Books can be very powerful traffic generators, when they are published in full online. If you are looking for reasons to create content on your website, and if you have a book already published, then you may be sitting on a golden goose of traffic generators.
I just completed a website traffic analysis for a company I've been working with for several years. On an ongoing basis, we employ different SEO strategies, track those strategies to see if they worked or didn't work, and continue to analyze traffic patterns to better fine tune the website, both to increase traffic and to expose different sections of the website to existing readers. Several years ago, we decided to publish online a short book that had about 7 pages and was picture based. Each page had a description of the picture. We dedicated a section of the website to this book, built it in an SEO friendly way, and it continues to bring in the most traffic for this website in droves.
The decision was made again to put another popular book online. This book had fewer pictures (although shared some pictures with the search engine popular first book), and was all content. It had several chapters, so the navigation was deep. Initially, it didn't make a big splash. It was not integrated well with the website, in that, there were not very many internal links pointing to it from the website's own content. SEO-wise, it needed links from outside websites to help specific pages and sub-sections rank.
After the yearly review, in which several strategies were employed to help the website in general, here is how this section ended up getting a major boost. And I mean major. Keep in mind, this increase was the compilation of several factors, almost a perfect storm of SEO strategies.
- Word choice for the menu navigation: Originally, the menu was a repeat of the book title. However, past keyword research indicated that having the word "book", and specifically what kind of book, yielded searches for that term. The conclusion was drawn that if people were using that term in searches, they would most likely respond to it if they saw it on the website. Result: Changing the menu name caught the attention of people already on the website, thus increasing pageviews to that section.
- Capitalizing on other high ranking pages: One main section of the website ranked highly for a few specific yet popular searches, which was odd because the content wasn't fully developed. For a long time, a "Coming soon...sign up for our newsletter" type message was the main content of several main landing pages in this section until tweaks were made to make it look a little less sparse. The goal became to better capitalize on the traffic that repeatedly came into this section from search engines, yet had nowhere to go because the content wasn't ready. We created very SEO friendly landing pages for the main pages of this section. We made sure to include linked pictures and linked text to specific areas of the website, to help this new traffic dig down deeper into site to find related content. Result: It worked. Featured sections of several areas of the website saw increased pageviews, including several pages of this new book
- Building from success of an image in Google Image search: Thanks to the first book that got put online, and the pictures in that book, we knew that the pictures were very SEO friendly and were ranking well in Google Images. We used that same image to appear in the section for the new book. Result: That image continues to rank highly in Google Images, but this time, it is linking to a page in the new book section, breathing new life into this new section.
These changes took place over the course of a few months, and were tracked in a spreadsheet we keep to track all changes, so that we can refer back as time goes on and increases in traffic are generated. One can't keep all of this in their head, so it is most effective to record all changes made by date, and with notes of what you hope will happen, and why you made this change. If you changed copy, record what the old copy was, and what the new copy is, so that if you have change for good, you know why. If you had change for bad, you can revert back to the copy that you didn't think was working but apparently was.
Take a look at the content you already have in your files. There are most likely a lot of ways you can transition it online and build your audience. If you need help thinking, consider our SEO Blitz sessions that we have periodically. Views from an outside perspective almost always sheds new light and refreshes what you are doing. You could be sitting on a gold mine right now!