OK so you have made the decision to write your book. You appreciate that the Internet gives you the best chance to sell to your potential readers. You may even know how to use SEO to promote your e-book.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and has long been considered the dark art for attracting people to your website. SEO has spawned a growth industry of online marketing and has earned itself a bad name due to unscrupulous individuals looking to make a fast buck.
The concept of SEO is to get a particular website to rank highly in the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). This means when you are searching the internet for a specific item or person, you type in some words, known as keywords, in to the search box in order to find what you are looking for. The results will be listed on a page and you can look through each entry until you find the most relevant website.
Google is by far the most popular search engine. This gives Google such a high degree of influence that it can dictate what is acceptable or unacceptable when web owners optimize their sites to attract traffic.
Google has the power to penalize web pages or even ban them from its SERPs when webmasters are deemed to have unfairly gained an advantage over competitors’ sites by using illicit or ‘black hat’ methods.
So what has all this to do with authors of e-books? Well, in order to use SEO to promote your e-book, particularly on Amazon’s Kindle website, you will need to provide a preview or introduction to your book. It makes sense to include the most relevant keywords so it attracts the search engine spiders that trawl the World Wide Web to rank pages for the SERPs.
However, if you stuff your preview with so many keywords that it doesn’t actually make sense to human readers, two things will happen. Firstly, you will put people off from reading your preview and they will not be persuaded to buy your book; secondly, your book could actually fail to gain a listing in Amazon’s Bookshelf because it will be deemed as SPAM, in other words, a deliberate marketing ploy to attract the search engines.
Google has of late become even stricter in governing its Search Engine Rankings. In order to use SEO to promote your book you need to be aware of the restrictions that Google builds into its search algorithm in order to weed out blatant marketers.
The problem is that Google does not make public how their algorithm works or even how it has changed. The important thing to remember when you use SEO to promote your e-book is to make it humanly readable.
Think of one or two key phrases that people whom you wish to read your book may be searching for. Use those key phrases three or four times in the preview. But make sure that your narrative makes sense.
Do not include key words and phrases just because they are what people are searching for. By all means, use SEO to promote your book, but make sure that it makes sense when people read it.