[Joshua] How many of you actually use metadata in
your daily job? You’re doing something with metadata on a regular basis? Good.
All right. So this is a topic that you will hopefully be very interested in.
How many of you are in marketing? Anybody in marketing in here? Even
better. Because those two are obviously very interrelated, but when we talk about
keywords, they are even more interrelated than some people might
expect about metadata in general. So, I’m going to dive in right now and
just ask, “What is a keyword?” You know, first and foremost, we need
to define what we’re talking about. Some of this might be a little basic for
somebody even. But a keyword, I’m going to define here at the beginning,
as a word or a phrase, right? But not just a word or phrase,
a word or a phrase used by search engines. Because you can use lots of words and
phrases in your book descriptions, and other things, that will be used
by your search engines. But also, when you deal with keyword,
you are thinking about how the words specifically are used in search.
A book description, you’re thinking about how it can be used by someone to
understand what the book is about. Keywords don’t matter when it
comes to the customer facing information, what matters is the search engines.
So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Keywords are really an
important part of your marketing program. And I assume that many of
you in this room are technology people, not just metadata people or marketing
people. And it’s an important point, and one that can help you define
the department that you’re doing and what you’re doing to drive
keywords in your keywords process. So keywords are an augmenter of,
not a catalyst for, search visibility. And this is important to understand.
It’s not just about what keywords can do to catalyze your search,
but really how they can augment the rest of your marketing program.
They can have an impact on their own, and I will show you some examples of that
today. But keywords are even more powerful when they’re combined with other marketing
efforts that drive traffic to your books. So, like all marketing,
understanding key word starts with understanding consumers.
How do consumers find the books that they want to read? What are they doing to find
the content that they’re wanting to read? So, a lots of options,
recommendations from friends, advertisements, browsing through
a bookstore, browsing online through category views on different
websites, and even searching. Online Search is actually the most
powerful, and most useful, and most common method of finding content
of almost any kind. Amazon actually states that in their documentation, specifically
that customers find products via search more often than any other source.
They don’t just go browsing through book categories on Amazon. They search for it.
And often there’s information available online for free that only used to be
available in books. The online resources that are available now are very
different than they were 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, you go buy a book or
you go to the library. Now, you just go online and search on Google. And oftentimes you find the
same kind of information you would have found in books before. However,
books are still able to have more detail, better research, and more fleshed out
story lines than much of what you find online, and are thus also still seen
by consumers as better sources. Now, despite that fact,
the right book can still be hard to find for a customer. With millions of new books
being published each year and even more in the backlist, finding the right book or
your book specifically as a publisher, is not necessarily easy for that consumer.
A good search engine understands what you’re looking for, and a good search
engine will help you find that. Now, finding a book online is really
different than finding a cup, or finding a chair, right?
How many of you have done this? I recently bought new dining chairs,
you know. Finding chairs is not really that difficult. And actually,
most places like wayfair.com or even Amazon, will actually give
you a filtering mechanism that’s pretty straightforward.
You go to the site, you pick a colour, you pick a style, maybe material.
And within two or three little pieces there, you already know what
you’re finding, and what you’re going to look for, and what you’re going to buy,
because it’s not really that difficult. But books are much deeper than that.
People have much richer experiences with books than they have with chairs
or with cups. And because they have richer experiences with books,
their expectations and their requirements about what they want to search for
and how they’re going to search for books is also richer. And this means that your
search mechanisms, the search mechanisms that you as a publisher engage with
keywords and with your metadata, are going to be impacted by how you think
about the book, but also especially how the consumer thinks about the book.
So let’s talk about how search works. Every search engine is different,
and the business goal of different search engines is different.
So when we talk about Google and Amazon, we have to compare the difference
in their approach both as businesses, and also as search engines,
because their approach about their business will affect how they build their
search engine. Google search engine is geared toward a different intent
than the book search on Amazon. It’s also more sophisticated
and uses more variables to return results. Google’s search
engine processes long-form content. Their whole goal is to go out
to the internet, read lots of stuff through robots, pull that content
back in as index search terms, and give you information that you
want to find. And that’s the key. Google cares about showing people relevant
information. That’s the goal of Google’s search engine, is that it will help you as
a searcher find relevant information. It’s possible and even easy to create
keywords to assist in your book’s website on Google’s search index.
As matter of fact, the way to impact search on Google is not
about keywords. It’s actually more about long-form content.
If you put your book excerpt on your website, that’s a better capable
place for information for Google search engine to get. The keywords are not nearly
as important to Google as they would be on Amazon search. So,
Google search is also likely to not care about keywords nearly as
much as it does about long-form text. But Amazon doesn’t process
long-form text in its search engine. It’s engaging your book description,
but not really that much. It’s looking at your title,
but that’s about it. There’s not a lot of information that
it’s pulling from except those basic metadata fields. And it’s not processing
the search information that you might think in your book description
the way Google would, right? So, Amazon really cares…you know,
Google cares about showing people relevant information.
Amazon on the other hand cares about selling people products.
The whole point of the website, and the whole point therefore of the
search. Google search is actually much smarter than Amazon search.
And Amazon wants you to give it the data that it uses, whereas Google goes out to
your website and will look at everything, and try to figure out, using lots and lots
of algorithms, what it is that it wants to deliver to you as relevant.
Amazon says, “Hey, publisher, give me metadata and I will use that.”
Title, description, and keywords. And keywords are really important
because that’s the kind of search information that Amazon,
or other book retailers when they get to the point of using keywords,
will actually benefit from the most. So, keywords don’t just go into a magical
black box though. The keywords that you create will either be useful to people
searching for relevant information, or for people looking to purchase
products, or possibly for both. And you need to create keywords that work
for both purposes whenever possible, but especially for the purchase intent,
right? Goal as publishers is to sell more books. To get that information
into the hands of consumers, not only so that you can continue as a
company, but so that the information in your books can make an impact
on the world the way you want it to. So, from this point forward,
I really want to focus on keywords for books only, and not
for the web. And this is important because it really narrows the conversation
about the part of the online world that we’re discussing in the world that
publishers are engaging. And specifically we’re going to talk about
Amazon. Now, why Amazon? Really, Amazon is the only retaile0
that currently accepts keywords. So when we’re talking about keywords in
a real practical sense in today’s current model of publishing and metadata
distribution, Amazon is really the one that matters. Other retailers are
considering supporting keywords, but right now Amazon is that 363
kilogram gorilla. For the Americans that happens to be 800 pounds. Sorry, bad joke. The best thing that you
can add to your website is more descriptive copy. So,
if you want to know more about Google search,
if you want to get more people finding your website about your book,
put more descriptive copy on there. Longer-form information helps
with Google search. That’s it. That’s all we’re going to talk about
Google. Let’s talk about Amazon, let’s talk about book search specifically.
So, since we’re talking about Amazon, what is a good keyword for Amazon?
How do we define a good keyword for your titles? Well, really it’s one
that makes the book show up more in search, right? That’s really it.
If you can make the book show up in more searches that more
people are doing, you’ve met your goal. You want people to find the book,
therefore they will click on that book in the list and go and hopefully purchase
it. Specifically, a good keyword is one that makes the book rank highly in search
results. You just don’t want to show up on page 20, you want to show up on
page 1. In order for a keyword to be useful in search, it has to be something
that the reader would search for in the first place. Now, you could add
a ton of keywords to your book, but if your readers are not searching for
those terms, then your keywords will be ineffective. Your marketing and
editorial departments are often not thinking about the book the same way as
consumers would think about the book. They don’t always know how to
create keywords that will be effective at reaching customers.
The words that they use in your editorial department or even your marketing
department are probably going to be the kinds of words that they would use to
describe the book in book descriptions, but not necessarily the words that are
being used in search specifically. And even if your experts are able to
create keywords that work well for the target audience, sometimes the target
audience is not really the target audience that you think it is.
In working with customers and with people on doing keywords,
and trying to figure out how keywords work the best, one of the things that we saw
was a publisher who had books about autism that were intended for teachers,
helping teachers understand how to handle children with autism in their classrooms,
how to give the best and most effective educational experience for those children.
In essence what happened though, the publisher found after applying
keywords that it was actually parents who were buying their books, not teachers.
It was mothers and fathers who were wanting to help their children have
a good educational experience, and wanting to know how to help
their children in that environment, that were buying the book in more
effective ways, and more times. And they found that out because they
actually started engaging who the audience was. So, your target audience may
not be the audience that you think it is. And helping that… If you understand your
audience, it will help you understand how to write keywords that will actually
reach the audience that wants to buy your content. So, a good keyword has to
help the book show up in more search engine results, but it also needs to be
something that the reader would search for. The best keywords,
in addition to that, help the book rank in long-tail queries.
So let’s talk about long-tail queries. What’s a long-tail query?
A long-tail query is the kind of search, the kind of specific search that goes
deeper than the top level. It’s more specific. So,
you’ve done this yourself, right? You go to Amazon, you look for a
book, and maybe you’re looking for a romance novel. But if you do a search
for romance, you’re going to get a very different type of result in Amazon
than you would if you searched for “historical romance in Florence.”
And if you are a metadata person, then you understand this concept
as well from BISAC categories, right? How many of you have applied general
BISAC categories to all of your books and just leave it at that?
You don’t want to do that. You want to be more
specific, drill down deeper. Because you know that if you can put your
book into a drilled-down deeper category, then someone who is browsing by category
will find your book more effectively in those drilled-down categories.
Long-tail queries are a marketer’s dream. They really are. They show
what’s called high commercial intent. And you want high commercial intent on the
part of that searcher. The person using long-tail queries is more likely to
purchase a product because they know what they’re looking for.
So long-tail queries become that much more important. Oh, I got behind in
my slides. So, in standard online searches like Google, high commercial intent
is usually denoted by a specific set of keywords that you use in your search.
So, if you go to Google and you search for something that says “buy” or
“get” or “discounts” or “deals,” Google knows that you’re probably
looking to buy something, you know. They know you’ve got a high commercial
intent. And I would ask you to go test this out, right? Go do a search for
something, see what the results are, and then put the word “buy” in that
search result and see what happens. Almost inevitably, you will see Google
bring up the Google Store results at the top of the page. Because they know you
want to buy something, and they’re going to help you go purchase that thing.
So, high commercial intent on Amazon in books searches can be
seen in the length of the query. That’s what it’s all about.
How long that query is makes a huge difference in how
commercially intent that person is in doing their search. So,
in addition to being a great way to determine intent, long-tail queries
are also easier to rank for on Amazon. Remember our example a little while
ago for “romance” and “historical romance in Florence”? If you do this search on
Amazon, you’ll get over a million results for romance, but there will be
90 results for romance in Florence, historical romance in Florence.
If your book is about historical romance in Florence, you want to be on that 90
list, and preferably at the top of it. And the way you do that is with keywords.
So, long-tail queries don’t happen as often as regular searches though.
So you have to be ready for them. You have to be ready with your
metadata to actually be on more of those long-tail queries. It’s much less common
for someone to search for historical romance in Florence
than for them to browse the romance categories, especially if they
don’t know necessarily what they want to buy yet. But, at least in my
experience, often the browsing leads to the deeper queries.
How many of you have ever done that? You go to a search on, you know,
go to Amazon, you start looking through a category of books, and you start to see a
pattern. “Yeah, I think I’m interested in historical romance.
Maybe I should search for that. Oh, I really like the Renaissance
period. I should search for that,” right?” Or “I really want to go to Italy.
I’m going to search for that,” right? As you start to browse,
you start to think about how much more information you can give to this
engine to get back better results. That’s how people search.
And that’s what you want to be prepared for. And that’s why
you need to create keywords. So, how do more keywords translate
into more visibility? It’s mostly because Amazon mixes and matches your keywords
in ways that you might never expect. Amazon combines the words from
your keywords list to match long-tail search queries. So, for example,
if you have the search “Japanese cooking” on your cooking book,
and also “farm-to-table” in your keywords list, then Amazon can
combine those two keywords to match a query for “Japanese farm.”
You see that connection? It’s two completely different keywords,
but Amazon’s search engine doesn’t just look at the individual keywords.
It looks at the words within the keywords and combines them in whatever way the
search engine feels like it’s necessary. So, if you do a search for
Japanese farm, this book will come up because this book has those keywords in
the metadata. So even a piece of a keyword phrase can be used by Amazon in the
search engine to match the queries. So this is why you want more
keywords. In order to show up on more long-tail results, on more long-tail
searches, you have to have more keywords in your system. You also want your
keywords to be as specific as possible. So if you have 60 keywords,
more specific keywords are better than more generic keywords because of how
they’re going to be combined in this way by Amazon’s search engine.
You’d rather be a big fish in a small pond, than a big fish in a very big
ocean. So, this is what adding lots of keywords to your books can do for you.
So, keywords really do impact visibility on Amazon. They make an
impact on how people find your book. And it’s not just about long-tail queries,
it’s really about almost any query that someone does on Amazon.
And the way this happens is through what we at Firebrand call “The Virtuous
Cycle.” The Virtuous Cycle is this process that happens on Amazon when
you start to apply keywords to your book. So, first and foremost,
you assign a key word, and that keyword allows the book to rank
on Amazon for whatever it is, right? If you’re doing a search for Japanese
cooking, then your book is going to now show up in searches for Japanese
cooking. After you apply the keyword, the page views on your book will increase
as more people see the book, right? If you’re showing up on the list,
you’re showing up higher in that list, somebody is going to click on it.
Amazon looks at every single click. Somebody clicks on your book,
that’s a page view, it counts toward your ranking. And it will
affect your search ranking the next time somebody else
searches for that book or for that topic. As page views increase,
hopefully your sales will increase, right? We’re hoping that people find your book
and actually buy the book, because that’s the book that they were
looking for. As your sales increase, Amazon starts to take that
into account in the recommendations. If you see books that are on the,
“people who bought this book also bought X, Y, Z,” that’s what’s happening.
Amazon is using this data to drive more content, more people toward your
content. And that’s what’s important is for Amazon’s search engines,
and for Amazon’s recommendations engines, to get on your side.
If you can get Amazon’s recommendation engine on your side,
your book will start to increase more. And so as the recommendations go up,
then the keywords, the other keywords on the book, also start to get higher
ranking, and this is a circular thing. And we’ve seen it happen time, and time,
and time again. You apply keywords to a title, all of a sudden page views go
up because the title is showing up in many more search queries.
As the page views go up, the sales go up, the recommendations start to kick in,
and the more of those keywords start to kick in as well. So,
not every keyword will work, but every keyword is an opportunity.
You’re not necessarily going to have an impact from every single
keyword you put in your keywords field, but every single keyword you put in there
will be an opportunity for more sales and for more visibility. And remember,
the more keywords you add, the more the derived keywords,
those combinations of keywords, can actually be done by Amazon,
and can rank as well. So you’re not just adding the keywords
that you’re adding, you’re adding all the derived keywords that come from
those as well into Amazon’s search system. So, why should you as a publisher
care about keywords right now? Why should you use them? Hopefully,
what you’ve seen so far makes sense. But it’s more than that.
It’s more than just, “We’ll do keyword sometime, we’ll do keywords
next year.” The thing is that not many publishers are doing keywords right now.
So, a study that was done a year and a half ago showed that only 15% of
publishers had keywords in their metadata. And of those, the majority were
actually not really good keywords, they were restatements of the title
of the book and the author’s name. They were very basic.
They didn’t have the long-tail query in mind. They weren’t engaging,
actually building really high-quality keywords. Now,
of course this number has gone up in the last year and half as people started
talking about keywords. You know, thus me standing here on the stage talking
about it to you today. But if you start applying keywords now, your books will
still show up higher in searches than your competitors’ books because not many of
your competitors are probably using them, especially if they’re not using them very
effectively. So, another reason that you should be using keywords is that most
keywords are completely ineffective. As I said, of that 15% of publishers that
were using them, the vast majority were not using effective keywords at all.
But if you look at the data, according to a study by NPD, or Nielsen
back when they were Nielsen in 2016, they found that titles that had keywords
in the metadata, didn’t even matter really how good the keywords were, honestly,
just had keywords in the keywords field, had a 34% higher sales rate than those
that didn’t. Thirty four percent higher sales just because they had keywords
applied. Now, granted, that doesn’t necessarily mean the keywords were the
only factor in that. Could be that if somebody put keywords in, they actually
wrote a better book description, too. They were thinking about the metadata. But
the impact of keywords is actually there and can be seen. So, how many
of you who are providing keywords… How many of you are providing keywords?
Anybody putting keywords in their system? Good. So how many of you who are
providing keywords are actually writing out…thinking about it a lot
and putting a lot of effort into your keywords? Couple of people,
right? It’s a big difference when you start to think about the time and energy
that goes into it. But that’s part of my goal today, is to help you understand
what that takes. So, doing a good job on keywords, though, is going to set you
apart. It’s going to set your books apart from the competition
and from the rest of the crowd. So I do recommend that you do that. Now,
how many keywords should you have? We talked about the long-tail keywords,
about the queries that you want to match for. So there’s a pretty
common bit of information going around, you’ve heard people talk about it before,
that Amazon only takes about 500 to 600 characters from your keywords list.
Now, there’s not a technical limit on the number of keywords that you can send,
but if Amazon only takes the first 500 or 600, then there’s no
reason to send more, right? But it’s not completely accurate. Amazon assesses the in-excess of 1,000
characters based on all of the studies that we’ve done. The misconception
that a lot of people have is that each individual keyword is processed by
Amazon and then applied to the book. But that’s not actually the case.
Each keyword is assessed but it may or may not be applied. So if you look at a list
of 600 characters, then you see that keyword in position
501 isn’t actually being applied, you might think that everything
after 501 is not being applied either. But in all of our research,
looking at thousands of books across Amazon, and looking at keywords
that were past the 1,000 character mark in that keyword list, there were
often very unique keywords that were matching for books because
they were in that list. So don’t take into consideration the idea of
just first 500 or 600 characters. My recommendation is, as much as possible,
do a 1,000 plus characters in your keywords list. Think through as
far down that chain as you can, because the more keywords you add the
better those long-tail queries are going to work. So that’s a little bit
of inside baseball potentially, but this is what it comes down to.
More keywords equals more chances for your book to show up in more search
queries. That’s really what it’s about. Don’t limit yourself to an arbitrary
limit. Put as many keywords in there as you possibly can. So,
if you’re not sending out Onix… How many of you don’t send
out Onix files? You actually use KDP or you use another Amazon advantage
or something, and you’re limited on the number of keywords that you can put in.
Onix is great because you can send out Onix with as many keywords as you
want. But when you’re in that situation where you have fewer keywords,
then you have to choose wisely. Thank you. Thank you for laughing. I’m sorry.
For those of you who are in the tech field and more technical, here is an
example of Onix keywords, all right? Put in a ton of them,
have as many in there as you want. And note the text is separated by semi
colons, but not by spaces, that keeps you from using up
characters that aren’t really needed. Another best practice that I like to tell
people, if I’m talking about best practices, is don’t duplicate
other words. If you’ve got words in your book description, don’t feel like you have
to use them in your keywords as well. The book description is already
being used by Amazon search. You don’t have to duplicate that.
So, now I’d like to dive into some practical information,
and hopefully help you understand how to make better keywords,
how to build a better keywords list. And there are going to be a lot of
methods available to publishers who want to create keywords, but I’m going
to really focus on three of them today. And some of you may already
be using some of these methods. Hopefully you are. The first one is manual
creation. So there are a variety of tools available for anyone who wants to create
keywords. This is not an exhaustive list. I actually highly recommend the BISG
White Paper or…what is it called? The BISG practical guide
or whatever to keywords. It has a lot of really good information
about this, and gives some examples just like the ones I’m saying today. So,
this is a list of potential programs you can use to help build keywords for your
book. One is called Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest uses Google suggestion
engine to generate many keyword ideas by taking the base term that you enter
plus the top 10 results from user queries when each letter of the alphabet
and each digit are added to that. So if you put it in romance,
it’s going to put in A, and see what the suggestions
on Google would be, and give you that. So, this is an interesting idea.
It’s an interesting concept. But be aware again, this is talking about
Google search, not necessarily about Amazon search.
It’s talking about Google search, and not necessarily about book search.
Google AdWords Keyword planner. How many of you use this?
It’s a pretty common tool, a lot of people like it.
So this is a free tool from Google that provides search volume for a list of
keywords. So you give it a keyword and it will give back to you
information about those keywords. Mostly, their goal is to help you find
keywords that will help in Google search and that you can use for your ad words
purchasing. So they’re going to tell you how much the bid would have to be for
that word for each search, you know, result it shows up on and
things like that. But you can see the average monthly searches for these words.
If I do, you know, a couple of searches here for cookbooks, Japanese
cooking, Japanese ingredients, those are three keywords I’m interested
in, I can see how those will show up. But also I can see how many
other keywords might show up as well, and maybe potentially use other words
that are related to the ones that I’m thinking of. The third one I’ll
point out is a keyword tool. Keyword tool, multiple search engines
from one page. So Google and YouTube, and Bing, and Amazon,
and eBay, the App Store. It provides keyword volume based on the
popularity of keywords and related terms on those sites. Also allows
for keyword search by country. So, if you’re in Canada and wanting
to focus on Canadian consumers, then that’s a way to focus that as well.
So, these are good tools, and they have some pros to them.
So the pros, I would say first of all it’s a DIY approach, right?
If you’re strapped for cash, or you’re just looking to learn more about
how this works and test some things out, or you’re wanting to learn how to
make keywords on your own, that’s great. It’s very good DIY. It does not require
large investment, just your time. The cons, though, are that it takes a lot
of time to do. If you’re building a list of 1,000 characters or more, so 60
to 70 to 80 keywords in every single book, this can take a little bit of
time to do, especially to research it well and to find keywords that will
actually work. It also requires in-depth knowledge of the book. So,
if you’re a metadata expert, and you don’t know the book as well as the
editor does, you might have a harder time actually building keywords on your own.
You might have to get the editorial team involved, get the marketing team
involved, to actually engage this in a more effective way by people who know the
book better than you do. It can also be less effective than automation.
Automation can help you engage this in a much more effective way.
The other problem I would say as a con is remember that some of these
tools are Google search specific. They’re not Amazon book search.
They’re thinking about how to show relevant information, or how to sell ads,
not necessarily how to help people buy books that they want to know. So,
the second option for building your own keywords is to do book text scanning.
It’s another tool method that people use. You’re extracting unique words and phrases
from the book. So, there are some pros and cons of this one as well. The pros,
it gives you more details about the language in the book itself,
and for non-fiction it might actually be a good idea. But a con would be
that it’s not the language of the audience necessarily.
The words that are used in the book may not be the kinds of words are used by the
audience. And that leads me to the third option, and that’s audience
analysis. If you really want to create high quality keywords,
you have to understand your audience. Who knows your text, your book
the best? Well, the audience does. Remember our example earlier about the
autism book? The audience in that case was actually the parents,
it wasn’t the teachers. But knowing that it was the parents,
knowing who the audience was, was integral to being able to
effectively market to those people. The key to creating the most effective
keywords is figuring out what audience language, or consumer signals,
your book has. How your audience thinks about your book is how they’re going to
search for it. That’s going to be the impact that you make. We want to connect
with people who have read the book and have liked it so that we can know what
they think about it, and we can know what words they would use in
describing it to their friends. Remember the list of potential
ways of finding out about a book? Your friends and recommendations
of your friends are important. You want to get that kind of
behind the scenes information about what someone says
about the book that they would say to their friends. So,
consumers care about what other consumers think. This is why Amazon has
“customers who bought this also bought this other thing.” They know that
we care about what other people think about a product. That’s why they have
review systems in place with stars. If you see a two-star review on something,
you’re not going to buy it probably. You’re much less likely to be interested
in that than the thing right next to it that has five or four stars. So,
if you want to connect with readers of your book, then you need to engage
where they are. You need to find out what it is that they’re doing,
what they’re talking about the book, what they’re saying about the book,
and use that language in your keywords and in your other marketing.
And you can get that from a very large number of places. There are a variety of
places you can go to find out what your consumers are saying about
your book. You can go to Amazon, you can go to Goodreads, NetGalley,
Bookish, LibraryThing, blogs, social media, forums online, look for hashtags
that are related to the book topics. There are lots of options for finding
consumer signals in some way. Now, you would have to do this by tracking
down consumers manually if you wanted to talk to them individually.
But the benefit of going online and doing it is you don’t have to talk to individual
people for each individual book. That could be completely unsustainable.
So, where do you get consumer signals from and how do you convert them into
valid useful keywords, first and foremost, from these sites, from these types of
locations? And then after you’ve gotten all that information,
you’ve gone out to these websites, you’ve looked at what the consumers
are saying about your book there, you’ve taken all of that information,
then go do it for all your comp titles as well, because your comp titles
are also important for your marketing. What people say about a book that’s on
your comp title list is going to be what they say about your book in some
ways as well. It may not be one for one, but in most cases it’s pretty close,
and you want to get that information as well. So, audience analysis
is better than scanning a book text, because you’re learning about what the
readers say and what they think the most meaningful topics in your book are.
This is why audience analysis is also better than the search tools
that I mentioned earlier as well. When you use those tools the source
of the keywords is what the curator, whoever that is, thinks that people are
searching for using suggestions from the different tools that you’re using.
And it’s just not as effective as actual evidence of what readers are saying
about your book. So, you have to know… So you’ve now gone, and you’ve done
all of the searching across these different locations,
you’ve collected all the information together into a bunch of information,
the language about how your customers think about your book.
The next step is to take all of that information and to process it, to
convert the raw language into keywords. So, obviously, you need to filter
the consumer signals from your comp titles and your titles, and
flesh out better what actual keywords from that are going to be helpful.
You also need to organize your keywords once you’ve created them.
See, it didn’t go behind. Organize your keywords
so that they can be sent out to Amazon. You have to have the keyword list first,
but then you have to filter that list based on what’s going to actually work on
Amazon’s site. Another thing that you want to do is track your page views and your
sales. So if you have access to the deeper statistics from Amazon’s Retail Analytics
and Vendor Central, it’s a great way of seeing how people are looking at your
book, how often they are viewing the pages about your book. And then,
once you’re done with figuring out what keywords you actually want to send to
Amazon, the next step is to put them out on Amazon, see what happens,
and then come back later and re-organize your keywords and send to
Amazon again. Again, a slide fail. Because keywords are an iterative
process. It’s not just the one and done. Keywords have to be applied to your
title, assessed, and then re-applied. The information about your book in your
keywords is going to change over time. As more people add more reviews
of your book or talk about your book in more venues, you’re going to
learn more about your audience. It may be that the first, you know,
20 people who buy your book, or the first 20 people who write reviews
of your book on Goodreads or something, are teachers. And they write these
reviews and then they start talking to the parents of those children
about the book that they read. That’s really important,
it’s really helpful. And then the parents go and buy the book,
and now your audience have changed. And if you’re not being iterative in your
keyword process, you are much less likely to have an impact on the sales later
when your audience is adjusted to a different audience. So,
I think that’s about it. Keywords are iterative.
Automate the heck out of it, guys. Don’t try to do it on your own.
Try to automate it. Make it the most automated process you can so that
you can repeat it on a regular basis. Because the more automated it is,
the less likely you are to just put it on the back burner. And this is
important especially for backlist titles. If you have backlist titles, you are less
likely to go back and touch them. They’re in the long-tail, you’re
done, you don’t think about them. Maybe once a year you go look at
the metadata and make sure it’s up to date. Maybe change the price
every once in a while, see what happens. Automating your keywords can
make a big impact on those sales.