Whether you’re an author, speaker, or publisher, your goal is to sell more books and spread your message. But, how do you know if your message is really spreading? How do you track the success of your marketing and platform-growth efforts?
There are several obvious factors you could use, such as increased book sales, speaking engagements, or newsletter subscribers. In this article, however, I want to share two little-known services that you can use for free to help gauge your book-marketing effectiveness.
Your website is your most important book-marketing tool in today’s economy. But, many authors fail to utilize the power of the Internet. Instead, they settle for a barebones website, rarely update the content, forget about it, and wonder why book sales are sluggish.
In contrast, you can use your website to your advantage. And, there’s a great tool that can help: Google Analytics. This is a free service available at: www.Google.com/Analytics Once you create your account, Google generates a specific piece of computer code that you embed on each of your webpages. It’s a simple task, but if you’re unfamiliar with HTML code, then ask your webmaster or designer for help.
After your code is setup, Google automatically begins to track all of your website statistics and provide insightful reports. Here’s why it’s so cool: According to Google, their service shows you how people found your site, how they explored it, and how you can enhance their visitor experience. They provide reports that identify important information, such as:
- How many unique visitors come to your website
- Where each visitor comes from
- How long people stay at your website
- Why they leave and which pages are popular
- What keywords people use to find your website
For instance, knowing what keywords drive readers to your website is invaluable. You can use that data to adjust your site in ways to help boost web traffic and grow your author platform. In addition, Google Analytics can help you improve your website’s return on investment, increase conversions, and make more money selling products. Sure, the making-more-money part isn’t as easy as it sounds, but Google can, at least, point you in the right direction.
Until recently, software for website analytics was really expensive. But, thanks to Google, it’s free. So, if you’re struggling to make your website work for you, consider this service.
If you’re an author who loves to peek at your book’s Amazon ranking, then you’re going to love this next tool. There’s a free service still in beta testing called TitleZ, which allows you to analyze the sales trends of books based on data compiled from Amazon’s sales rankings. The current database contains sales history information for over 500,000 titles. And, if your book isn’t currently being tracked, you can easily add it to their database.
TitleZ lets you analyze sales for an individual title, a specific author or publisher, or even an entire segment. The sales history of titles is broken down into seven-day, 30-day, 90-day, and lifetime averages. Plus, you can compare the sales trends of several books against each other.
I like this service, because you can also track your book’s sales history over time, even down to a particular date. This ability allows you to see if a specific media interview or marketing initiative created a spike in book sales.
Since Amazon’s sale rankings are not totally accurate, do not get obsessed with their numbers. Amazon is just one small slice of your book’s total sales. But, it can be one way to track your book’s overall success. For instance, you could check your “lifetime average” ranking and compare that with this chart on my blog for a rough estimate of Amazon sales.
Amazon isn’t the most reliable book sales tracking tool. But, since it’s almost impossible to get current sales information from bookstores and publishers, TitleZ.com can be a useful resource. Take advantage of this free service before they start charging for it.