Keywords = Clues To Your Audience Treasure Hunt
I'm a sucker for a good treasure hunt. You're handed a clue and you have to figure out where the prize is - good times had by all. For kids (and, ahem, adults), treasure hunts can be a blast! But as an author or creative searching for an audience, it can feel more like a torture hunt.
If you're just starting off building your audience or if you're stuck in a rut trying to grow your readership, you don't need to grasp at straws trying to find an audience. It's not just about growing your numbers - it's about finding the right people who want to read your books and connect with you.
And I have the magic clue for you - it's called Keywords.
In the online world, there are certain words, terms, and phrases used to find things that people are looking for. For example, if I'm looking for a Greek restaurant in my area of town, I'd look up "Greek Restaurant, Nashville TN" on Google and my search would result in a list of Greek restaurants in my area. The same can work for you as an author.
I'd like to introduce you to your new best friend - it's name is Google Keyword Planner. The Google Keyword Planner is a free resource that will help you find keywords that your audience uses to search for topics/genres that you write about. When you use these keywords in searches for blogs, social media hangouts, hashtags, etc., you'll know where your readers are hanging out.
Here's how you do it...
Go to Google Keyword Planner and sign in to AdWords. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything. If you have Gmail, a YouTube account, Google+, simply log-in using that information and you're good to go.
After you log in, select the option "Search for new keyword and ad group ideas"...
The next thing that will pop up will be your "Keyword Planner" that looks like this:
Brainstorm a few keywords that describe your genre, style, etc., to get you started. For example sake, I did a search on "book marketing" so I typed that into the first section, as you can see below. You can also go further and deeper within the search and pick a category for your search. As you can see, there are many choices for books! Once you've made your choices, click 'get ideas'.
On the next page, select the "Keyword Ideas" option....
When you click on the "Keyword Ideas" option a long list of suggestions will show up for you. This isn't even half of the words that showed up...there were a ton!
You don't need to pay attention to the "suggested bid" because you're not paying for anything - you're just gaining information here. What you need to take note of are the keyword ideas. The keywords shown here are other words, phrases, and terms that people are searching for online.
Now, this is a great resource for many reasons. First of all, it shows you what words people are searching for, which is gold. You can use this within your searches for book blogs to reach out to, topics to cover in your blog, and even to research group topics on social media. Some of those results could spur on other searches that would be relevant.
I'd advise you to keep a running list of at least 10 keywords that you know your audience/readers search for within your genre/topics. Take a look at your reader's demographic details that we discussed in last week's blog to research other keywords. It's a great list to have handy for your overall book marketing!
TAKE ACTION NOW: Go to Google Adwords and do your search. What were some results that surprised you? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by Bernat Casero