Showing posts with label keyword research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label keyword research. Show all posts

Increasing Visibility on Amazon


I attended the IndiRecon, a free online conference for writers.

One of the things that struck me most was this point, by David Gaughran. New authors tend to spend a lot of time promoting on social media, blogging, etc.

 But think about this. “If someone is on Facebook, they're probably chewing the fat with friends or looking at cat pictures.

On Google, they're searching for something—their wallet is only half out. On Amazon, they are ready to buy.” It makes sense, then, to focus more on Amazon until you get well known enough that social media and blogging will help you connect with the readers you already have, and through them expand to new readers.

So here's the advice I compiled from several presenters who held similar opinions, all about how to increase your discoverability on Amazon.

Make Your Title and Cover Work for YOU

-Do NOT confuse anyone with your title or cover. This includes, but is not limited to: unpronounceable words, cutesy non-fiction titles that don't explain what the book's about, titles completely at odds with the genre listed, titles too small to read on the thumbnail, books where the reader isn't sure which is the title and which is the author.

-Remember that shorter titles tend to sell better.

-Make sure the title and cover convey at very least the genre and tone of your book. Better that they convey some of the story too.

Choose Categories Strategically

-Get as specific as you can. In the Kindle store, “Fiction—General” may have a million books in it, and the chances of a browsing customer just happening upon your book are extremely slim. “Genre Fiction-Sea Adventures” has less than a thousand titles, and will bring you and potential fans together better. Provided, of course, that your story really is a sea story.

-Find smaller categories. They make it easier to get into top-100 lists.

-Decide on your ideal categories by looking up popular books similar to yours. You can also browse categories by clicking on the“shop by department” drop down menu and then drilling down (you'll often have to scroll to the bottom to find the department subcategories).

-If the category you want is not available to you through KDP, select non-classifiable as one of your categories and then e-mail Amazon, giving them the exact path you want to be in. Example: Kindle Store>Kindle eBooks>Teen&Young Adult>Historical Fiction>Ancient Civilizations.

Test Keywords

-Brainstorm keywords and phrases for your book, then run them through a keyword analyzer to see which ones have the most searches. One program is the Keyword planner on Adwords. To get ideas for more words, you can also type your keywords into Amazon or Google and see what it autosuggests.

-Remember that Amazon allows you 7 keyword phrases, so “Young Adult Paranormal” is counted as one keyword.

-Test your keywords by putting them in the Amazon search box and see if the right sort of books pop up.

-Use associated words to improve SEO (search engine optimization), so if “young adult dystopian” and “teen science fiction” both apply, and you think people will search by both, use them both. Search engines think this makes your content a more reliable.

-Use your keyword phrases in the title, subtitle, or description. Repeat your classification/sub genre in the keywords, even if Amazon tells you it's unnecessary.

Pretty Up Your Book Description

-Think of your description as sales copy. It's not just your back-of-the-book blurb.

-Use headlines, sub headers, and bullet points to draw the eye. Bullet points in fiction, you ask? If nothing else lends itself to bullet points, use blurbs from reviews.

-Use html to get bold, headlines, etc. A list of approved html: http://www.tckpublishing.com/amazon-kdp-kindle-book-description-html-update/

-Use actionable words.

-Show social proof that it's good (awards won, best-seller status, etc)

-Include a call to action, like “Scroll up and grab a copy today.”

-Repeat your title in your description. You can also include excerpts. Especially for non-fiction books, include the table of contents in the book description. It's a really slick way to get your keywords in without sounding forced.

-Try using keywords in a subtitle, like “An Inspirational Romance.” Just don't make it too cheesy.

Price to Sell

-Price your books competitively.

-Johnny Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright advocate always having some way for readers to get a complete, stand-alone, satisfying entry into any book or series you've published. This is not the same as the standard e-book sample, which comes with the understanding that the reader will reach the end of the sample—maybe mid sentence—and have to buy the rest. It shouldn't simply be an excerpt on your blog or Facebook, which isn't the same experience as a book. Possibilities for free entries:
'
a) For a series, make the first book free.

b) For a stand-alone novel, publish a free short story or novella set in the same world or with the same characters.

c) For a non-fiction book, publish a free essay on a similar theme or a stand-alone chapter on one specific topic covered in your book.

-Don't fear giving your books away. This may seem counter intuitive if your goal is to make money, but people love free things. They'll be more willing to gamble zero dollars on a new author. Then, if they like it, they may very well buy others. But these people never would have been exposed at all if that first bite weren't free. Think of it as a loss-leader in a grocery store.

-Amazon won't allow you to simply price your e-book free. However, they match other sites. So, if you want it perma-free, make it free somewhere else, like Smashwords, and then have someone report it to Amazon. They'll turn it free.

Get Reviews

-Ethically-obtained reviews legitimize your book and attract customers. For ideas on how to get more, join me next month.

Think like Amazon

Understand that Amazon's mysterious algorithms are all to help customers find things they will buy. Set up your product in a way that helps Amazon link you with the right customers, and your sales will increase.

Resources:

Michael Alvear's The Guerrilla Marketer's Guide to Selling Fiction On Kindle
Optimizing Searched on Your Book [Metadata/SEO] by Lori Culwell
Jim Kukral's Webinar: The Amazon Power of Selling by Jim Kukral from Author Ad Network
David Gaughren's article: Understanding Amazon's Recommendation Engine
Write, Publish, Repeat: How to Turn your Art from a Hobby into a Real Business Live Podcast with Johnny Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright.
(Sorry, but none of links work so had to be removed!)


Melinda Brasher loves to travel, write, and play difficult card games.  She has short stories and travel writing published in various magazines, and is the author ofFar-Knowing, a YA fantasy novel. Visit her blog for all the latest: http://www.melindabrasher.com


Small Business Marketing - Know What Consumers Buy

By Karen Cioffi

This is Part 2 of a 3 part series.

Key Marketing Principle One – Know Your Prospect’s Motives

You’ve finally done it. You created a great product to sell. But, could it be that the product you think is ‘great’ is not something many others are interested in?

For small business marketing to be effective, you need to know if there is a customer base for your product or service. This is why it’s important to determine what people are buying. And, it’s important to know this prior to creating your product, if possible. If you already have a product or service available, this information will help you tweak it to be more relevant and attractive to potential customers.

How to Find out What Consumers Buy

You might be wondering how you learn about your prospect and his buying habits. Fortunately, the Web has made this easy to do. One way to find this information is to do keyword searches. Knowing what people are searching for gives insight into what they want and what they’re buying.

As an example of small business marketing and keywords, let’s use ‘alternative health options’ as a search word.

If you do a search for that particular keyword through Yahoo, you’ll realize the target market is broad. In fact, there are over 50,000 in the search results.

You can also do a Google Adwords search. Using ‘alternative health options,’ Google will provide you with an assortment of keywords related to your query and let you know their weight – meaning how many searches there are for each. For the keyword ‘natural health,’ there are 246,000 global searches.

The purpose of these keyword search tools is to provide you with information, such as:

•    What consumers buy - the types of products and/or services people are searching for, which shows what they want
•    The specific keyword or phrases people are searching under
•    Less competitive long-tail keywords that will narrow your target market
•    Product and name ideas

But, to see which keywords are actually relating to your sales, you should use Amazon, which by the way is an excellent keyword search tool. Simply type in the beginning of your query. We’ll stick with ‘alternative health options’ from above. So, type “alternati,” in the query box and Amazon will automatically list its most popular keywords for that beginning query.

This is valuable information for the marketer. These are the keywords that people are using to buy books and other products. And, since Amazon makes money when products are sold, they provide the most effective keywords.

After doing the research, the effective keyword you come up with will be the foundation of your product’s name and/or your website’s name. This is what the people you’re targeting are looking for, this is what they want. And, this is what you’ll provide.

Other Marketing Strategies to Determine What Consumers Buy

Join groups that deal with the subject matter you are thinking of creating a product around. Follow relevant keywords on Twitter and take note of what’s going on in the tweets. And, follow through on links provided in the tweets. The same goes for Facebook, Linkedin, GooglePlus, active blogs and newsletters. Read, read, read.

The information garnered through these strategies will help you create an effective name for your product, or if you already have an existing product, as mentioned above, it can help you tweak your marketing strategies in regard to its name, its appearance, and its promotional content. The same goes for your website.

The information you learn will also help you craft articles and content to establish yourself as an authority on the subject matter and draw traffic to your site.

Knowing what consumers buy is an important element in your small business marketing strategy.

If you missed Part 1, please visit: 
http://www.writersonthemove.com/2013/10/small-business-marketing-meet-your.html

Stay tuned for Part 3, scheduled for December 1st.

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MORE ON MARKETING

10 Useful and Free Writing and Online Marketing Tools
Authors Need Discoverability More Than Findability
6 Book Marketing Tips that are Sure to Increase Your Visibility

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P.S. To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi
Award-Winning Author, Freelancer/Ghostwriter, Author/Writer Online Platform Instructor
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