Marketing, there’s talk going on but lately it sounds repetitive. We’ve all been blasted with the obvious: Write a good book, use meta tags wisely, create a platform, utilize social media in a non-spamy way and connect with network movers. We’ve also heard that Google made changes to their algorithm again!
So what’s a writer to do but try to be creative, write original content, and be helpful. It’s rather vague and in my opinion and it’s subjective, but they rule (Google and Amazon browsers). So we go along for the ride, we use the tags #IndieBooksBeSeen #IndieAuthors and the like (at least I hope you do). BUT there’s more you can do . . .
There are steps we can take to keep our content in good performance mode and readily available for the search engines to read our stuff.
Start with a check-up.
SEO – search engine optimization is alive, it grows, it changes, it drives our content. So if you want your stuff to be read, use any tools you can to get your sites tuned up.
For your website check up use the Google PageSpeed Insights:
Here are some good pointers which I intend to implement on my sites:
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly. It’s frustrating when you browse on your phone and can’t read an entire banner of a site and paragraphs don’t flow. I’m happy that my site is mobile friendly. If you use WordPress it’s easy to implement, from your dashboard go to Customize template and choose the option for mobile friendly. There is no excuse why anyone’s site isn’t mobile friendly by now.
- Size your tap target buttons appropriately and ensure there’s enough room around the buttons to remove possible finger error. Certain tap targets (e.g. buttons, links, or form fields) may be too small or too close together for a user to easily tap on a touchscreen (and small mobile devices).
- Reduce your information in order to speed up the loading time of your site by using Minification, which refers to the process of removing unnecessary or redundant data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser – e.g. code comments and lean consistent formatting, removing unused code, using shorter variable and function names, and so on. You can minify HTML, CSS and Java Script resources. For help in identifying the process, use the Google Page Seed Tools found here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/module/
- Reduce and condense the size of the images on the page. This can optimize to reduce the file size without significantly impacting their visual quality. I need to review my photos used in past posts that still show up in cache and are large and slow things down. It will be time-consuming but I think worth the effort. There are many ways you can reduce the photos:
- #1 open in the Microsoft Office picture and edit, using the resize and compress pictures features.
- #2 You could also use GIMP a freeware and very useful software similar to Photoshop without the heavy price tag. There is a learning curve but also a great tutorial available for those who enjoy a challenge.
- Here’s a good source for information on image optimization Check List and help
I hope this information helps you strengthen your sites. When an Indie Author’s work is seen we all win.
Keep reading – Keep writing!
One Last TIP: One of the most common problems with websites is slow response time and reducing the cache.
There is no one best cache policy. Depending on your traffic patterns, type of data served, and application-specific requirements for data freshness, you will have to define and configure the appropriate per-resource settings, as well as the overall “caching hierarchy”.
Some tips and techniques to keep in mind as you work on caching strategy:
- Use consistent URLs: if you serve the same content on different URLs, then that content will be fetched and stored multiple times. Tip: note that URLs are case sensitive!
- Ensure the server provides a validation token (ETag): validation tokens eliminate the need to transfer the same bytes when a resource has not changed on the server.
- Identify which resources can be cached by intermediaries: those with responses that are identical for all users are great candidates to be cached by a CDN and other intermediaries.
- Determine the optimal cache lifetime for each resource: different resources may have different freshness requirements. Audit and determine the appropriate max-age for each one.
- Determine the best cache hierarchy for your site: the combination of resource URLs with content fingerprints, and short or no-cache lifetimes for HTML documents allows you to control how quickly updates are picked up by the client.