Social Media for Authors Podcast: Fine-Tuning Your Author Website

Episode 17   author websites

You’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 17, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo.


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When I reviewed my editorial calendar for this podcast, I realize I have never spoken exclusively about websites. So I’m correcting the error today.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips that will help you tune up your website and get more traffic. And of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Today I want to talk about NutshellMail. This is a cool application that helps me to stay engaged with my fans, friends, and followers.

You can connect a variety of social media networks to this application including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as Foursquare, Yelp, and CitySearch.

You can tell the application whether you want to receive an email once a day or twice a day and select the time of day you want to hear from his application.

Once you make that decision, you will receive an email that keeps you informed about:

  • new Twitter followers and “quitters”
  • your Facebook friends’ birthdays and popular posts
  • trending posts on LinkedIn from your contacts
  • reviews and photos from Yelp
  • check-ins from Foursquare

From the email you received, you can send tweets, direct messages, replies, and retweets on Twitter.

The section on Facebook will inform you of status updates from friends, photos, information from your newsfeed, and pending friend requests.

In other words, you can keep up with your following and never leave your inbox.

Another great aspect of this application is that it is available completely free of cost.

Now for the second segment of the show …

Blogger Susan Gilbert has some great tips in her post 6 Tips to Bring Up the Quality of Your Website.

In this post, Susan recommends steps you should take to increase your website traffic:

  1. Optimize your content. She points out that we are past the days of stuffing websites and blog posts with keywords. What Google loves now our high-quality blog posts that are not any longer than 2500 words. She also reminds us that most readers are attracted to shorter content, and it is ideal to keep our blog posts to about 1600 words. If you’ve been writing 500 or 800-word blog posts, don’t worry. Just don’t let them get too long.
  2. Use high-quality images and videos. But this isn’t new to you, right? I’ve been hammering this for quite some time on my blog and my podcast. Susan reminds us that your blog posts will receive more views and social shares as well as interactions if you include high-quality images.
  3. Make your website content concise and easy to read. Susan recommends including bullet points, numbers, and small graphics to break up your text.
  4. Substantiate your expertise with research. This is great information to include in your blog posts.
  5. Place social media icons near your blog posts and other important pages.
  6. Include links that relate to the subject you are discussing. It is always important in our blog posts to link back to authority sites to lend more authority to our own websites.
Make your website content concise and easy to readClick To Tweet

Next up, is a post by Copyblogger about the ABCs of Landing Pages that Work.

This blog post is actually an infographic in which the folks at Copyblogger offer tips for every letter of the alphabet.

For example, here are a few of their tips:

  • Analytics: without them you’re lost. Find out where your traffic is coming from and which pages or paragraphs they prefer.
  • Conversion: your website copy should lead your website traffic to purchases. Engagement: spark your readers’ imagination to keep them on your website.
  • Headlines: these are critical. Headlines get your first sentence read.
  • You: you are the soul of the page. Your personality needs to come through as you write to engage your readers.

This infographic is loaded with tips, so I encourage you to follow the link and check it out.

This next post, Top 5 Website Design Trends for 2015, is by Brianna Smith and written for Social Media Today.

Here are the design trends for 2015:

  1. You must have a mobile friendly website. But this is no surprise? She includes these interesting statistics:

67% of consumers are more likely to purchase on a website that is mobile friendly.

  1. The author also recommends interactive scrolling. She notes that there are two types of interactive scrolling. Parallax is used to catch the attention of visitors by using 3-D technology. The second is infinite scrolling, which decreases page loading time and is mobile friendly. If you wrote a picture book or a book that targets a younger generation the 3-D technology might be interesting for you.
  2. She is also a proponent of one-page websites. She notes that they are easier to navigate, mobile friendly, and focuses on visual storytelling.
  3. Finally, she encourages her readers to have clean and simple website layouts. I’ve definitely seen a trend toward simpler layouts, and I think it’s a good one.
67% of consumers are more likely to purchase on a website that is mobile friendlyClick To Tweet

Moving on, I like this next post, titled 11 Author Website Must Have Elements from Your Writer Platform.

This blogger notes that author websites aren’t just fancy, static online business cards. Your website needs to perform, and it needs to respond. Here are her tips.

Ensure a good first impression. It not only has to look good, but also needs to answer some of these questions:

  1. Will people know what you write within seconds?
  2. Will they know what to do next?
  3. Is it clear why they should buy your book or subscribe for free updates?
  4. Does the site appear credible?
  5. Is it clear why they should buy your book or subscribe for free updates?
  6. What does the site provide for the reader?
  7. Is it clean and uncluttered?
What does your author website site provide for the reader?Click To Tweet

Next, she tackles the bio page.

Use a professional headshot and a link from your homepage that leads to your bio page.

Break your about page into sections:

  1. Link from your bio page to your media kit/press page.
  2. Be personal but don’t over share.

The author also discusses the contact information page and offers these tips:

  1. Include a contact tab in your top main menu.
  2. Encourage your readers to get in touch with you for social media as well as through email.
  3. Include an option to start collecting email subscribers. Email is the best vehicle for communicating directly with your readers.
  4. Don’t forget to include testimonials.
  5. Provide social media icons so that your readers can like your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter as well as social media share buttons so they can share your content.
  6. Include separate pages for your books and services.
  7. Include a blog.

I am going to discuss the next post very quickly. On the Social Media Today blog, I found a post with a link to a mobile friendly test for your website. I encourage all of you to use it.

Now let’s talk about something fun!

I found a cool application and I think you are going to love it. It’s called WhatIzTrending, and it’s for Facebook.

This application will tell you what is trending on Facebook. It will only list images that are triggering a ton of engagement. I tested this application several months ago, and it worked.

Now I encourage you to have fun with it.

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Social Media for Authors Podcast by Frances Caballo

Frances Caballo- Author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck

About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

 

 

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