How to Use Your Author Website to Sell More Books
As a publicist and marketer, I know that websites can be an invaluable marketing tool when promoting a book. Most authors know this too, but many don’t know how to get people to their sites, and more importantly how to sell more books. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you want to sell more books:
Curate the content of your siteIs it clear what you want your visitors to do on your website? Is your book prominently featured easy buy links? Many author sites have too much content and a lot of it is outdated. Organize the content by importance. Remember you often only have 20-30 seconds of their attention before they leave, what do you want the visitors to focus on? Too much content can cause overwhelm and indecision. For example, if you blog weekly, list 1-2 blogs on the homepage rather than all your blogs from the last six months. Be a curator of information and make sure you delete any information that is not current.
Analytics is your friendWe can't talk about book sales without talking about website traffic analytics. There is a lot of data in your Google Analytics account, but there are only a few pieces of data that are important. Review your analytics every three months and use that information to update your website. Here’s a blog on a quick overview of important website data.
Time on siteDo you know how much time people are spending on your website? This is one of the most important pieces of information you can get through your Google Analytics. Time on site will show you the engagement level which is a better indicator of success than traffic. Your job is to not only bring people to your site but to keep them there. This data point will also show you which marketing activities are most important. For example, one of my clients was spending a lot of time on Facebook, thinking it was good for marketing. But once we reviewed the data, we found that the people who came to her site from Facebook only spent 15 seconds on average, while people who came to her site from LinkedIn spent almost 2-3 minutes. That information told us that she was spending her precious social media time on the wrong network.
ReferralsThis leads me to another key element of the data: referral traffic. Where is your traffic coming from? How long do they stay when they come from that outlet? For example, you may get more people coming to your site from Twitter than from LinkedIn but the people coming from LinkedIn are staying on your site for much longer than the people coming to your site from Twitter. Don't look at overall traffic as the marker of success for your site, instead focus on time on site and which referring outlet is delivering the best results for you. This information can help guide your marketing plan.
SEOSEO or search engine optimization is a science in itself, but there are some simple things you can do to make your site Google Friendly. In general, you want your site to be fast, mobile-friendly and updated. Avoid giant graphics that don't add value.
BacklinksTry to get as many links back to your site, this will increase domain authority. A new domain name will not have high domain authority. Domain authority is how likely Google is to send users to your site. Backlinks are a huge component of that calculation. The more people linking to your site the better, even more important is to have links to your site from high-traffic websites. Remember to ask your publisher to link to you and always add a link in your bio.
Using these tips will help you to market yourself and your book more effectively. Use these ideas to make the most of your website and sell more books. Remember, the key is to get people to your site and keep them there!