In this technology-driven age, an author website is vital to your marketing strategy. You need a place where potential readers can find out more about your work, your future and past projects and connect with you directly. People want to feel like they’re a part of the process. They want to be teased with your upcoming releases. They want a glimpse into your daily life as a writer. Establishing an online presence builds your authority as an author, increases the likelihood of new readers finding your work and strengthens connections with your existing fan base.

If you’ve already successfully launched your website but are finding there are barely any visits and even fewer purchases of your book, it may be time to reassess your website strategy. Keep these following pointers in mind:

Ease of Navigation

Is your website clear and easy to navigate? Is it appealing to your target audience? Too many authors spend valuable time trying to entice readers to their website only to lose them once they arrive. Have a friend (or someone unfamiliar with your site) look it over. Is it easy for them to get around? Can they find any information they need quickly? Do the menus offer a logical layout? Are there clear links to purchase your books? Is it easy to find contact information? Is your page error-free and well written? Outline the path a potential reader would take to navigate through your site. Ensure you’re not making any of these common mistakes.

Blog

If you’re naturally introverted this process can feel a bit uncomfortable, but it works. Readers love to get an intimate view into the life of their favorite authors, so why not yours? Take them through your process, your everyday struggles, or, just entertain them with a quick anecdote about your life. Make yourself human. Personalize your work. Show your readers you’re just an ordinary person, who just so happens to have the coolest job on the planet. Write about your favorite authors and your most cherished books, because if reader’s share the same interests, they may be more inclined to open your novel. Also, try to link your blogs with your social media to gain exposure, use hashtags and post pictures to generate interest. Share, share, share! Research other similar authors who have blogs and guests post on each other’s websites. Visit forums and post your blogs there. And lastly, encourage your established readers (and of course friends and family) to post your blog and website on their social media to spread the good news to as many new sets of eyes as possible.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO can seem like a complicated, strange world, but if you put in a bit of time it can work wonders for driving traffic to your website. First, search in Google terms related to your book and see what comes up. Of course you’d like to be at the top of the list, right? So, start taking notes on all of the first five websites that pop up on all related searches. Then, in your website, tailor your content to reflect those searches. Ensure that your headlines, sub-headlines, keywords and metadata (descriptions of your content and images) are relevant and appealing to your target audience. Likewise, your blog should be on-topic. What blog topics reflect your books and your target audience? Link to other sites. High-quality external links (such as Wikipedia or Google) raise your authority, relevance and popularity.

SEO is constantly changing and evolving as search engines establish better ways to ascertain website relevance and authority. Check out these articles to get a grasp on how you can use SEO to your advantage.

Optimize your Website for Mobile

Last year mobile phone web usage overtook desktop for the first time, making mobile friendly websites more essential than ever. Check your site on a mobile device for usability. For more on optimization have a look over the following articles:

·      Nine Tips for Optimizing your Website for Mobile Users

·      Mobile SEO Best Practices

Your author website is a dynamic platform made to change and grow as you do, as new technologies evolve and your readership expands. It’s important to stay up-to-date with developments and continue to optimize your site. Once your book is in the hands of hundreds if not thousands of more readers, all of this will seem worth it. Promise.