Welcome Frank Eberhart (The Procrastinator's Bible for Financial Success) as the October 1st, 2009 guest blogger of the day. Frank will discuss how to supercharge your website with words. The technical term is "SEO" but Frank will demystify that for you so you can take your website from blah to visible with a few tips. Still unsure what to do? Ask questions!
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If they can't find it-they can't buy it
So, you've written a great book, now what?
Myth: I can't afford to develop my own marketing or web campaign
Fact: Yes you can
Myth: SEO underwriting is more effective than me doing it myself
Fact: Probably, however YOU CAN do a very effective marketing campaign and web development and be very cost effective.
Fact: SEO underwriting is way to expensive
Fact: Yes it is -some as much as 5000 per month or more!
Fact: You need a web page, search engine optimizer, domain name, and a host of other campaigns to be a successful on-line marketer-and of course I want it all free. Well, how about almost free...
Let's look at some statistics, do's and don'ts: SEO underwriting will use the following (of which most of it you can get free-or little cost): I know, I do SEO/Ghost writing.
if you want to try your hand at freelance writing: www.freelancehomewriters.com
Web Do's: If you have a web or are designing one
- Determine who your audience is you want to attract
- Identify your identity and credentials
- What are you bringing to the table with your book?
- Compose your text in short to the point phrases or words
- Make your Bio stand out
- Include photos, or web video links (like YouTube)
- Make your colors blend-not hide your content
- Keep it clean, simple, and to the point i.e., buy my book because it will help you (or me) sleep better)
- Have a good web site-you are trying to brand your name, credentials, books, etc.
- Do not use hard to read fonts (like Chiller, small, too condensed)
- Not too much Adobe Flash
- Do not ignore your site after it is done-keep it fresh with new content-something that will bring them back-like games, calculators, etc.
Now let's look at what search engines & individuals do when searching the web:
- When individuals search the web and hit a link (your web site), they are there for around 1.5 seconds, if nothing catches their eye-they are gone-probably never to return. As an example when you visit my web: www.bookworm.tv the moving image catches your eye, and I change topics, structure quite often. I provide information that makes them come back, like the mortgage calculator, retirement calculator, etc.
- Second problem is load time, if it takes too long to load your web image-gone
- Third problem is broken links, a picture of your web page(s) it is actually what a web search engine sees, if it is blank-gone.
- Fourth problem is linking your site to other links-like Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
- Fifth is setting up your search criteria, like Google. Finding key words, phrases, and topics. If you are not on the first or second page when an individual Google's, then they usually do not go to the third. As an example of setting up key words or phrases, if you Google Frank Eberhart, or The Procrastinator's Bible-contests I have won, reviews I have received, awards, are all things to try and get you to the front page! I am probably the first 20 pages. So you practice, go to Google and type in criteria that matches you, see what or where you land-front page? Be as specific as possible. It takes time, and determination-the results will help find your site. www.googleanalytics.com can help.
How SEO developers (I) do it: The art is a combination of self-directed word/phrase search and "click" pay through services (click pay services are search engines or services that charge a fee for key words or phrase that link to your site, it allows you to set the terms, amount you wish to pay, and the words and phrases you want.
One of the most important (and affordable) search engines is netmechanics; it is the least expensive of search engine optimizers that really work. Again, I go back to if they can't find you-they can't buy it-well worth the money Sometimes you need to spend a little more to correct or fix what you have.
www.netmechanic.com is a search engine optimizer. $99 dollars a year you can set up and analysis key words, key phrases, and meta tabs which are key words and phrases that attach to the top of your actual web site, keep it to 4 or 5, search engines see more than this as spam.
You can subscribe to over 100 search engines all at once, and they give you a report back on which search engines accepted (and ones you may have to go in and manually subscribe to). They offer additional services like broken link repair, etc. A very valuable and inexpensive tool.
www.googleanalytics.com A little more complicated, but once you figure it out-very valuable to your results (free)
www.searchmarketing.yahoo.com This is where you can check out the "click" through services and affordability...even if you set a small budget up (like 5 dollars a day) it could be worth the money-make sure you define your words and phrase to maximize your dollars. Netmechanic and yahoo will help define those words and phrase and how many "hits" they get, in addition, they tell you associated words that may have more impact to you.
www.alexa.com for web site ranking, you can also compare with other sites on how you are doing-the goal is to be in the top 100,000 or preferably less. (Free)
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com Is another key "click" or pay service to check out
Web designs, hosting and domain names: If you have a web or need one.
First you should buy a DOMAIN name or get one: Mine is bookworm.tv my wife's is www.TheGingerbreadCupboard, this brands your web, your name, your books, and should be directly correlated to your stuff, including a matching
http://www.melbourneit.com.au offers inexpensive (and easy to use or find) domain names or
When reviewing your web site statistics, keep in mind that it is not the number of hits; it is the number of unique visitors and pages read that count. Like with American Author in my control panel I can see hits, unique visits, pages read, top key word or phrases used, and I can set up all the various links and frame pages, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble. All the links are very easy to find on Google, and the support staff helps you set up this and any questions. So when you subscribe to any web hosting service, make sure you can do all of these things to help drive traffic to your site. Of course the bottom line is how many books you have sold!
Web hosting/design services:
www.tripod.lycos.com is free, they offer blogging, and upgrade services for as little as 4.95 per month.
www.americanauthor.com for individuals looking for a little more sophistication a very nice web hosting and self-design web service (that's who I use). $399 start up and $29 per month maintenance.
http://aws.amazon.com web services-very helpful and affordable. In addition, you should enroll in Amazon's "look inside the book" program-its free.
Open a PayPal account: www.paypal.com why? It is the easiest way to get paid for your books, my books sell on Amazon, B & N, (and many other places), but also on my web site, I make more money if they buy direct from me, and using PayPal allows them to use any credit card or PayPal account. You can then transfer to any bank account, or apply for the PayPal debit card.
There are many web services, search engine optimizers, for sure, Google is a great tool to find some, however, I would use caution as to the real quality and services you get. The above services are proven to be effective and reliable.
Blogging: Blog, blog, blog...need to do it, it gives you exposure not just to your writing shills, but links to potential book buyers by the droves!
Some good places to go for learning and having fun while you get exposure (they will all link your web site):
http://EzineArticles.com great place to blog, with tremendous exposure, training, and you can become an expert author, use their logo for additional credentials-and its free
www.blogger.com (Google), what can I say-its Google and they have really great services and applications to help promote you and your book(s). Plus you can subscribe to Google book club-and its free.
Some of our other friends: They will help support your efforts, whether or not you have a web site. These places are for authors and readers to find you, great information for contests to enter-and they are generally free (most offer upgrade packages). You never have to many!
[Editor's note: and don't forget www.polkadotbanner.com!)
Enter as many contests as you can!
Frank James Eberhart, CEP, RFC, is a certified estate planner and a registered financial consultant. He currently works as a financial advisor for ultra high-net-worth clients. He is the author of "The Procrastinator's Bible for Financail Success-Nine Essential Steps for Planning, Budgeting, and Investing"