5 Secrets to Driving Traffic to Author Websites

“If you build it, they will come.” That may be a great slogan when it comes to baseball fields, but it’s definitely not true when it comes to websites. In fact, I’ve worked with a multitude of authors who have launched author websites, expected to see thousands of visitors, and just sat back and waited. And waited. Not surprisingly, they didn’t come.

You see, building an author website is just one step in the process of building an author website presence. Next, you have to figure out how you’re going to get people there.

Here are five ways you can do just that.

1. Optimize. You’ve been told all about search engine optimization. What you probably don’t know is what it is, how it works, or how to implement it.  I could talk about this for days, but I’ll try to make it brief. Do your keyword research (or hire someone to do it for you). Pick the keywords in your genre that get the most searches and have the least competition. The more specific, the better. Then make sure to work those words into your site – both in the metadata (which visitors can’t see) and the actual text on the page. It may take some time to work, but this optimization can help you tremendously. Learn more from our post on SEO tips.

2. Blog. You probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s true. Blogging about the topic that your book covers can increase your site traffic exponentially. Why? Well, because a blog is chock full of information – not just marketing copy – which makes your site much more likely to show up on search results. It also makes your posts much more likely to get clicks. Think about it: if someone goes to Google and searches for “how to write a perfect resume,” what are they more likely to click on? A page that touts your book about how to write a perfect resume or a brief blog post that you wrote with resume-writing tips. You have the answer. Find out why and how authors should be blogging.

3. Go social. Social networking is the singlemost effective form of marketing in today’s online world. Think of it as an interactive form of advertising. You build a website to really sell your product. Then you use social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc…) to get people there. Sure you can’t write too much in a Facebook status update or a tweet. But the point isn’t to share your story there. The point is to get people to click on that link to your website.

4. Update your email signature. Quick … what does your email signature say? Probably not much. But think of all the people that you email on a regular basis. How many of them know about your website? Make sure that your email signature contains your name, your book title(s) and the URL of your website. You’d be surprised just how much traffic this could bring you.

5. Reach out. There are probably dozens of other websites out there that cover similar topics as you. Why not reach out to them about some sort of cross-promotion? Maybe you can each include a link to one another on the site. Maybe you can each write a guest blog post on the other’s site? The opportunities are endless, depending on the subject matter you cover. If someone else has the ready-made audience that you want, then see how you can finagle your way into their world!

Finally, my last piece of advice: set up and monitor your Google Analytics account. This will tell you how many people visited your site, which pages they visited and how long they stayed. Without this information, you’re working blindly when you try to analyze what’s working and what’s not. After all, why spend your time doing all the things above if you have no idea how effective they are?

If you want help with any of these strategies, contact us at Smart Author Sites. We’ll be happy to help!