Keyword Research for Authors
Are you an author who’s just found the perfect topic for their next book? Maybe you’re done writing and have published your book. Now comes the hard part: building an audience and increasing sales. Marketing your book is not an easy task. You need to understand how marketing works, and you need to learn about SEO and keyword research. If you’re new to marketing, then this is the place for you to be. In this article, we’ll provide you information about keyword research for authors and how you can market your content and increase the audience and overall sales of your book.
What you need to know
First, you need to know how any product (including a book) is marketed online. You need to familiarize yourself with search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO.
SEO is the science of optimizing your webpages or websites to rank as high as possible in the search results of search engines such as Google or Amazon. (Yes, Amazon is primarily a search engine.) Your goal is to be in the first position on the SERPs or search engine results pages.
This will grow your audience by increasing the visibility of the page to the users. You can find out what people are searching for, what their questions and queries are, and using that information, you can optimize your book’s description and content to boost sales.
From observing the online trends and finding hot topics, to looking for the problems people are facing and making sure your book will help them, here are some important “what’s” you need to look for.
What conversations about your book’s topic are already going on?
It is important to be aware of the ongoing trend or conversation on social media about your book’s topic. What are people saying about that particular topic at the time of your publishing and what are their views and opinions? Hopefully, many of these people will become your readers.
There are many sources you can take this information from, such as:
- Blogs and Articles about the topic
- Social media websites and the hashtags used there
- News articles and trends on the internet
Once you’re familiar with everything happening on the internet related the topic of your book, you’re one step closer to soaring book sales.
What questions, concerns, and products are they asking about or talking about?
You might have understood the ongoing trends and conversations, but that isn’t all you need to do to be able to perfectly market your book. What you need to do next is to look for questions your potential readers might have regarding your book’s topic. Also, search for similar books and content to yours. Doing this will give you a sense of how to approach them in a better way to get more sales.
What problems does your ideal reader have that your book can solve?
When you write a book, you should have a target or ideal reader to whom you are writing. The main topic of your book revolves around that reader, problems they face, a situation they’ve encountered, a need they have, or something that captures their interest. This idea of your book needs to help the reader achieve the state of happiness or satisfaction they are searching for. So, make sure you can solve the ideal reader’s problems with your book. This step is also very important for content marketing for authors.
What books have similar content to yours?
No matter how unique or how original your book might be, there will almost always be other books related to or similar to yours—and that’s not bad! It tells you that there is a significant amount of interest in books like yours. Also, it’s an opportunity to look for errors in their content or information they left out. Read all the reviews and the news about your competitors. This way, you can correct your mistakes, make changes, add more content, and find more keywords that you can use to get your sales to reach great heights and get more people in your reading audience.
As an author, if you are aware of all of these steps, you’re on your way to a successful book release and your keyword research is on point. You’re only a few steps away from getting a significant increase in sales.
Ways to increase sales
The final step after gaining knowledge about online trends and conversations is getting the right keywords to use in your title, description, and content of your book to increase sales drastically online on your own website or other e-commerce websites with a larger market.
Here are some steps and ways you need to take to boost your online sales.
- Use tools that focus on Amazon search. To find the best keywords to use, you need to use keyword research tools that are based around ecommerce websites like Amazon, which can greatly help to market your book and content. Tools like Scientific Seller and Publisher Rocket that focus on Amazon’s search results. How this works is that they store all of the searches that users make while trying to find the products and solutions for their problems. You can access the searches regarding your own book or product and make the use of those searches as keywords in the listings of your book.
- Use tools that focus on Google search: Google is the most used search engine in the world and using tools like Google Keyword Planner, along with other keyword tools such as Longtail Pro and Ahrefs, you can find search results and keywords that people type into the Google search field to find information like what is in your book. If you’re planning to put your book on your own website, you can use these keywords in the optimization of your webpages and website to attract a larger audience and to increase the visibility of your pages. Also, Google indexes the pages on Amazon, so they pick up on the keywords used in your Amazon book description.
- Use Amazon ads to find more keywords: If you use Amazon ads to promote your book directly within Amazon, you will get more sales and be able to market your book at a higher scale. Advertising and SEO are the two main components of digital marketing and prove to be extremely effective when it comes to increasing and boosting your sales.
All of these methods have proven very useful for keyword research for authors. You’ll be able to find the most accurate and top-searched keywords currently in use so that you can edit your content and make sure you find the ideal buyers who, without the use of keywords, wouldn’t be able to find your content.
Choose one main keyword
You must choose the one main keyword that will be the focus of most of your SEO efforts. Ideally, that keyword would be included in your main title as that carries the most weight with search engines. For example, if your book is about helping women overcome anxiety, but if your book title is Get Over It: A Blunt Guide to Helping Women Reclaim Their Lives, then how will Amazon, Google, or any other search engine know that your book is primarily about overcoming anxiety? A better title would be Overcoming Anxiety for Women: A Guide to Helping Women Reclaim Their Lives. With this title, not only will the search engines understand exactly who your book is for, so will any potential readers.
Another example of a poor choice of titles is a book called Made to Stick that has an image of duct tape on the front cover. Is it a book about the history of duct tape? Is it about choosing the best adhesive for the job? No, it’s actually a marketing book about ideas that last or “stick.”
Identify sub-main keywords
Just using a single keyword isn’t enough. After identifying the main keyword, you need to identify sub-main keywords. If the main keyword is the title of your book, these keywords should the chapter titles.
These keywords will be used in three other important places, also. One, be sure to include all of them in your book description. You could list the chapter titles in your description (if you used these keywords for your chapter titles) or you could use a bulleted list to show the reader what they’ll learn in the book.
Two, KDP and IngramSpark both allow five to seven keywords in their meta data. These are keywords that are used to help Amazon identify who your book might be a good fit for as they search Amazon. Amazon’s algorithm tracks every user’s browsing and buying patterns and matches those to keywords to display the products they think are a best fit for that user’s search. Hopefully, your book will be one of those, if not top at the list.
Three, use these in your content marketing. For example, most blogging platforms allow you to structure your content so one main blog post can have several related blog posts underneath it. For your, the main blog post would use and be about your main keyword, and the related blog posts underneath it would use your sub-main keywords.
The use of proper SEO and the ideal keywords in your promotions and marketing will not only help your book gain a larger audience of potential buyers, but also get them to spread the word and market your product even further. The world has become dependent on digital media, and to achieve success, whether you’re an independent author or a newbie looking to rise to glory, you need to properly market and optimize your content to suit the needs and requirements of potential customers and readers over the internet.