Tag Archives: internet

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 101: Key Words

by Brandon Baker, IT Specialist

Since your website is at the core of your internet marketing strategy, it’s important that you are reaching the widest audience possible. One way to ensure your site’s success is to structure its content so that it will be discovered by search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!  and ranked higher in respective search results. This structuring process is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO).

When you’re writing content for your website, it’s important to identify 5-10 key words which will relate specifically and draw interest from your target audience.  Be certain that you reference those exact words or phrases in your website content. When you’re creating headings for sections of information, place a key word or phrase in the heading because search engines identify and place more emphasis on them than regular paragraph text. The title of each page on your site should also integrate your key words or phrases.

Note: Don’t just list your key words or phrases without any other context. They should be naturally embedded within the information on your site.

Selecting the right key words or phrases can be challenging and requires that you have a strong knowledge of your target audience which typically comes from experience and research. When members of your target audience visit a popular search engine like Google, ask yourself, “What exactly are they typing into the search box?” Once you’re able to answer that question, your key words and phrases should be derived from that.

When you’re considering which key words or phrases to use when developing website content, you should favor words and phrases that are specific. The further you get away from generalizations, the less your site will be competing with others for relevance when search results are listed. With that said, you don’t want to focus on words or phrases that are too obscure as they will draw less traffic. The trick is finding words that attract the right amount of attention but don’t put you in direct competition with larger, more popular websites.

And last, but certainly not least, keep your site fresh with updated and current information. Search engines favor recent content, which will also entice your audience to keep coming back to your site.

Check out the following titles to learn more about search engine optimization for your personal website or blog:

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6 Reasons You Need a Facebook Fan Page

by Maggie Hames, Social Media Specialist

When Mark Zuckerburg said Facebook was ‘almost guaranteed’ to reach 1 billion users, few doubted him. After all, there are only four countries in the world that have yet to join the social network (Russia, Japan, China and Korea). Facebook has become such an integral part of web use, “many would argue that it’s second only to Google in its importance to online marketers.”(via Mashable)  So how can you use this opportunity to promote your book? Facebook Fan Pages. And here’s why:

  1. It’s free and easy. You can create a fan page in just a few minutes with your book cover and website URL. This quickly gives you a platform for promoting your book online and leveraging your already developed network of friends. They key to being successful is staying engaged.  
  2. Keep your fans updated. Most fans won’t visit your website everyday, but they will be on Facebook daily. Keep them up-to-date about new blog posts, book signings, book reviews and media hits.
  3. Become searchable. Facebook fan pages are public, which means they can be indexed by search engines and will often show up in results first. They can also link back to your website, adding SEO (search engine optimization) value to your site.
  4. Interact with fans. While Twitter only allows for 140 characters a tweet, Facebook conversations have no limit. Talk with readers about their favorite chapters, interesting characters and more. Passionate and active fans become great advocates for your book. 
  5. Customize. You can create customized tabs featuring your book cover, video trailer and other content specific to your book.  After fans ‘like’ your page, they will be directed to the ‘wall’ each time they visit. But you can also create a welcome tab for new visitors to land on.
  6. Facebook pages are measurable. When you manage a fan page, Facebook installs ‘Insights’ tracking everything from ‘likes’ to ‘mentions.’ This allows you to track your growth in Facebook fans down to a multiple of demographics. It is a great tool for tracking your successes and failures, allowing you to constantly grow your fan base.

Media Contacts Alone Aren’t Enough Anymore

by Chris Bass, Director of Author Marketing Services

In a recent conversation with a successful entrepreneur and author, a question came up regarding contacts with media across the country.  The author’s premise was that this was the most important thing in building an audience for her book.  Media contacts are certainly a key component to garnering exposure for a book, author, or business for that matter, however just as the publishing industry is experiencing a great shift, so is the media landscape.

Contacts can certainly help get interviews on major national news networks and articles in publications, however another variable of the equation is audience engagement.  Traditional media is largely a passive action in nature.  We watch TV, flip channels, but don’t engage in a dialogue.  It’s largely one way communication.

Social media is changing the landscape by engaging audiences and inviting them to take part in the discussion.  We recently promoted the book Stan’s Leap by Tom Duerig, which is set on Henderson Island part of a small group of islands in the South Pacific called the Pitcairn Islands.  During the course of Tom’s campaign we were able to increase audience engagement to double digit growth in a very short time using social media.  It also lead to a request for a signed copy of the book by an individual who was living on one of the islands near the Henderson islands.  Furthermore the author and prospective reader shared an exchange of ideas about other must reads that relate to the islands. 

Apply, the example above to your own life in this way.  How much more likely are you to buy a product that a friend has recommended versus just seeing a news excerpt about the same product on television or in print? Consider this, in the 2009 U.S. Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review conducted by Bowker and Publishers Weekly, “recommended by a friend”was one of the top eight reasons people purchase books.

Social media is a key component to developing and engaging prospective readers and turning them into fans who recommend your book to their friends.  Don’t discount media contacts that can lead to national exposure, this certainly builds awareness for your book. But don’t make it so important that you miss out on a media that is proving to be extremely powerful in the promotion of ideas, books and building relationships. 

Critical to your success as an author is an integrated approach to media.  This approach leverages the power of traditional media to reach a mass audience with the power of social media that engages prospective readers. Through this combination, you will entice readers to become some of your most avid promoters.