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3 Reasons Why SEO Might Not Lead to Book Sales

I had a conversation with a client yesterday. He was wondering why the search engine optimization campaign we launched just last month wasn’t leading to the skyrocket in book sales that he had hoped. There were several points I had to make to try and lift his spirits. And I thought those might be worth sharing here as well….

1. SEO isn’t immediate. When it comes to your placement on Google and such, your best gift is time. The longer your site is around, the more you will start climbing up the ladder. We just implemented a new search engine optimization strategy a few weeks ago, so it’s important to give it time to work.

2. Always look at the stats. Before rushing to judgment on whether a campaign is working, look at your site traffic numbers (and if you don’t have Google Analytics, sign up for it STAT!). Have your traffic numbers started increasing since you implemented your new SEO strategy? Which keywords are people searching for before they end up on your site? How long are they staying on your site? Are they clicking around? These numbers can help you determine the success or failure of your campaign.

3. Traffic doesn’t equal sales. Even if your SEO campaign has been a resounding success and has quadrupled the site traffic that you’re getting, that doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to sell more books. There are a wide range of reasons why people coming to your site may not be buying your book. Maybe the page people are winding up on isn’t promoting the book prominently enough. Maybe the book is overpriced. Maybe the keywords you optimized for aren’t attracting people who would buy the book. The possibilities are endless.

In these situations, the best thing you can do is test, test, test. If the traffic isn’t going up after several months, try a different SEO strategy. If it is going up, and you’re still not selling books, you can try optimizing for different keywords. You can try offering a sale price on the book to see if it increases conversions. You can create a “landing” page on your site and optimize that — so that people who arrive there will immediately be hit with the book cover, a tantalizing description, and a link to buy it.

SEO isn’t quick or easy. Nor is making your book a bestseller. But do your homework and test, test, test and your SEO efforts can increase your sales.

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