Alright, so the book is finished, and with it dies the passion of writing it. Suddenly it becomes a business and the passion is reserved for author interviews, blogging, etc.
As a business, the book has to be marketed and awareness has to be created. You set up a site and wait for the feet. They never come...
Can anyone tell me how to effectively create Internet-feet to a booksite? I knew I had to market the site in order to get the people to click on it, but the result has been a bit disappointing.
Please check out the site below and let me know if there is something wrong with the look/feel. Also, how can I generate more visits to the site?
I liked the appearance of the site but, and this is just my opinion, the music distracted me from reading about your book. I love music but when I'm writing, reading or doing anything else that requires me to concentrate, I need total silence. But that's just me.
I'm in the same process. What I've learned is that "build it and they will come" (which is a misquote from the movie) is bull. You have to drive readers to the site. Try www.sellingbooks.com for ideas. They have a good summary of how to build an author's platform.
Also look at http://www.murdermustadvertise.com
I have to agree with the comment about the music. I like the music so, make a high intensity trailer and use the music in it. But turn it off on the home page. As to the side bars, I would start with the book tab, next Dave's tab, and make your tab last. Also, for me, make the font size larger on the synopsis. The book is called Jack Hanger which at first I thought was the Main Character. After reading everything I think the book sounds great. But the site didn't draw me in. Personally I would start by telling me why I want to read Jack Hanger. Then tell be who Dave is, but I'd be careful. When I buy Art or Music I buy what interests me. I don't want to know about the artist or why he created the work. I like it and want it. I would not tell the reader why you created Dave etc., just tell me why I am going to want to read about Dave.
By the way your site has a lot pf positives, certainly better than mine, but it is your book, the story, and the writing, that will cause visitor a to buy. You might offer a look inside the book. I didn't see that feature.
Several comments here refer to keeping traffic on your site, or generating return traffic to the site.
Getting folks there in the first place is a different beast.
Google Panda really altered the landscape of SEO and Google Search Results. You really need to consult with someone who is an expert on the current state of search engine optimization and how to leverage social media to drive traffic. However, these are a few tips:
1. Write a blog. Google is relying on credible, fresh content so even a weekly post that is original, and filled with good meaty content will help. Make sure the blog is part of the website.
2. In all things (website, blog, etc), make sure your tags, descriptions, and meta tags are set up properly. Use keywords in your headlines. Don't forget local (XXXX in Nashville, for instance) search - local search is a HUGE and underutilized opportunity.
3. Backlinks are not as important as they once were, but they are still important. Forums, social media, etc., link back to your website. DON'T BUY LINKS - just ask JC Penny and Overstock.com what Google does to you when you buy backlinks.
4. Use video. Google owns Youtube and wants to include a video from youtube on the first page of its search results. Very simple homemade videos with the right keywords (again, think local or highly niche) can get you on page 1 of certain search results easily.
5. Do some research on Google Social to gain an understanding of how social media mentions (not on FB yet, but on other platforms) can appear in search results and impact what Google thinks is credible to the searcher.
On your website/blog, be sure to use all the social media tags, "like" tags, +1, etc. You've got a couple up there, but make it easy for anyone to share you on any social media platform.
Ingrid, let us say I "like" your website and include a comment "what a great writer!" or something like that. That "like" has the potential of being seen by my 330+ friends on Facebook. Maybe 3 or 4 of my friends will click on the link that is automatically included - the link to the website I just liked - your website.
Think of it like this - a reader review. I've read your books. I like them. I'd recommend them to my friends. IF those friends trust my taste in books, they may very well check you out. Maybe one of them will share the site with all their friends, repeating the process.
Each social media platform - FB, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and so forth, require a slightly different strategy. And I do believe strongly that Youtube and blogging needs to be part of the strategy.
A strong social media strategy will absolutely increase your web traffic (or traffic to your Amazon's Author Page, or wherever you wish to direct potential customers). That doesn't mean it will increase sales (that's a whole other ball of wax), but do you have a better chance of selling a book if 100 people or 500 people visit your website?
Local search (or in this case perhaps niche search is more appropriate) is setting your keywords to reflect location (or niche).
The best example is a pizza joint's website. They could use a variety of keywords to help guide Google to their site. Pizza might be too general. Pizza in Nashville? Or how about Pizza in Antioch, TN? New York style pizza in Antioch, TN?
In your case, I'd have to give some thought to how to "localize" or more appropriately specialize keywords to help you reach a potential audience. However, "historical mystery fiction" is OK, but pretty general. There may be various keywords and phrases that can be used to land high in Google results for people who are searching for (and therefore have an interest in) the history of Japan, mysteries set overseas, etc. "police work in medieval japan" or "Tokyo detective fiction" or "police fiction set in Tokyo" or "police fiction set in Japan".
The idea is this. The more general search terms (mystery fiction, mystery writers, or even historical mysteries) have far more people conducting a search, but can you rank highly under those terms, and compared to tens or hundreds of thousands of sites trying to compete under such broad keywords? And are they strongly interested in your offering?
Or... do you want 10 people who are highly likely to be interested in a book like yours to see your book/website in search results, or would you rather 50 people who couldn't care less about historical fiction or Japan to see it in search results?
That is the difference in a good SEO strategy and what most SEO experts out there offer - having your page appear on the first page of Google results from searches by people who are highly interested in the topics of your books.
The nice thing is there are a variety of analytic tools that can track your keyword success so you can see what is and isn't working, and adjust your strategy as needed.
And.... back to Facebook...........Google is working on some "personalized" or "targeted" search ... social media will play a HUGE result in that.
Ingrid, one more comment on the "like" think. In essence, it simply makes it easier for me to share your website with my connections on various social media sites.
That helps you reach more people.