There are a lot of things to consider when planning your website, how it looks, how to bring in traffic, what to put on it. All of this I am going to break up into two posts. Today I'm taking a look at content, SEO, links and longevity.
- Welcome message
- Name and bio
- Way to contact them
- A way to capture prospect data (visitors email/addresses)
- A way to buy books
- Articles they’ve written
- Information that didn’t appear in the book – back story of novel, antidotes, etc.
- News and events
- Audio or video clips (book trailer)
- Press kits
- Other books by them
- Resources and links
- Any relevant content
Keep the website fresh so that it doesn’t become stale or boring to revisit. I know there are several of my favorite author’s websites that I stopped visiting because it would be months before new information was added. Add things like a quote of the day, RSS feeds relevant to reader’s interests, contests, giveaways, and links to new interviews or reviews. Anything to help the reader feel like you’re making an active effort to include them in what’s going on in your writing life.
Here are a few questions to keep in mind as you get ready to work on the main content of your website:
- What is the purpose of the website?
- What is the primary function?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What sort of content is the site to contain?
- Who will maintain the site?
- Where will it be hosted?
- Do you need new email addresses?
- How will you monitor sites effectiveness/traffic?
- Do I need an auto responder?
- Look at competitors websites for ideas
- The Secrets of SEO:
- A few things remain constant in getting good search engine placement (without paying for it):
- Relevant content
- Effective formatting
- Useful or unique titles
- Meta tag key wording (blog version: topic tags)
Relevant Content:Content (the actual written words on the web page) has always been the foundation of the web and is still the most valuable tool in getting found. More content = better placement. Fresh content = even better placement and crawlers visit more often. What’s a crawler?
Effective Formatting:Crawlers count how many times the keyword in question has been used on your page and whether the keywords in your meta tags are consistent with the data. What’s a meta tag?
Useful or Unique Page Titles:Useful page titles would be something like, “About Me – Author, Darian Wilk”Unique page titles, or mini headlines, pertains mostly to blogs, but can sometimes be used for actual websites.
The reason page titles are so important is because webcrawlers still assume your headings (the page title) indicate the type of content on the page. In order to make them appear larger and bolder, the coding uses certain common tags. The crawlers look for these specifically and weigh the text between them more importantly. Looking through your html coding, it’s going to look like this:
<title>Title of the document</title>
The content of the document......
- Links between pages on your own website, this would include navigation links as well as embedded.
- Links from your page to another websites page. Offering this type is very useful to your visitor, and crawlers look kindly on people who provide services to others. But be careful not to go crazy with the links per page, as crawlers frown upon excessive linkage.
- The third kind is the hardest, links from other people’s site to yours. Some people will offer to link you on their website, if you in return offer a back link to them. You can approach the owner of websites of interest to you, and related to your writing with this. Just be sure you include how linking to your site would be relevant/interesting information to their readers. Also, don’t go crazy with this idea. It’s nice when authors offer up links to some of their favorite sites, but too many is overkill. But you can already check who is linking to you. Go to google and type