Book Launch Success Secret #3: Optimize Your Book Description, Keywords, & Categories
When you set out to write a book as a Christian author, it’s easy to get caught up in the process of creating something beautiful and meaningful. You immerse yourself in the writing, pour your heart and soul into every word — and if you’re not careful, you can lose sight of the ultimate goal: to launch your God-given message into the world. But that doesn’t have to happen! Using your book description, keywords, and categories, you can ensure your book gets the attention of the people who need your message.
In Part 3 of the Book Launch Success Secrets series, Coach Tam shares how and why to optimize these three things (A.K.A. the “Big Three”) to not only ensure your book gets in front of your target audience, but also entice them to buy it.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- What each piece of the Big Three accomplishes
- 5 reasons you need to optimize your book description, keywords, and categories
- A step-by-step look at the optimization process
- Your next step
Be sure to read all the way to the end for a link to a FREE course on advertising your book on Amazon!
In Book Launch Success Secret #2, we discussed one of the most important things you can do when it comes to book launch success: identify and focus on your book’s big idea. This concept is what sets your book apart from all the other books in your field, and it helps you have a lasting impact and inspire action among your readers. In particular, you want your readers to spread the word about your book (also known as word-of-mouth marketing).
With a solid big idea behind you, you will have people talking about your book, and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your impact, influence, and income. But it’s not the only thing you need to ensure your book launch is a success. Next, you need to optimize three things, which we’ll refer to as the “Big Three”: your book description, categories, and keywords.
Unfortunately, many Christian authors give little thought to the Big Three. They either rush through them or make random choices that are unrelated to the book’s message or the target audience. This is a huge mistake!
The book description is crucial for setting the tone and hooking potential readers. Categories are essential for guiding potential readers to your book. Keywords are small but powerful words that act as shortcuts, making it easier for your target audience to find your book.
5 Reasons to Optimize the Big Three
Now you know what the Big Three are, but that’s just scratching the surface of what they can do. Here are five big reasons why it’s critical that you stop what you’re doing and take these three things seriously:
- Improve your search engine rankings. When potential readers search for books on Amazon or other online retailers, the search engine algorithms use these Big Three elements to determine which books are most relevant to the searcher’s query. If your book’s description, categories, and keywords are optimized, it’s more likely to appear higher in the search results.
- Increase visibility. Let’s be honest — we typically don’t browse through every single book that’s available. Instead, we use the search function to find books that are relevant to our interests. If a book is well optimized, it appears higher in the search results, which means more people will see the book. Think about it: how often do you keep clicking “Next” until you get to page 10, 15, or 20? There are books listed on those pages, but who has the time or the patience to keep searching that long? So people who appear on the first or second page get way more visibility than those on page 15 and have much better chances of being discovered by their target audience.
- Boost book sales. When potential readers see your book listed higher in the search results, or appearing as a featured book in a particular category, they’re more likely to purchase it. When something shows up high on the search results, we perceive it to be more relevant to our search. But just clicking on the listing from the search results is only the first step. When you optimize your book description with persuasive copy and relevant keywords, readers are more likely to follow through with the entire checkout process instead of abandoning the book in their cart. In other words, you’ve got to make the case so strong for your book that people will make the decision to buy no matter what.
- Save time, money and frustration. When you don’t take the Big Three seriously, you end up going round and round trying to figure out why more people aren’t buying your book. If that continues, and you spend weeks, months, even years without seeing the sales you were hoping and believing for, frustration starts to build. With all that time, you’re losing out on opportunities for sales, meaning you’re losing money. Even worse, your message is not reaching the people it was intended to reach.
- Reach your target audience and fulfill your God-given mission. By including relevant keywords that potential readers are searching for, you ensure that your book actually appears in front of the right people when they are looking for it. People are looking for what you have to share, but if they can’t find it, they can’t buy it! So you’ve got to make sure it shows up in front of them and show them that it’s exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Yes, it takes work to optimize the Big Three. But it’s worth it to give your book the best possible chances of accomplishing its purpose.
How to Optimize the Big Three
Now you understand the importance of optimizing your book description, categories, and keywords. But how do you make it happen?
Remember, the goal is to make things easier for your audience to find the book. Categories are a way of placing your book within certain buckets. So if I’m looking for sci-fi, and I can see that your book is in the sci-fi category, that makes it easy — I don’t have to sort through all the books that aren’t sci-fi.
Choosing categories (and keywords, for that matter) forces you to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. That means choosing categories that potential readers are likely to use when searching for a book like yours.
One way to get insight into what that might be is to check the categories your competitors’ books are listed under. Chances are, there are other books on the same topic as yours, even if the content is different. God has given you a unique message, but your audience doesn’t know that yet, so they’re going to search for very broad topics. Start with a very broad topic that your book falls into, and look at the books that are ranking really well on Amazon in that topic. What categories are they listed under at checkout? Your book may fit in those categories, too.
Like with categories, you want to choose keywords that are not only relevant to your book, but that people will actually type into search engines when searching for a book like yours. If you aren’t sure what those keywords might be, ask! Get in front of your audience and ask them what terms they would put in a search engine when looking for a book on your topic or trying to solve the problem your book addresses.
You can also use a free keyword research tool to find high-traffic keywords to target. There are hundreds of these tools available (just do a quick search for “free Amazon KDP keyword tool”), and they all work similarly. Type in a word or two, and the tool will suggest a list of keyword phrases for you to choose from.
If you really want to go the extra mile with keywords, you can study something called “negative keywords.” These are used to exclude terms that are not relevant to your book from appearing in your listing on Amazon.
Once you’ve identified your category and keywords, you’re ready to optimize your book description. To do this, first make sure the description is rich with those keywords you’ve already identified. After all, when you include keywords that potential readers are likely to use when searching for your book, your book has a greater chance of showing up in the list of search results.
Then make sure your book description is clear, concise, and easy to read. It’s a delicate balance: you want to provide enough information for your audience to understand the big idea and concept of your book, but you don’t want to bore them or overload them with too much information. If you have a tendency to be a little bit wordy, bounce your book description off a trusted person before you publish it to Amazon.
Next, leverage some of the free tools that exist within Amazon and other online retailers to make it easier for your audience to understand what’s in your book. Things like bold, italics, and lists break up your text and make it easier to scan. That’s important, because the truth is that most of us don’t read every single word. You want your key points to catch your audience’s attention, because then they’ll be more likely to put that book in their cart.
Finally, even if you make your description very clear, concise, and rich with keywords, if you just end the description without telling the reader what to do, you will miss out on sales opportunities. Instead, always include a call to action in your description, such as “buy now,” “download today,” or “get your copy today.” Research proves that this makes a huge difference. It’s not about being pushy; it’s about giving the audience a little nudge in the right direction.
Think of it this way: you’re encouraging people to step up and make the right decision for themselves. You don’t want them to miss out on your God-given message and buy a different book that doesn’t give them what they really need, do you? Of course not! So it’s your responsibility to encourage them to take action and buy your book so they can get what they need.
Don’t Forget to Review!
Keep in mind that the Big Three are not a set-and-forget thing. Whenever you make changes to your book listing on amazon, be sure to re-optimize these three things as well. Additionally, take time periodically to review your listing and ensure it’s still optimized for search engines. And also keep an eye on your rank and reviews so you can see if there are any changes you need to make to improve your Big Three.
Free Course: Advertise on Amazon
What changes will you make to improve your visibility on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all the other retailers? Have you taken the time to optimize your book description, categories and keywords? If not, now is the time to do so.
For a little extra guidance, check out this FREE course on Udemy about how to properly advertise your book on Amazon. Please note that the course is a little bit dated, but it’s still packed with valuable nuggets that will help you advertise your book effectively. Not to mention, it’s free of charge! Why not take advantage of this opportunity to learn, since the only investment you have to make is a little bit of time?
Remember, the Big Three are important factors that can help you reach potential readers — the readers God has assigned to you. So get to work, and then join us next time for Book Launch Success Secret #4!
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
Connect with fellow Christian Authors: http://christianauthors.net/fbgroup
Download the Free Christian Author Marketing EBook: https://265point.com/secretsbook1
Get Booked as a Guest Speaker for Free: http://christianauthors.net
Follow Tam on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TamaraJacksonTransformationExpert/
Interact with Tam on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitnesstamara265/