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The Key to a Successful Author Website

07 Apr

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Key
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No one will ever know your website exists – unless it is among the top search engine results, showing up on Google’s first page. There are billions of websites on the Internet, and millions more appear every day. So what basic steps can you do to get more traffic to your site?

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New & Updated Quality Content
The most important step is to create constantly new content, new pages or have a blog on your website that offers quality content. This is not only important to be found by search engines, but also a reason for visitors to return regularely to your website. Let your content write by a person who is trained to write for the Internet or learn it yourself. As web visitors don’t really read, but rather scan the pages, it is important to place a summary on top of the article to give them the most important info right away. The first paragraph has to catch the readers eyes. Articles also need to be divided by sub headings and listings.
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Links From and To Other Sites
To move up to the top of the search list, you need to have lots of links from other quality web sites to your page; submit your web pages to various sites that deal with your topic and encourage them to link their readers to you in return of the favor. All your external links should be set to open in a new window, leaving your site still on view.

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Content is More than Text:

  • Images
  • Audio
  • Photos
  • Twitter stream;
  • Video (embedded from YouTube or Vimeo, or self-hosted)
  • Content feeds (from other websites, or from your blog)

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Images
Adding one or more images helps to build visitor’s interest. When adding a picture also make sure to add an ALT tag to the image that describes the picture and has keywords that a search engine is also going to notice. Don’t let your web designer ever add an image without proper naming it! This helps tremendously your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Instead of having this tag for an image: phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg.png – name it: Jon-Jones.png.
Another example: file593730.jpg or DSC_8405037.jpg is not helpful and totally meaningless to search engines who cannot “see” photos. Keywords in the photos name should be separated by hyphens, NOT underscores, and shouldn’t be squeezed into a single word, e.g. Antique-Leica-Camera.jpg.
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Submit Your URL to Search Engines
An important step to get better rankings in Google is to submit your URL to search engines for free. Eventually the search engines will find your site, but submitting will help expedite to the process. It might take up to some weeks until your site is indexed. Factors such as other websites linking to your site can positively affect this time. You do not have to add all of your URL addresses for your entire site, just the homepage address. Posting on Google+ helps a lot too, as every post goes directly into Google’s Search Engines.
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Sharing Plug-Ins
Visitors, who find your website or blog content valuable, can link it with one click to their own Google+, Twitter and Facebook site. They do not need to copy the post manually – and for you it is a great publicity! Your post might even go viral! Make it easy for visitors to share what you have written with their social networks, so that others can discover your content – and forward it to their followers and friends, and these also forward it to their friends and followers …. Get your site more exposure and traffic: an info graphic shows that blogs and websites with a Twitter button, will get 7 times more shares than sites without!
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Contact Buttons
Get more fans and followers for your social media sites on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social networks. Follow-Buttons work on your site, blogs, and even newsletters.

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Contact Form
Set up a comments box on your site for visitors to communicate directly with you through email. Ensure your visitors, that their email addresses are only used to respond to messages, and not being sold or used for any other purposes. Don’t place your email address on your site, to avoid getting junk emails. Reply to every e-mail as quick as possible.

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Sales Page
If you are selling your books directly from your site: is it fully secure, from the buyers perspective? Any web pages which require sensitive customer details, need to be fully encrypted. If your web page has no “https” in the address bar, it shows that it is not secure.

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Page Title
Most search engines use the title of your web page when displaying your site in their search results. Therefore, it is always a smart idea to put keywords into the title of each of your pages. However, keep the title short (at most 5 or 6 words), use words that a potential visitor may be searching for, and make the title understandable.

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Avoid Long Pages
When first visiting a web page, most visitors do not scroll down. Keep the important and eye-catching information on the first viewable page. If your page has a lot of information, create bookmark links in the first section so visitors can jump to what interests them. The average view time on a website is only a few seconds, get the visitors attention immediately with a fast-loading page.

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Web Statistics
In a great website planning article Ben Seigel wrote: “Visitor statistics provide insight into how people use your website. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Where are visitors coming from?
  • See search engines, direct traffic, ads, links from other websites, etc.
  • Where do visitors live? Are they mostly local, regional, national or international?
  • How long are visitors staying on the website?
  • What is the bounce rate? How many users visit only one page on the website before leaving?

Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used Web statistics apps, and you will find answers to these questions in the high-level data it presents. Other software should provide these answers as well.”

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In an earlier blog post about custom-designed websites you will find a useful checklist for your website considerations.
There are ugly websites on the Internet that get tons of traffic, and there are beautiful designed websites that are barely ever visited. Make sure that you find a web designer who is trained for Search Engine Optimization, and who is able to bring your website over time to the top in your category. Book sales will follow.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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