As an author visibility online is important in order to attract readers and book sales. A well developed, professional website is the starting point for any effective marketing and branding strategy. The next important factor are the amount of visitors you are retaining who can become loyal fans of your book(s).
If you aren’t experiencing enough book sales from all your online efforts, including social media marketing, then the problem may be your website landing page, which could turn away potential readers the moment they arrive. In the marketing world this is referred to as “Friction” which means that a confusing message will compel visitors to move onto the next place in their online search.
The good news is that you can fix this problem today, and remove the roadblocks and attract more book sales. The goal is to clearly convey what you want your visitors to do, and to compel them to want to know more.
A poor design, low content quality, confusing menu options, etc. can all have a negative impact on your website conversion rates. The best place to start in your discovery process is with Google Analytics, which is free to use. Learning more about the needs of your audience through this resource will help you to focus what they are looking for and how you, as an author, can best appeal to their needs and desires.
In order to retain your website visitors and entice to them to want to purchase your book(s) here are a few key points to keep in mind:
Make it Easy
Check with your host provider to make sure your website is loading quickly. This could be one of the main factors that your are losing visitors. Once you have this resolved you may want to conduct a design audit, which includes how responsive your website is on mobile devices. Your visitors are seeking more information on your book, and you want to make the process as simple as possible.
By improving your visual content and checking all of your links you can increase your conversions by as much as 15 to 20%. Use sub-menus or pages for in-depth information and place the most important content up front. If you have several publications you will want to place your most recent book at the front, like this example from New York Times bestseller author, Mariana Zapata:
Keep Your Readers Updated
Use social media plugins and other tools to add current events and progress on your website landing page. This will involve staying active on the social networks that your audience engages in the most such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, etc. This is a great way to entice your readers to want to sign up for your newsletter and blog posts and return to your website to find out more about your next publication.
Include Testimonials and News
Your audience wants to know right away what others are saying about your work. You can provide this information directly from your Amazon author link, or by including any testimonials, interviews, articles and recommendations like this example from bestselling author, Nicholas Sparks:
A Great Call-to-Action
Draw your reader in with a great offer like a free report, a free chapter, useful tips, etc. Instead of directly asking them to sign up and make a purchase provide something of value that will appeal to their desires and encourage them to know more about your work. Include powerful graphics and a simple signup form to make the process easy for them. This is one of the most important elements of a landing page, and and can be used to nurture your subscribers and create ready buyers.
In addition to capturing subscribers you can attract more visitors with a landing page that is simple, to the point, easy to navigate and allows for easy to access to your books and social media profiles. Take the time to learn how to improve your website and ask yourself whether your branding is clear, speaks to the desires of your audience, and offers an easy way to make a purchase and contact you with any questions or feedback.
The key to success is to reduce the amount of information as much as possible with a great responsive design, and provide your readers with exactly what they are looking for without any complications, broken links, and clutter.