Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Book Birthday, A Vampire's Tale!

Six months ago, Tirgearr Publishing released my second paranormal romance novel. To celebrate, Writer Marketing Services has organized a month-long Birthday Bash Blitz! Check out all the stops listed at www.MayaTylerAuthor.com.

A Vampire's Tale is a story about a story. This particular tale belongs to Corgan Halton, a vampire set to disprove Hollywood’s misconceptions about vampires, before he ends his existence. He selects Marisa Clements—an aspiring, paranormal author—to write about his life. With Corgan’s ability to see the future, he knows Marisa will be involved in his death and his presence in her life will place her in grave danger. 

Why a Book about Vampires?

It all starts with an idea. Before writing A Vampire’s Tale, I had never considered writing a vampire book. Why now? Like my character, vampire Corgan Halton, I find the Hollywood vampire, re-invented over and over is, at times, unbelievable and inconsistent. Still, we are fascinated with each interpretation. Hollywood has definitely romanticized vampires. I think the allure, the attraction, is the flirtation with danger. If you think about what a vampire is—undead, blood drinking, human killing machine—romance really doesn’t come to mind.

Like any tragic hero, a vampire’s back story is what fascinated me. And I wondered. If vampires were real, what would they really be like?

Available now!
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Friday, September 15, 2017

What you need to know about SEO by @mayatylerauthor

Writing books is only part of an author’s job description. The writing—most authors would agree—is the fun part, and the book promotion is decidedly not. After experiencing the mental exhaustion of pouring heart and soul into my book, how am I going to find readers to buy it? The answer? I’m always on the lookout for the latest trends in book marketing and promotion. And, it turns out, book promotion is another area I can stretch my creative wings.

What is SEO and why do you need it? SEO, search engine optimization, is the way to get content in front of your target audience. If you have a web presence, you need to read this article.

SEO is an art and a science. There are two main steps: 1. Produce good content; 2. Promote that content. You can have the best blog post / book / website out there, but if you don’t promote it strategically, no one will know. Likewise, you can heavily promote inferior content and risk losing readers / followers. Think quality over quantity.

Content is King

An effective website, or webpage, contains quality content focused on the user’s intent. When creating content, remember word count, keyword distribution, internal links, and headers affect search rank. Choose your topic selectively. Focus on a subject you are an authority on. It establishes your credibility. Aim for a target length between 300 and 1900 words, using concise sentences. Contrary to past trends, readers seek long-form content as long as it’s applicable to them. Engage with your audience. In addition to the “why” and “how-to” posts, using lists, quizzes, infographics, and videos are popular ways to create engaging content. Create content with a keyword in mind.

The Key to Keyword Selection

Use tools like Google Adwords to determine the analytics on potential keywords and related synonyms. Also, consider exploiting knowledge of important (and similar) topics and themes to increase your readership. Use your keyword in the title and the first sentence of your first paragraph. Use your keyword in the metadata title—the highlighted text in a search engine result—and in the metadata description—the text which describes your website. Target keyword density, the percentage of times the keyword appears in your content compared to the total number of words, between one and three percent.

Don’t Forget Formatting

Content structure—which affects search rank—is (almost) as important as the content. Eye tracking studies measure user experience signals where, and for how long, people look on a webpage. In the eight-seconds you have to grab your reader’s attention, it’s crucial to know where they will look first. Use the real estate above the fold—the space you can see before scrolling down—for your most valuable content, and use headers to break your information into easy-to-read chunks. Use white space strategically, and don’t use banners as previous overuse has led to the phenomena called ‘banner blindness.’

You’ve invested in producing quality, well-structured content. Is that enough? What other factors affect search rank? Site speed. A faster site tends to rank higher than slower sites. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to rate optimization and receive recommendations. Social signals. These include the number of shares and tweets.

Now to put my new-found knowledge into practice!

References:
Agius, Aaron. (2015, December 24). “It’s Time to Rethink Your SEO Approach for 2016.” Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253288 on 2017, June 27.

Cain, Kevin. (2012, August 29). “How to Optimize Content When You Don’t Know Jack about SEO.” Retrieved from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2012/08/optimize-content-when-you-dont-know-seo/ on 2017, June 27.

Dragilev, Dmitry. (2016, May 11). “Six Top SEO Factors in 2016.” Retrieved from http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2016/29906/six-top-seo-factors-in-2016 on 2017, June 27.

Patel, Neil. (2014, April 16). “8 Powerful Takeaways from Eye Tracking Studies.” Retrieved from https://www.quicksprout.com/2014/04/16/8-powerful-takeaways-from-eye-tracking-studies/ on 2017, June 27.

Si, Sean. “What are Meta Tags and why are they important?” Retrieved from https://seo-hacker.com/what-are-meta-tags-and-why-are-they-important/ on 2017, September 2.


Weiss, Aaron. (2015, December 29). “Trip Through the Google Zoo.” Retrieved from https://www.searchengineacademy.com/blog/trip-through-the-google-zoo/ on 2017, June 27.