I have been really doing my homework lately on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and all things content for both my website and my books and I wanted to share a few things about what I’ve learned.
I’ll be honest, it’s been a few years since I took the time to play in the online space. I really haven’t done much over the years to promote my business online or via events or social media. I’ve actually just been far too busy. In fact, all my marketing efforts and back-end business tools have always been something I just kinda noodled with in my free time and in between clients. I’ll also admit that I’ve never had a formal business plan, never a real formal sales agreement, and only the minimum content has ever been displayed on my website just to simply have an online presence. I always wondered why I needed to make the effort to do all these things if I had a thriving business. But, sometimes it takes backing up to go more seamlessly (and professionally) forward.
I have spent the last 3 years building out my business and developing my online book publishing coaching program and through the Let’s Get Your Book Published online publishing course I’ve really grown as an entrepreneur. I not only have a really fabulous website now but I also have a real sales agreement and many great new programs I’ve been working really hard on building. And I’m so proud of the backend build-out that has been happening behind my website and all the front end pieces that give it a presence.
I have a long way to go til I’ve reached a point where I am satisfied, but I really never had an official plan…just a mind incredibly full of tremendous and big ideas. My mind was just so full of information and getting it all out, organized, and then effectively communicating it has been a ton of work. Can you relate?
So my greatest behind the scenes effort currently is backing up up and defining my customer (you know, the one we’ve chosen to speak to in marketing initiatives). Perhaps you don’t know…so let me tell you more.
If you have never chosen the person you are speaking to for either your business or the content of your book, then I promise you this is a worthwhile exercise that you need to back up and go through prior to going any further in your communication, writing, and/or marketing plan! Once you get focused on who your target market, customer, or reader is you will find that all communication flows so much easier and clearer! And I’ll give you a hint about how to define this…a big hint…it’s YOU!
You’ve come through something that has now gifted you with the ability to speak to your target audience from your perspective…where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you hope to go in the future. Something you’ve learned has put you in the position of knowledge—with the ability to now educate those you wish to teach, coach, educate or otherwise instill your knowledge upon. You are now at a certain level of expertise and in a position to share. So now you are looking to spread the light of your knowledge via a website, podcast, video, or even a book.
As you talk your target market through the trials and errors you’ve made to get to where you are you will begin to hone in on their pain points. You will also find that the more you get to know the audience you speak to the more clear your communication will become. They will begin to think you are speaking to them directly when you really start to nail this.
Whether you are writing a book or communicating via another method, you’ll want to ask yourself what the number one question you get asked all the time is…what do people believe you to be an expert of? Can you share client stories, current trends, research, or tools you recommend that would help your audience right now to get the results they are after? Where can you provide massive value?
As you begin to think through all of these pain points and tools that you can use to help them, you can start developing a list of key words that will then transfer into all your materials. You see, this is eventually how your target market will find you in the future. I had never really given this much consideration in the past, but I have learned that in the world of search engines you have to know your audience. People find you based on the words you use to talk about your offerings—whether in a book form or on your website.
I have been learning that google finds you more appealing when you have conversation happening around your website and they raise you to the top of the search list. Perhaps its not news to you, but for me I’ve learned the importance of of both back links (links from other sites) and keywords really matter.
So, when it comes to your book, remember that all words you use to describe what you’ve written matter. As you define your title, subtitle, and tagline you have to be sure that each of those words is carefully chosen to identify with your message and offerings. Every time you talk about your book online (for the life of your book) these words will promote your message and link to you and your offerings…if you also make sure they are on your website and all online communication. If you ever plan to break out your communication into the chapters you’ve written the same applies. It all seems pretty self-explanatory really, but it was just not anything I ever thought of when I wrote my first books. This is where it now becomes very useful for you to define not just your target audience (again, this is generally you), but to also be clear on what your goals are as you write. What are you using your book for? Have you defined your platform or written a book into your business plan?
As you are writing you can also use your books content to help you knock out a few exercises for the future of your book and into growing your platform. You can begin to start identifying the kind of elements that could be re-purposed from your book into your lead magnets (those ads that bring website visitors into your other sales materials) or opt-in pages. You see, this is where when you have a coach pushing the idea of using your book to get you a best-seller status it’s great, but even if you get that and end up on Oprah you have to have a plan behind the book to earn any kind of income. The book alone doesn’t generally do that! So, get focused on the why, then the how, and think beyond the book. Use the book as the opportunity to knock this all out…write the business plan for what comes before and after the launch of the book.
You see, when you get to the point of writing your copy for your opt-in pages on your website you will need to know your audience and their pain points and be able to provide them a solution. In my case: you want to write a book - I’ll show you how. You have to know enough about the audience you are speaking to to know what they care about and be strategic and deliberate in the way you communicate. Why not knock this all out when you are engaged in the book?
As you define your audience you can speak to them more directly and engage them in the content you provide on your website (as taken from the book) and if you can keep them there longer then google sees that and ranks you higher the more time they spend on your website. Be sure to use all the same wording on your website that you already defined when writing your book. Make sure you use the words in the URL, the title, the subtitle, the meta description, the page headers, etc. There is no sense doing it twice. Everything can be re-used and leveraged again and again. This allows you to become an expert in these areas. The longer your website is around the higher it ranks too.
And just one more thing…when you write your book you want to talk to your audience using “you’ and “I”, not “me” and “mine”. You would talk in a book like you are having a conversation and that is the same way you should talk on your website. This conversational tone is also something google looks at…can you believe that?
I will leave you with some homework…make a list of all the keywords that describe your books message, your platform, your speaking, coaching, etc. Be sure these are included in your books manuscript as you write and gather them again as you build out your website.
Keep going and keep up! Get clear on your vision and in no time you’ll work yourself into becoming an author.
I can help you with all phases of the project when you’re ready. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Let me know what topics you're interested in and we can add those to a show for you to keep you going.
Eyes on the prize!
Until next time…
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