How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

links

links How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the InternetWhen you are writing content for your website or for another website and are able to add links, how well do you use these links? Your two goals are to (1) increase the number of people who will click on the link; (2) improve the odds of people online who are searching for your topic of information to locate you easily.

When I talk about search engine optimization, authors often get a look on their face that says “This is way over my head and not something I am interested in.” But search engine optimization can be a full-time job for a staff of 100 and large corporation or you can simply learn a few tips to improve your ability to be found on the Internet where as of December 2009 there were about 234 million web pages.

One of the simplest ways for an author to improve the odds of people finding his or her content (meaning an author’s book, article, topic of interest, speakers information, etc.) is by effectively using anchor text.

WHAT IS ANCHOR TEXT?

“Anchor text” is defined as a keyword or a keyword phrase that you write when you are linking from any website to your own or when you are linking from one webpage in your site to another webpage. Search engines use anchor text to decide the subject and relevance of a web page. Their “spiders” can see what you are linking to and they like to see that you have done some “homework” and have typed out the words to a good resource link and then linked to it.

EXAMPLE OF POORLY USED ANCHOR TEXT

Let’s say you write an article for a well known blog and you are given a “resource box” at the end where you are allowed to have a couple of sentences with your biography.

You may be tempted to write something like this:

Sandra Dee Smith is an author and speaker who talks about such topics as how to improve your hair and makeup so that you look 10 years younger than you really are. She has a new book out called “Look Good And Feel Young” that can be purchased at Amazon or click here for her website.

Now, this is a poorly written biography, but we won’t go into that right now. Instead, we are going to look at where the links are.

Let’s do a search on Google and see how many people are linked to the word “click here.” I got 6,890,000,000 results. Despite how tempting it can be, never, ever, use the words “click here” and link it to your source.

[Yes, I am guilty of this and you will find in my past writing I have done this.]

But it removes all of your opportunity immediately for people to find YOU and your content.

The word “Amazon” has 1,580,000,000 people linking to its web site.

So, would “her web site” or “her website” have been a decent option? Nope! For the term “her web site” – Google has 1,590,000,000 results. And for “her website [no space] 970,000,000.

Imagine being a vendor and having a table at  trade show to sell your book and you get there and find out there are 970,000,000 other people with tables that want to sell books to the attendees. Kind of disheartening, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why you would not want to use those terms in your links?

EXAMPLE OF WELL USED ANCHOR TEXT

Here is a much improved biography as far as links are concerned:

Sandra Dee Smith will take 10 years off your looks with tips from her new book, “Look Good And Feel Young.” [This link should go where the author wants people to buy the book--either Amazon or her personal website, etc.] As an author and speaker she can help you improve your hair and makeup so you look great and feel younger in just days. Get 20 free beauty tips you can use today at her website Inner Beauty Plus Extensions.

See the difference? The search engine also believe that you are more legitimate resource if the keywords in your anchor text actually do somewhat match the word you’re linking to.

Let’s break this down. . .

Sandra Dee’s website is Inner Beauty Plus Extensions and her website address is www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com

This is good!

Her book is called “Look Good And Feel Young.”

At first she had this for sale on her website and the address was:

www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but:

  • she may get tired of writing out that URL address many times
  • if she decides to tell people exactly where to find the book on her website, they are not going to remember this address
  • when she is on the radio promoting her book no one will remember it, especially if they are in their car
  • search engines will rank it less high if someone searches these terms than those who have more descriptive URLs

TIP: When you are selling a specific book that is yours you should always try to buy the URL that is the title for that book. If it is not available you may want to try to buy the www.titleofbookBOOK.com . It will not only help you in search engine rankings, but it will prevent someone else from buying it in the future who may have a different reputation then you want to have associated with you and your book.


HOW TO IMPROVE THIS BOOK’S ANCHOR TEXT

So Sandra Dee buys the URL lookgoodandfeelyoung.com for about $10 a year and then has it “forwarded” to the address www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm . (Check with your web site hosting company to discover how to do this. Some charge a small fee but for many it is free to forward an address.)

Now, whenever she writes the title of her book “Look Good And Feel Young” she will link it to www.lookgoodandfeelyoung.com

IN CONCLUSION

Every day as you are writing articles, commenting on other websites, using a signature in your email, or posting your biography, you have the opportunity to add perhaps one or two links. Choose the phrase that is most descriptive of where you are actually linking to but also keep keywords in mind that are descriptive and interesting to the person you wish to have actually click on the link and visit your website.

This is an easy step that you will come to do automatically in just a few days of practice. For example, when you write about your book on your webpage or in any place online, many people are tempted to write something like this:

You can read more about my book on my webpage by clicking here.

This sentence should be rewritten as:

You can read more about my book, “How to Train Your Dog in Three Days” on my webpage, Dog Training Tips and Tricks. I also recommend my free report on “The First Three Steps in Training Your New Puppy.”

And by using a tool such as a Firefox plug-in called MyWords you can come up with a variety of short phrases like this that you can say and then just randomly pick one to insert where necessary.

 How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

stats

stats Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

Recently, I tried to explain to some writers for one of my web sites that the titles of some web posts were having significant impact on the percentage of people who were opening and/or reading e-mails from our organization (or not!), as well as the click through rate from the web site. One of the writers responded that this was just a “notion” of mine and that all writing should be written from the heart.

I realized then that there are many people who are authors or writers online, who do not actually understand the amazing ability we have to track statistics of the visitors of our website. Although we do want to write from the heart, we also want to reach people with our writing, correct? If you are writing an article on how to get over a broken heart, would you like to reach an extra 500 people today with your tips by using the term “brokenhearted” rather than “broken-hearted”? Simple changes by understanding keywords can have a dramatic impact on how many people you reach.

Looking at our recent posts on my organization’s website the graph of the “reading rate” looked something like a roller coaster, with large ups and downs. And I was able to track that some of this was due to the fact that titles were not specific enough to gain the interest of our readers.

If you have a website you have the ability to receive statistics that will give you a treasure chest of information. Depending if you want free statistics or are willing to pay a price for more specific information, statistics can easily be set up for any website.

They can tell you:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • How many people are visiting a particular page on your website
  • How long those people spent on a specific webpage
  • Where in the world people live who visited your webpage
  • The trail of their visitation, meaning the order of the pages they visited
  • What page they came to first on your website
  • What page they left your website and link to someone else’s website
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit or have they been here before?
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit today or have they been here more times than once today?

With other sources you can find out what people are searching for on your webpage and if they receive results. For this with my WordPress site I use the plug-in Search Meter.

With most newsletter programs such as Get Response or AWeber you can find:

  • How many people receive your newsletter (it did not balance, their e-mail is correct)
  • How many people opened your newsletter
  • How many people clicked on the links in your newsletter
  • What links they clicked on in your newsletter
  • Sometimes it can tell you if the sale was made due to a link that was clicked on in your newsletter

One of the best sources for thorough, free, and easy-to-install statistics is Google Analytics .

One of the amazing things about using the Internet and reaching people through its channels is that very little has to be based were wrong on our gut instinct. As web designers we are given the ability to have a generous source of statistics that tell us a lot about where our site is or is not meeting the needs of the visitor.

Do you use statistics? Do they change how or what you write about? For example, if many people are searching for a particular term on your website and not finding it, are you encouraged to write an article on this topic? Have you ever used statistics to help you decide what chapters or content to write for a book, what to title it, or how to best market it? I look forward to your input on this as well!

 Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

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