Sunday, November 10, 2013

NW Bookfest '13, Workshop Review #2: Increase Traffic to Your Website Now!

(Image:  Social Media Facts from Viralblog)
This workshop was hosted by Sean McViegh, owner of 425 Media, an internet marketing company headquartered in Bothell, WA--within the 425 area code.
Sean normally presents this seminar to clients over several hours, but managed to condense a lot of info into our allotted 1.5 hours.  Since this is a briefing he normally presents to customers, I'll just give you the highlights here.
First of all:  Why do, as an author, or some other entrepreneur for that matter, need a website? 
--It's your place on the internet
--It's not limited
--There's no fixed rules
Your overall strategy should be to engage and build your fanbase.  But is your site ready for traffic?
If so, it must be--
--Responsive and capable of being seen on mobile devices
--Easy to use and understand, otherwise people will get confused and leave--permanently
--Optimized for search, otherwise known as "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO).
Basic website components should include--
--Book cover and log line
--A contact form
--An "About You" page
--Social media icons
--Excerpts, testimonials, reviews and awards information
--Ability to purchase your book
--Newsletter sign-up form, and most important of all--
--Your blog
Blogging not only provides content for your site and engages readers, but it keeps search engines from considering your site inactive.  But what to blog about?
--Book releases
--Book signings
--Book reviews
--Conferences/conventions/shows you'll be attending
--Sample chapters
--Current events/news
Demonstrate to your audience you're a subject matter expert (SME) and know the top 20 SEO key words for your site and use them at every opportunity.
Among the content you provide, be sure to include an appropriate image--and give credit to anyone else's work.  According to Sean, 80-90% of people will pass by a post if there's no image.  He also said not to have more than two to three links per blog post.  (Okay, I'll have a hard time with this one, since I tend to go link crazy).
Since Sean runs an internet marketing business, he's aware of some of the scams & rip offs--
--Hosting fees should be more than $10/month (as of now--be aware of standard pricing)
--Get a detailed plan from anyone claiming they'll do a Search Engine Optimization for your site (this could cost $20-$200/hour and you may not see any improvement afterwards).
And while the various social media platforms are essentially good things, they're also what Sean called "walled gardens."  That is, they want to keep you within their cyber-confines--so they can market to you.
The biggest walled gardens are--
--Facebook with over a billion users
--Google Plus
--YouTube, it's the world's second largest search engine
--Twitter and finally,
--Pintrest, which is small in comparison to Facebook, but growing.
So, where to start?
Your priority should be to start a website.  Then get on the following on-line platforms--
--Google Plus
--Twitter and
As for me, I've been blogging for five years now.  That counts as having a website--doesn't it?

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