Book Marketing Strategies

What are some basic tips for setting up a website?

Study some of your favorite websites — as well as those of competing authors — before creating your own. Research the types of pages and information that are included as well as what colors and design elements are used. Most author websites should include a home page, a book details page (one for each book you’ve published), book reviews, media appearances, an events calendar and a blog.

Choose your domain name wisely. The domain name should be short, easy to remember and logical. It's usually better to use your author pen name than the name of your book; you don't want to build a new site and following for each new title you publish. Use words that are easy to remember and simple to spell. If you usually have to tell people how to spell your first or last name, consider using an initial instead. It's possible that your top choice will already be registered by someone else, so be prepared to brainstorm multiple options and to get creative.

It's also important to consider keywords when creating your website. Without making your website's content rich with keywords, it will be less likely that your page will be found through search engines. If you are unfamiliar with keywords, think about how you use the Internet and what words you would use when searching for your book or another product. How would your target audience search for your book? Try to incorporate various keywords into the text of your website, specifically on the home page and opening paragraphs of other pages. Advanced users can utilize the metadata on each page of your website, which search engines use to organize their search results.

Remember, no one likes to visit a website with outdated or irrelevant information. Make your visitors come back again and again by keeping your site up to date and by making it easy to navigate. Information you may want to post on your website includes: upcoming events, appearances and signings; an interactive blog; book reviews; and contact information. Update frequently, keep your content timely, and never post anything that you are not comfortable disclosing to the general public.