When you published your first book, blog, or any other piece of writing, did you come up with list of numerous words describing your book? Believe it or not, the idea of coming up with and using a “keyword” isn’t the most effective approach. Think about it. How many times have you gone to Google or Amazon and typed in just one word? The fact of the matter is that consumers search with keyword phrases or keyword strings. If you’ve written a devotional, your potential reader will most likely not type in “devotional book,” but rather the exact kind that they want to find – i.e. “daily devotional,” “weekly encouragements,” “inspirational devotional,” etc.
Readers are surprisingly particular about their search patterns, so authors should be just as particular about their keywords.
This article aims to help writers who have never given keywords a second thought, but also to help writers who know a thing or two about keywords, but want to learn how to use them even more effectively.
Check out what people are searching for in your genre. Head to ubersuggest and type in your genre (or topic, etc.). Narrow your search from say “marriage” to “Christian marriage” or “marriage counseling.” Next, add the word “book” (or blog, etc.) to your keyword string. The results drop drastically – e.g. from around 300 to just 65. Try it yourself! So if you’re using that particular string of keywords, your website, book, or blog has that much more of a chance of being found by the person searching.
Action step: Write down 10-20 keyword strings.
With your newly found keywords, head to Amazon and type them into the search bar one at a time. Amazon will help guide you on how to adjust your strings based on what’s most popular. Perhaps “marriage counseling” can be narrowed down even more to “premarital counseling” or “newlywed marriage counseling.” You get the idea!
Action step: Spend some time on Amazon developing your keyword strings even more.
For every keyword string you get from Amazon, take into consideration the sales rank of the books listed under each search string. Some keyword phrases may be doing incredible, while others may not. If you have a keyword string with a very high sales rank, then you might want to steer clear of that string and try out the next one. Remember, the higher the rank, the lower the sale – for example, the bestselling product in a category has a sales rank of 1.
Action step: Weed through your long list of keyword strings to find which ones are worthwhile.
Now that you’ve decided on a seemingly effective list of keyword strings, it’s time to incorporate them! If you’re published by a partner publisher or a traditional publisher, contact them to have your book’s Amazon information updated with your findings. If you’re self-published, add them to your Amazon dashboard and your book description. The Amazon search engine not only scans keywords, but the book descriptions, too! Take a second look at your description – are you giving enough information? Don’t be too vague and don’t be too longwinded. Find the balance of catching someone’s attention and describing what readers will receive from your book without giving everything away.
Action step: Plug in your keywords to Amazon and edit your book description. If need be, contact your publisher.
So what do you think? Are your keywords in need of an update? Go through these steps, implement keyword strings, and start reaching the readers that are right for you and your book! You won’t regret it.
CERTA AUTHORS: After you’ve researched your keywords and/or rewritten your description, contact us to help you implement these changes!