Whether you plan to put your self-published acim up for sale on your own website or on a popular book-selling platform like Kindle or Kobo, one of the most important things you can do is boost the visibility, also known as the discoverability, of your books online. While there’s no way to optimize your actual book for search engines, you can optimize the pages that your books are posted on and the links that point to those pages in order to funnel more prospective buyers and increase their exposure.
Imagine walking into a book store and browsing for a book on a specific topic. You’ll most likely walk to the section of the store that has the type of book you are looking for. For example a cook book, a science book or a literature book. From there you would peruse the book shelf until you come across a topic that most closely matches the information you’re looking for. It may be a cook book about baking cakes, a science book about geology or a literature book based on space age science fiction.
Now come back to reality for a moment and think about the way you would use the internet to conduct the same kind of book search. Without an actual title already in mind, it is often very difficult to hone in on the perfect book that falls in line with the information you want. On the other hand, if you learn and use the language of the internet and combine it with the way that the average internet user searches for information, you can position every book that you release prominently in front of an audience that is most likely to be interested in its content.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of altering a website or single web page so that it is naturally more visible in a search engine’s results. These non-paid-for positions in the search engine are also known as ‘organic’ search results. The goal of every Search Engine Optimization endeavor should be to get the pages that list your books and their buy links to appear as high up in the search engines as possible for certain keywords and phrases.
If your goal is to optimize your book listings in order to get attention in the search engine result pages, it’s best that you start to think of keywords as the currency of the internet. A keyword or a keyword phrase is any term that a searcher, or in your case a potential reader types into the search box in order to find the information they are looking for. Let’s suppose you are a self-published author who focuses on creating specialty cook books and your latest title is all about creating flourless chocolate cakes and other gluten free desserts.
Someone searching for your book may not have any clue who you are or that you even have that cook book available for purchase online. What they do know is what kind information they’re looking for. If this individual uses Google’s search bar, they may type in any one of the following terms:
Google then uses these keywords to find related websites, books and videos before returning web pages that deliver information that most closely matches what the searcher is looking for. If you aren’t sure what kinds of keywords to include in your pages, try using a keyword tool like the free one provided by Google or one of the many other options available. This gives you insight into the types of words searchers may input in order to find information related to the areas of interest you cover in your books.