Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Avoid These 7 Mistakes With Your Book Website

Websites have been around for over two decades. They have evolved over the years but at their core, they still do what they did in their earliest form—provide a place for information, a storefront to sell a product or service, and a means to connect and capture emails of potential supporters.

There’s no secret science on how to architect a website that is eye-appealing, functional, and complete, yet many people, especially authors, miss the mark when it comes to their website. Here’s what you absolutely, unequivocally, and undeniably must do or not do when it comes to websites:

1.      Make sure you have a website!
Some people think it’s a luxury or optional to have one. It’s mandatory that you have one. It’s your home, your new business card, and your business. Having a Facebook page, a twitter handle, a YouTube channel or a blog are not substitutes for a website. They all work together and each serves a role in your branding and marketing.

2.      Have a separate site for you and one for your new book
Yes, they should link together, but you should have both sites. The book site markets the book; your site markets you.

3.      Get the site up before you need it
Don’t wait until a month before the book is out to design a site. Create it 6-12 months before your book launches. You can start to get a buzz for the book, register pre-orders, and use it to reference in your social media. When you’re contacting people, such as groups, to arrange for speaking engagements, the link to your site becomes your business card. Plus, your site, if marketed, can help you get discovered by others who are looking for someone with your expertise.

4.      Reuse it often
You don’t create a website and walk away from it. See it as a baby that needs feedings and changings. Revise and update it regularly—add things, reword stuff, remove old stuff, and redecorate it. Not only does it need to look fresh, such changes help your SEO and Google rankings.

5.      Use keywords throughout the site
There are words that are very important to how you come up in search engines. Pepper every page with the words and terms or string of phrases that are relevant to your field. For instance, if it’s a personal finance book, you’ll want to use words that people use to search for books and sites like yours. Words –and their multiple versions (singular, plural, different tenses) like money, wealth, savings, investing, rich, poor, finances, banks—will need to be wallpapered all over your site.

6.      Hit our senses
Don’t just rely on words to sell yourself. Utilize video, audio, photos, graphs, and images to give a sense of depth and variety to your message.

7.      Have pages for each major category
·         About the book
·         Sample chapter
·         Book excerpts
·         Testimonials
·         Biography of the author
·         Purchase page
·         Contact and social media links
·         Blog
·         Appearances/schedule of upcoming activity
·         Media/press materials, list of or links to media placements/reviews
·         Awards and honors (if you have any)

Lastly, make the website name one that is easy to say, spell and remember. It should be short and reflect your message – and not conflict with or be confused with another website. Your book title might work as the URL for the book and your name can be the URL for your personal site.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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