in search engines better than if you didn’t have any at all.

Each page on your site needs to be about one thing.  In your case, it will be about one book or one book series.  That way search engines will know what that page is about.

 

With emails, keywords are essential only when you have the right words in your subject line.  This helps your reader to know what the email is about.

 

Headline/Subject Line

On your site, your headline is going to be one of first things that your reader will notice.  When your headline is formatted correctly and you use copywriting principles, your reader is persuaded to continue reading.

 

In emails, the very first thing your reader sees, even before they open your email, is the subject line.  If that subject line doesn’t grab their attention, then your reader may bypass your email.

But if it does get their attention, you have a second shot at convincing them to continue reading and hopefully buying.

For both, formatting your headlines needs to follow the Four U’s rule:  Urgency.  Uniqueness.  Usefulness.  Ultra-specific.  If your headline is all four of these things, you are rockin’!!!

 

SEO Title

Search Engine Optimization is all about keywords.  So like keywords, SEO Title tags have more of an impact on your website than in your emails.

So you need to make sure that each of your content pages has the relevant keywords for the particular page you are creating.

Having said that, you can use keywords as the connecting “thing” from your emails to your content pages.

 

Let me explain.

When you have an email about the new book that you have coming out, you will use the name of your book (and the name of the book series) as keywords to direct your reader to your content page.

On your content page, you will have the name of your book in the SEO Title tag and in the headline, making it very easy for the reader to know what your page is about.

 

Remember that each email, each content page needs to follow the “power of one”.  You need to have on main idea, one goal, one thought per email and per content page.  This is essential for search engines to know what your email or your content page is all about.

 

Introduction/Opening Statement

On your content page, an introduction will start the process of telling your reader what the page is about.  (This tells search engines too.)

It would have the relevant keywords in it, using ideal copywriting rules to help the reader become persuaded to buy your book.

 

In an email, the opening statement hooks your reader to make them want to read more of your email.

Both can be short and to the point, but each is formatted just a bit different.

 

Body Copy

Both emails and content pages need a chunk of text that is the body of what you are trying to do.

In pages, it can be educational or uplifting or just plain fun.

In your email, the body copy needs to hone in on the transformation that you are trying to get your reader to achieve.

 

Subheadlines

You will find that you will use subheads more on content pages than in emails.  That is not to say that you won’t ever need them in your emails.

Subheads are going to be used most when you have to divide up your text into smaller chunks (for easier reading) and you need a way to make some things stand out more than others.

Don’t forget that you need to treat subheads like headlines.  Follow the Four U’s rule while using the relevant keywords.

 

Media

Having other content like images, videos, music, and infographics can only help your reader to be more engaged with your site.

This can also be used in your emails.  My suggestion would be to entice them in your email and move them into your site to see the full thing.  You know, the “read more” button that sends them to your site so they can see the whole thing there.

 

Bullet Points

Having bullet points enables your reader to be able to scan your online content easier than reading long blocks of content.

This can also be used in your emails when you have to share the benefits of what your book can give your reader.

Either way, bullet points enable your reader to get through your content faster.

Because as we all know, time is money.  Wasting your reader’s time is not something you want to do.

 

Conclusion

Just like you have to end your story, so you have to end your online content.  This is more useful online than in your emails as it pulls the reader to the call to action.

This enables the reader to know that there is an end in sight and to not be afraid of what comes next.

 

And what comes next is the

Call to action button

Both your online content and your emails NEED to have a call to action. This enables you to give your reader the next step in what you are trying to do.

It could be to:

  • read an excerpt of your next book
  • sign up for your newsletter
  • download a freebie
  • start following you on social media

Whatever it is, you need to tell your reader what you would like them to do.

 

Social sharing buttons

Every post, every content page NEEDS to have the ability to share your stuff on social media.  You can’t rely solely on search engine traffic to bring you all of your readers.  You need the help of social media.

So making sure that each post, each page has an easy way to share, will help you get your name out there as well as your book.  Enabling you to sell more of your books.

 

So what can you take from all this?

Each email, each content page needs to be thought out completely, from beginning to end.  Purpose, length, topic, keywords.

Let me know if I can help.

 

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6 essential content elements

Dear Author,

One of the biggest things that you will have to do is make sure that your content, on your site, is what your readers want to read.

Your content can help you or hinder you.

 

I have been a romance reader for forever.  And when I was researching the books that I was reading, I found that many authors had very little on their sites when it came to content.

This is, in part, why I decided to take a copywriting course.  I wanted to help you have the content that your readers want on your site for them to enjoy.

It is also why I created my own hobby site to give readers some more information about the books that they are reading.

 

So now I scour the web looking for articles that might benefit you.  Articles about content creation, email tips and understanding your analytics.

I found an great one about content called Is your content good enough?  6 Questions to find the answer.  This one is written by Neil Patel, from Quicksprout.

Here are the questions that he gives:

  1. Does it have real purpose for the right people?
  2. Are your claims backed up with credible sources?
  3. Do the images add more than just breaking up text?
  4. Do you have competition?  And is yours the best?
  5. Are your title and opening gripping?
  6. Is your content optimized for the average reader?

 

Now like all the articles that I have read, I will adapt this one to fit being an author.

So here are ….

6 essential content elements to add to your website

Please keep in mind that you will think your content is wonderful.  It’s okay to be biased!!

But it might be a good idea to have your site analyzed to see how you measure up with other authors in your genre.

 

When that is not possible, having a checklist is a good option.

Question #1:  Does it have a real purpose for the right person?

Does your book serve a purpose to your reader?

This is where you get to be lucky.  Your readers are coming to find you right off the bat.  They have found your book and want to know more.

Now all you have to do is make sure that you give them content that they will want to read.  Keeping in mind that your website is not the same as your book.  You have to add different things to your site then you added to you book.

There are several things that you can add that will give your readers extra stuff to read and do.  Such as:

  • extra research that you did for each book
  • character sketches of your characters
  • family book tree (give me a shout if you want to what I mean by this)

 

Question #2:  Are your claims backed up by credible sources?

Are your books loved by other readers?

What does that mean?  Well…

In the world of marketing, when you sell a product you need to show that it is a viable, useful product that others have used and benefited from.

This might be hard with books, but if you think about what reading romance books gives the loyal reader.  Think about the benefits.

Reading books does have benefits.  I could give you several, but the biggest one would be that reading romance books, helps to keep our own dreams alive.  And who would want that.  I know I would.

That benefit alone is what pulls a lot of people in for all sorts of products, not just romance books.

So you need to ask your loyal readers to write a testimonial for you.  If any author contacted me and asked for one, I would in a heart beat.

 

Question #3:  Do the images add more than just breaking up the text?

Do the images add value to your story?

This one should be an easy one.

But I can count to a small number of author sites that actually have more than just the picture of their books on their site.  And I have to ask myself why?  Why do you NOT add more?

I am hoping that I can change that.

You know that pictures can tell a story.  And you just might have a picture of someone that fits your thought process for the characters that you have.  So why not add this pic to your site?

Please add this picture to your site.  I KNOW that other readers will love to be able to put a face to your character.  And if it is done for them, they are more likely to share that with their network of people.

 

Question #4:  Do you have competition?  And is yours the best?

Do you know your competing authors?  Does your site outrank theirs?

You obviously are not the only romance author out there.  But if you don’t do something to stand out and be different, then you will be just another author.  And I know that you don’t want that.

I can tell you some authors that really do stand out, in each sub-genre.  If you take a look at theirs, you will see that they have a ton of other things that they are doing on their site.

There is more than just the pictures of your books.

Do you have:

  • a special group or page just for your readers?
  • an active email group that gets extras all the time?
  • things for your readers to do or play on your site?

These are just some ideas that I have seen out there.

 

Question #5:  Are your title and opening gripping?

Do your titles and opening statements catch their attention?

This takes us into marketing tips and tricks.

Your site needs to be put together differently than your book.

Your site should be the hub of your author business.  It should have all sorts of other things that your readers want to read.

And each of those things has a format and technique to them.  Your pages and articles and blog posts all have to have headlines that pull your reader in.   When they are pulled into your site, you have more a chance of convincing them of buying your book then if you just had an ad.

Headlines are the first thing that any visitor is going to read.  They will check it out, and if it isn’t up to snuff, then they will move on.

I redo my headline as least three times each time I write an article.  It is not easy, I know, but don’t shirk this.

 

Question 6:  Is your content optimized for the average reader?

Is your content optimized for your readers to find you?

This now takes us into SEO stuff.  I have found that not many authors actually have their sites optimized.  Let me know if you would like to have your site analyzed.

Having your site optimized means that you have your keywords clearly defined.

Defined in your

  • headlines
  • subheads
  • emails
  • pictures/images
  • blogs posts
  • tweets

And they are working for you and helping you.  Not hindering you.

Let me say thing again – KEYWORDS ARE ESSENTIAL to being found organically!!

 

Is this everything that you need to remember?  No, not by a long shot.  But it does give some essentials to get you started.

I go through this list, as well as other, every time I am about to publish something.  You should too.

Let me know if I can help!

 

<3 S

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16 smart SEO tricks to help readers find you

Dear Author,

Learning how to optimize your site pages needs to be a high priority if you would like to be found in the search engines.

Even though Google is pretty smart, you can help it along by making sure all the right things are in the right places.

Here are

16 SEO factors to help your reader find you

Search Engine Optimizaition.

While it sounds really hard, is not.  Although it can be a challenge to make sure you have all the pieces are in place.

What you need to do is think about what words your readers are going to use to find you.  And then put that onto your page.

 

I found a great infographic by an influencer that I follow.

His name is Brian Dean.  He is the founder of Backlinko, a training hub for digital marketing pros.  You can learn a lot from him.

Take a look at the infographic if any of what I am going to share doesn’t make sense.

Here are the points that Brian gives us:

  1.  Use SEO-friendly URLs
  2.  Start title with a keyword
  3.  Add modifiers to your title
  4.  Wrap your blog post title in an H1 tag
  5.  Dazzle with mulitmedia
  6.  Wrap subheads in H2 tags
  7.  Drop keywords in first 100 words
  8.  Use responsive design
  9.  Use outbound links
  10.  Use internal links
  11.  Boost site speed
  12.  Sprinkle LSI keywords
  13.  Image optimization
  14.  Use social sharing buttons
  15.  Post long content
  16.  Boost dwell time

 

While just having this list would help any webmaster, I would like to share with you how your reader looks for you as an author who writes the books that they LOVE to read!!

 

SEO-friendly URLs

As a reader, I am going to put the title of your book into Google and see what comes up.

Please know because Google is really smart, your site is probably going to show up on the search pages, but if you helped Google, your site will be ranked better.

Why?

Because Google puts more stock in the first 3-5 words in your title.  If your title of your book is in the URL, your reader will find you even faster.

 

Don’t:

www.yourauthorname.com/p=123

or www.yourauthorname.com/6/25/16/284758594037

Do:

www.yourauthorname.com/yourbooktitle

or www.yourauthorname.com/yourbookseriestitle

 

Keywords in title

Your title is the most essential word(s) on your page.

Brian Dean says “the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has in the search engines.”

You are lucky,  Your book name is your title.  You just need to make sure that the search engines know EXACTLY which one you mean.

Because if you don’t tell Google, Google will take something and make it the title tag.

 

Modify your title

As an author, you know how important some words are to the telling of your story.

The same can be true of how your book is received.  Is your story the “best” story, the “greatest”, most “engaging”, “captivating”, whatever it is, those words can be used to help your site be found better.

 

Define your title with H1 tag

The H1 tag is what defines what your title is.  Make sure it is added to the meta data of your post.

When I was doing full site analysis’ of several author sites, I found that this is one of the main thing that was missing from their sites.  It is a small thing, but still a big enough thing that you need to add this.

I use WordPress for my site, and it is really easy to make sure the H1 tag is added.

 

Add Mulitmedia

Okay, I am going to come to you as a reader and a fan for a minute.

Please, please, please add more content to your sites!!!

Don’t get me wrong there are some authors that have some awesome sites filled with tons of things to do and extra thing to read.

But the vast majority don’t add anything extra to their sites.  It makes it really hard to want to come back and really hard to even want to sign up to your newsletter

This could be in the form of videos, music, other pictures.

Making your site more interactive, will be a bonus for your readers and make you more shareable.

 

Subheads use H2 tags

Just like title need the H1 tag, subheads need the H2 tag.

This could be anything that is related to your story, your characters, the places in your story.

Let me give you an example:

<H1 name of book>

This blurb is about the book

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

<H2 name of main male character>

Add a blurb about the main character – this could be some research that you had to do for him or a character sketch of him

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

<H2 name of main female character>

Add a blurb of the main female character, just like what was done for the male character

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

 

Add keywords into the body copy and LSI keywords

I am going to join two of his points here.

What are your keywords?

  • your name is the MAIN main keyword + author
  • subgenre
  • book series name
  • book title
  • main characters
  • secondary characters
  • places they live
  • places they go to
  • plot line

 

LSI keywords are the synonyms of your main words.  So they would be:

  • novel
  • story
  • heroine
  • hero

Google is smart enough to know what each of these mean and how they can be connected.

 

Mobile Friendly

While many authors actually get this one, there are still some that don’t realize that your reader is going to be standing in the library or bookstore with her phone in hand looking up your site.

If she can’t get onto your site, she will most like just walk out without your book.  Think about that.

Take the time to make your site mobile friendly.

 

Outbound links and inbound links

While every author thinks that they are the best, if you reference others and link to their site, Google will reward you for this.  Google will consider you an authority and boost your ratings and bring you more traffic.

More traffic means more readers will find you.  More readers finding you means more books will be sold.  More money for you.

 

Inbound links are even more important than outbound links.

When you have a reputable site, like a successful reviewer or a news media link to your site, Google will help you by sending more readers to you.

 

Internal links

As an author, your books never get old.  Really truly.  They are timeless.  And this is a unique thing to just you authors.  Your books will always be new to some new reader and as the generations pass, more will become readers as they grow up.  How lucky are you.

So to help your readers remember older books, link to them in new blog posts, newsletters, tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook or Instagram.

And when you do this, it will help you get eyes on all of your books and not just the most recent ones.

 

Site speed

No matter how successful you are, if your site is NOT user friendly, your readers won’t be impressed.  What will they do if they aren’t impressed – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

They won’t share your post.  They won’t tweet out your new book.  They won’t help your stuff get out there.

And that is what you want them to do.  Share your stuff so your books get in front of more readers, so more readers will buy your books.

 

Image Optimization

Putting a description to your pictures gives Google another clue as to what your page is about.

It is also one thing that I found horribly lacking in the audits that I did on several sites.  I found that on some sites, there was hundreds of pictures that had no identifying words to them at all.  Whether they are in the front data or the back data (meta data).

Google likes it when you give everything a name.  Why?  Because Google speaks in words and symbols.  It’s humans that speak in pictures.

 

Social sharing buttons

While Google may speak in letters and numbers, it is people that share what you have written.

If you have written something worth sharing, it will be shared.  If you don’t it may not affect your rankings but it will affect how many people see your book.

Make it easy for your readers to share.  Put the buttons right near the top of the page, above the fold.

 

Longer content

This is the longest blog post that I have written.  And apparently long post content ranks higher than shorter content.

Brian says you should aim for 1000+ words for each blog post you publish.

Now I am still working on this for this site.  But I bet I could come up with a whole lot more when it comes to your books.

 

Let’s get your readers to stay on your page

Do you know your stats well enough to say whether or not your readers actually stay on your site and look around?

Do you know what content is most liked, most hated?

 

Let’s give your readers more content that they will love to read, love to share, and love to have.

Quality content comes in indirect ways, such as:

  • repeat visits from readers
  • chrome bookmarks
  • time on site
  • how long they stay
  • Google search of your books.

Each of these ways will help Google to see you as an authority of your books!!  Because we know you are!

Comments will also help your site to be found better.

 

Now it is time to take your site to the next level.

Give me a call when you are ready.

<3 S

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Give readers the content THEY WANT

Dear Author,

If you are going to be truly successful online, you have to serve your target market.

That means giving them what they want.  You have to give them content that they want on your site.

 

As an author, I know that you have these stories, these characters, living inside of you, just waiting to get free.  And you can do nothing else but tell their story.

And you should tell their story.  Get it out of you.  Write it down.  Share it with the world.

 

This is where you have to stop being an author and become a marketer if you want to sell your books.

You must write your content to satisfy your reader, not you.

Why?

Because writing online is different than writing a book.

When writing online you have to appeal to the audience that you want to reach.  This audience is your readers.

Now, you do have it lucky.  I’ll explain in a minute.

 

I found a great article from Copyblogger that gives us ideas on how to write content that is remarkable and effective.

These are the points that they give:

  1. Effective content educates
  2. Effective content has personality
  3. Effective content has a great headline
  4. Effective content keeps SEO in mind
  5. Effective content puts the reader first

 

They said that content educates.

I agree.  Your content has to be useful.  But content can also entertain and inspire.

Your books educate and entertain and inspire

And that is a HUGE bonus – for you.

You have this amazing romance story that pulls at your readers heart strings.  That pulls at them enough that they keep coming back for more and more.

So do you not only entertain your reader, you inspire them.  That is how you are lucky.

With a few tweaks, your online content can be just as amazing as your books.

 

Let me give you some ideas on how you can entertain your readers on your website.

Ask yourself, why do my readers come back for more and more of my stories, my romance stories.

Your readers fall in love with your characters, so give them more of your characters.

What do I mean?

Let me ask you a question.

Do you find a muse that looks like the character that you are writing about?

Do you create that character in your mind with likes, dislikes, characters flaws, good qualities, and such?

Did you do any research about the places that you have your characters based in?

Do you create a whole city for your story?

Do you create family dynamics that go along with your story (or stories).

Do you create a whole family that becomes a book series?

 

If you can answer any of those questions then you have more content to add to your site.  The answers are what your readers would LOVE to know about your stories.

 

 

They said that content has to have personality.

Your story drips of your personality

Whether or not you intentionally put yourself into your story or not, you do.  You have a unique writing style that noone else can duplicate.

Take that same personality and put it into the research that you had as extra on your site.

Describe what you do to write, where you write.  What you do to overcome writer’s block.

If you add more than just your story stuff into your content, your readers will get to know you as well.

Why?

Because if your readers love your story, they will already LOVE you!!

 

 

They said that content needs to have a great headline.

This is where you have to start thinking like a marketer and not an author anymore.

Your headline needs to catch their attention

When you catch their attention and pull your reader into your online content, they will stay and read more.  If they stay and read more, you have a chance to make them buy another one of your stories.

This is online marketing.

The whole point behind online marketing is to make a sale.  You, selling your books.

It starts with the headline.

Make your headline:

  • grad their attention
  • create curiosity as to what your book is about
  • evokes an emotional response
  • tells them what they are going to get when reading your book
  • be believable

There is so much that goes into a headline.

I am still working on mine!!

 

 

They said that effective content keeps SEO in mind.

Having some knowledge of Search Engine Optimization will help your site to be seen more often by more readers.

SEO + Quality content = Content that gets read

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Simply put, it is the formatting of the words that you put online, put in such a way that they will be noticed and shared.

I know, that sounds more complicated than it needs to be.

Let’s just break it down a bit.

Keywords.

Keywords are the first thing you need to remember.  Keywords are the words that you put into the search engine, like Google, to find something that you would like to find.

The words that you want to be found for are:

  • your name.
  • the name of your books
  • the names of your books series
  • but you can also make it that you are also found for the names of your characters.  You made them unique.  Use that to your advantage.

 

There is also analytics.  Do you use your Google analytics to be make informed marketing decisions?  Do you use that data to know what your readers like the most?  This can help you to convert more readers.

There is also copywriting techniques.  When you use the proper techniques, you “sell” your book to your readers.  It wouldn’t take much.  Your readers are already devoted.

This also means using modern email marketing strategies.  When using the right email strategies to nurture your reader, you will convince more of them buy more of your books.

 

 

They said that you have to put your reader first.

Most authors will say that they just had to write the story, that they had these voices talking in their heads that they just had to get out.

So your story is not for your readers.  Even though it is!!  (I know, complicated).

So…

Online content should be written with your reader in mind

It is a physical person that will buy your book.

When you follow some proven modern marketing techniques, you will nurture your reader into them buying again and again.

When done right, you will have a dedicated, loyal following that will buy anything that you send out.

And if you have a large enough following, you will not even have to market your book anymore.  They will do the work for you.

 

On a personal note.  I am still learning these techniques.  I am learning right along with you.

My goal is to make sure that you have the most largest, most devoted following so that all you have to do is say: “Hey I’ve written another one” and they will come running!!

<3 S

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The Blog post checklist to boost your SE ranking

Dear Authors,

Let’s talk about content.  Your content.  The content on your site is soooooo important.

It is what you use to convince your readers to buy more of your books.

Yet, there are many author sites that have little to no content on their sites or the content is not formatted to make a lowly reader want to buy your book.

 

Ya see,  I want you to be found.  You write these amazing stories.  And I think everyone should read them.

But how well are you being found?  Okay, I know that some of you do have a loyal following.  And to you that might be enough.

But what about all those other readers that haven’t heard about you, about your story?  Do you want to reach them too?

Let me show you what you can do.

 

There are:

3 ways to optimize your content so your readers find you

There are things you need to think about before you write your online content.

Then there are content ideas to actually share with your readers.

And even more, there are some additional tricks that you could do after you have finished before you hit publish.

 

Let’s talk about the:

5 things to include before you even start writing

  1. Title tag.  This is the most important element of SEO.  They indicate the relevancy of your post.  It is best to keep it to 60 characters or less, that way when Google puts your post in search engines (SERP), the whole title is included.
  2. Meta description.  This is the small snippet of text that is presented in the search engine results.  If you don’t tell Google what to take, they will take the first part of your blog post.  This needs to inspire readers to click on the post all about your book.
  3. Keywords in the post.  Keywords fuel the internet.  There are primary keywords and secondary ones, both help your readers to find you.  So you need to add them naturally to your post.
  4. Related keywords.  These are your secondary keywords.  When defined, you are then able to be found by them as well
  5. Heading.  Your heading needs to have the H1 header tag attached to it.  I can’t tell you the number of audit reports that indicated the header tag is missing.

I know it’s a lot to think about.

But Google doesn’t care if you are an author or bookkeeper or a movie star.  It’s algorithms will only rank those that follow what they set out.

So let’s get your site ranked better.

 

The next thing you need to think about is:

9 ways to engage your online reader

Engaging your reader online is different than how you engage your reader in your story.

Most authors will tell me that it is the characters need to tell their story and they are just the mouthpiece.  And I believe that.  There are some amazing stories out there.

But when you write online, you need to write to the reader that will buy your story.

So that means that you have to include certain things that will entice them to read your online content.

  1. Secondary Headline.  You should be filling your headlines with your keywords.  Your keywords are what fuels the internet.  Adding your keywords to your headlines and your subheads (and define them in the meta data), will increase the number of readers that find you.
  2. Feature an Image.  Pick an image to feature in your post.  Why?  Because posts with images are more likely to get shared.  (I am still working on this one!)
  3. Subheads.  When writing content, you need to break up the content with subheads so your post becomes much more scannable.
  4. Lists.  When reading online, you need to make it easy for them to read your content.  A list is very scannable.  Include one when you can.
  5. Formatting.  Notice how I have bolded some things and made subheads.  This is formatting that you can do to make your content stand out.
  6. Links.  You need inbound and outbound links to grow your credibility online.  Link to your own pages as well as others.
  7. Quotes and mentions.  I know your site is all about you and your books, but when you mention others, and link to their stuff, it helps to build your social credibility.
  8. Call to action.  Calls to action are showing what your reader needs to do next.  You need to be telling your readers what they will be wanting them to do.
  9. Author box.  Just like you know the importance of writing your name on your book, having your name on your online content will help with social media and conversion benefits.

 

Now it is time to think about things after you are finished your post.

You can take your content to the next level when you add:

6 tactics to make your content even more compelling

  1. Other images.  Adding extra images will help to make your site even more appealing to your readers.  Think of actors or models or your next door neighbor who looks like your characters.  Add those pics.  Your readers will love having a visual representation of your characters.
  2. Video.  Creating a video takes your pictures to an even higher level.  Videos make your readers stick around for a while on your site.  A great thing for you.
  3. Slideshare.  Slideshare is an even more of an upgrade to your content.  This is when you create a presentation of your post and upload it to your site.
  4. Click to tweet.  This is when you give your reader the ability to share your content with just one or two clicks.  (I am still learning how to do this).
  5. Lead magnets.  Don’t forget to add a lead magnet to your site, offering a valuable something, to give to your reader.  This is a great way that you can build your email list.

 

The search engines are smart.  Smart enough to know what you are trying to say.

But you have to actually create and publish content on your site for the spiders to do something about it.

You will be rewarded for having good, quality content on your site.

Your reward?  More readers finding you.

Give me a shout if you would like to chat.  I can help you find content that you didn’t know you had.

<3 S

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4 reasons to analyze your content

Dear Author,

Let’s talk analytics today!

It’s a big topic and can have many different tangents.

Today I’d like to talk about why you should be aware of your Google analytics and where you can go to understand more.

 

The first article is from Search Engine Journal.  They are a great site where you can read lots of articles about search engines and what they want.

This is about when Google attached the Panda update to its algorithm.  Definitely interesting how Google now has quality content built into its algorithm.

This is one of the main ideas behind what I am trying to do.  I want to help you add quality content to your site.  You write these amazing stories but you don’t have enough on your site.

 

You need to think about:

Do you know what content your readers want to read?

Do you know how long readers are staying on your site?

Do you know what content they like the most?

Do you know what emails are getting read?  or are they just being deleted?

Do you know what social media posts are liked the most?  shared the most?

Do you know what posts are converting your readers into buyers?

Do you know what posts are getting your emails to sign up for your website?

 

These are things that you need to know in order to grow your business.  Yes, your business of being an author.

Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics Campaign Tracking from Digital Marketer.  They are a powerhouse in providing all sorts of things to help your digital marketing plan.

It will give you lots of ideas on how to set up your analytics and how to start understanding your own.

 

When you optimize your content, you will be seen better in the search engines.  When you are seen better, your books get in front of more readers.  When you get your books in front of more readers, you sell more of your books.

When you have a Full Site Analysis done, you will know what your content is up to and how it is working or not working.

 

In this article by Kim Garst, How to Use Google Analytics to Optimize your Content, she shares how your content can help you.  She is a social media guru that knows all things social.  You have to check her out.

She says:

  • Find your most popular content (and then create spin-off content).
    • when you understand what is your most popular content, you can create more content that will perform just as well.
  • Use Site Search to find missed content opportunities
    • with the help of Google’s Site Search, you can find out which keywords your readers are actually looking for.  You can then create more content using those keywords.
  • Find out which content is driving people OFF your site.
    • knowing what isn’t working is just as important to knowing what is working.  When you know what isn’t working, you can take that off and put in what is.
  • View your most popular landing pages.
    • your analytics will tell you which page a visitor lands on.  Knowing this will help to increase your efforts in what area.

 

I have done several audits on author sites.  And the main thing that I have come away with is that authors do not understand their analytics.  Some do, most do not.

Let’s make it that you are one that does.

Give me a call so we can get started.

<3 S

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How to send emails with confidence

Dear Author,

Sending emails is a daunting but necessary task when running your online business.

You probably spend way too much time trying to figure out what to say let alone how to say it.

Let me help with one while giving you ideas about the other.

 

I found a great article that shares Your Top-to-Bottom Email Checklist: What to Include Before You Hit Send.  Take the time to read this as it will help you to understand the rest of this post.

This one comes from Copyblogger.  A great online resource for anything about content marketing.

 

And as always, I take what I find and adapt it to you, a rising romance author on their way to becoming a best seller!

 

There is a science to email marketing.  There is a pattern to follow and statistics to remember when you are crafting your emails.

Let’s take a look at what they shared.

Make a professional first impression

  • Select your “from” name and “reply to” address
  • Highlight a benefit in your subject line
  • Choose an appropriate introduction

Compose your email

  • Write your main content
  • Present your call to action
  • Add your footer

Quality-check your content

  • Include a plain text version of your email
  • Perform a mobile-friendly check
  • Test your email

 

There is not a lot of adapting that can be done, so let’s just talk about how this will help you.  Let’s go through each one.

Making a professional first impression

The first thing your reader sees, in her email list, is your name.  If your name and “bestselling author” are in the from place, she will be excited to read your email.  And she will open it.

Your email signature is a place that is frequently forgotten to be used as a small promotional spot that you can use to your advantage.

Make sure you use a formula to your headlines.  Don’t just pick anything.  Your headline needs to be unique, useful, ultra-specific, and urgent.  This is the Four U Formula that I teach.

Instead of just saying hello, you could use dynamic tags to address your reader by name.  I like to say Good Morning!!  So mine start with Good morning, (name).

 

Composing your email

The entire email should endorse you and what you have written.  Your email should not be about your cat or last’s night dinner.

It should be meaningful and interesting to your reader.  Something that they will find useful and exciting enough that they will share and spread the news.

At the end of each email, you should have a call to action.  This call to action should instruct your reader in what you would like them to do.

It could be:

  • to check out a new page you have written
  • to comment on your new book that just came out.
  • to buy your new ebook/book.
  • to see what else you have to offer.

Your footer is a place that you have your social media icons and “forward to a friend” buttons.

You need to follow the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and make sure you have a valid address listed, and a button to unsubscribe.  These two are important.

Usually your email provider will automatically add this but ultimately the list is yours.

 

Quality-check your content

Providing the ability to see your email in plain html text is a nice thing to do as you don’t know what your reader’s preferences are.

Some email providers provide this, so check it out.

According to one article by Copyblogger, there are more than 50 percent of people will read your email on a mobile device.

So that means that you have to make your emails able to adjust to mobile devices by:

  • keep your design to a single column format with 320 and 550 pixels wide
  • make sure your images are sized correctly and rendering correctly
  • spread your links out so that they don’t interfere with another link
  • the body of your email should be set in 14-point font size

Make sure you put your email through a spam checker.  Noone likes to have a virus piggybacking on an email.

And don’t forget to test your email before you send it out.  Most email providers have a way to send a test email so you can check for any little mistakes.

 

So there you have it.  More things that you have to think about.

 

Keep up the good work.

Make sure you head over to my facebook group just for you!

Sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already!!  I love to talk to you!

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