When Traffic Is A Good Thing

How To Increase Traffic To Your Author Website

Even with the explosion of social media, it still makes sense for an author to have a domain of her own online. Given that many of us have made significant investments of time and/or money in our websites, why not get a bang for your buck by sending more readers to your webpage? There are two approaches to take — appealing to search traffic (optimizing for algorithms) and appealing to social traffic (optimizing for humans).

Search traffic comes in a slow but steady trickle over time as a result of quality content that is optimized to appeal to the search algorithm. Here’s how to do it:

• Create evergreen content. No, you don’t have to blog! Invest in creating a few pieces of content that can snare Googlers you want to reach, such as “My favorite Regency Romance Novels” if you’re a historical author. I have about 100 blog posts on my website, but receive the most search traffic from just three of them.

• Get high-quality and relevant websites linking to your own website. Google is judging you by the company you keep. Make connections with highly-influential websites and give them a good reason to link to your site. This is an excellent case for guest blogging at a reputable website. Simply getting quoted in an article (with a link back to your site!) counts, too.

• Make sure your content is appropriately labeled. Use clear, descriptive terms when naming your web pages, links or headlines. When it comes to images, web browsers can’t “see” what an image depicts, it can only “read” the information you provide about it. When you upload a picture to your website, you’ll have the opportunity to fill in the title, description and Alt Text. Do it — using search friendly terms like your book’s title instead of “cover.”

• Use Google Plus and Google Authorship. Maintaining a profile on Google Plus helps Google know you and thus more likely to tell people about you. Google Authorship is a program for verifying your content from around the web. It’s also the reason you see someone’s headshot next to their article in search results, thus providing a personal touch to make your link more compelling.

Social traffic will come in a big burst as the result of many people sharing a particularly amazing piece of content. When this spike happens, your move is to double down. When you plateau after the spike — and you will — your goal is to ensure you plateau at a higher level.

• Create engaging, compelling content. Be funny, be opinionated, be personal, be scandalous, offer a new perspective or useful information to your reader. Think about the content you read, actually enjoy and immediately share. See if you can create your own version of that.

• Make it easy to share your content. Include sharing buttons on all your content (not just blog posts) and start getting the word out yourself through the various social media channels. Don’t underestimate the power of newsletters!

• Get in the conversation. Talk with the people talking about you! Whether this happens on the comments section of your popular blog post, on Twitter or Facebook, make sure your voice is contributing to — and growing — the conversation.

• Add more links in your content. Congratulations! You have an interested person on your website! Now, can you get them to read a second page? If so, you have a chance at converting this one time visitor into a regular reader. Do this by adding additional links in your popular post to other content on your website.

One last tip: always link to your website at every opportunity! You can visit me on the web at www.mayarodale.com ;-)

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