It’s as important to use the right words in promoting and marketing as it is in writing.

Stephanie Barko
Stephanie Barko

Guest blogger Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist was voted Best Book Promotion Service by Preditors & Editors’ Readers Poll and is an Industry Expert at Author Learning Center.  Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn, and follow her book marketing tips on Twitter and Facebook 

Last summer, Google changed the rules for us about on-page optimization.  It seems that short, exact match domain names are now cool, affiliate marketing is out, and we get extra points for sharing and commenting on social media (as opposed to liking and reTweeting).

As fickle as it is, it is important to keep up with Google because Google directs how we receive traffic, similar to how Amazon controls the way books are sold.  Although we are writers living in a video-is-content-king universe right now, words still matter.  The words we use in blog postings and social comments can attract or divert traffic.

Nonfiction, more than any other genre, lends itself to being discovered through keyword searches.  While a novel is more likely to be recommended by word of mouth, a how-to book is more likely to be discovered through an internet search engine.  The use of search term analytics to develop your keywords can be advantageous, but only if an author knows what to do with them.

Here are some power keywords for authors:










book reviews

free books


social networking

books list



book blog


book sales

As mentioned earlier, nonfiction subgenres and subjects benefit the most from keyword indexing. Nonfiction authors have three analytical tools that can help them sell books—keywords, skill sets, and articles.  Here are some ways that nonfiction authors can increase traffic to their websites and blogs.

  1. 1.     Refresh keywords. Make it an annual event at the beginning of every year to pull up Google Adwords and retest the keywords and phrases that work with your material.  Pick the terms with the most hits and the lowest competition.  Note new terms that are rising.  Discard old ones that are losing rank.  Make a list of this year’s keywords in descending order of importance.  Use them on your website, in your blog posts and articles, and in social comments.

    2. Add skills. As LinkedIn expands and diversifies, more and more of us are finding our experts there.  Did you know that LinkedIn now allows 50 skills per profile?  Add your keywords and phrases as LinkedIn skills.  Observe the new connections who reach out to you on LinkedIn afterwards.

    3. Place articles.   Backlinks (incoming links) plus content still reign for gaining page rank on Google.  Submit new articles with your latest keywords on the sites that are currently #1 for your top keywords.  Doing this will integrate your analytics strategy.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say you write an article that contains the bulk of the keywords in the above list.  You then link that article to the site that is #1 for your top keyword.  In time, your own site should begin receiving traffic from the site with your article on it.  Furthermore, the new traffic you’re receiving should be from visitors who are keenly interested in your main topic.

Nonfiction authors who know their best keywords and phrases, and can articulate their skills are more likely to be found.  When authors place their keywords, phrases and skills in carefully located posts and articles, they draw their readers to them.

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