A website for an author is an extremely important marketing tool and most writers have mediocre ones. Some are too simple, cluttered, ugly, outdated or ineffective in doing what it’s supposed to do: represent your brand, serve as a lead generator, be a point of connection, and a place of business. So how can today’s author spruce up his or her website so that it best represents and serves one’s interests?
First, look at your site from the eyes of those who would come to visit it. What feeling would they get? Is everything clearly navigational? Are things that one expects to find up on the site actually there? Is everything updated? What’s the overall reaction one gets when seeing the site? Does it touch all of your digital senses -- including sound, video, text, or graphics?
Second, ask yourself if you started from scratch, how different would a brand new site look in comparison to what you have?
Here are the 16 areas you should examine more closely when looking to spruce up your website:
1. What do you have running across the top of the screen that provides a quick peek at what’s on your website? Do you have things like ABOUT, HOME, CONTACT, APPEARANCES, BLOG, MEDIA? Are there sections for BOOKS or other important topics? Compare your site to what competing authors are offering and make adjustments accordingly.
2. Under CONTACT, do you have your full name, email, phone, mailing address and social media links?
3. For your ABOUT section, is your biography up-to-date, including the latest accomplishments and an accurate count when you reference the number of years of experience that you have? Does your photo need a makeover? Would you like to include a video link that introduces people to you?
4. What free downloads do you offer in exchange for someone to provide their email with you? Clearly highlight your offer and properly incentivize people to take an action step.
5. Can people clearly and easily see where to click to buy your book or other items?
6. Are there parts of your site that are blank or not functioning properly?
7. Do you have enough visuals sprinkled throughout, such as photos, illustrations videos, charts, and graphics? You need to break up text with design elements such as space, color, boxes, bullet points, and artwork.
8. Is your font or typeface big enough and easy to read? Are your background colors distracting or interfering with the consumption of content?
9. Are your testimonials and endorsements current? Keep adding to them.
10. Do you have book excerpts and/or sample chapters available for those who want to get a taste of your talented offerings?
11. Your site should always feel like something new is happening, so highlight recent successes in the media or list upcoming appearances or planned events.
12. People buy from those they know, like, trust and believe will provide them with something they need, desire, or will find useful. It’s imperative that your site give off a feeling that is welcoming and that symbolizes your personality and message. Post a Q & A so people can get a flavor for your views and experiences.
13. Only have a blog on your site if you post to it regularity, such as three to four times a month, otherwise it looks empty and stale.
14. Do not hit people up with a BUY offer or a SIGN-UP request as soon as the home page pops up. First sell people on who you are and let the consumer naturally conclude he or she wants to buy or sign up for something.
15. Pit yourself on a seasonal schedule to review and revise your website – fall and spring. The more often you do this, the less arduous the task of fixing your site.
16. Lastly, the key to reviving your site is the choice of words used. Writers forget that words are powerful marketing tools. The words you use in your site will help determine its SEO worthiness. Make sure you use and repeat the keywords that people search for when it comes to your subject matter. Don’t forget to use a level of vocabulary that matches your subject matter, as well.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs
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