How authors can choose the most effective keywords for their book

Last updated: 23 June 2023

Choosing the most effective keywords to describe your book is crucial for optimising its discoverability and reaching your target audience. By selecting relevant and strategic keywords, you can improve your book’s visibility in search engine results and increase the chances of attracting potential readers. Here’s a guide on how authors can choose effective keywords and the tools they can use to aid their keyword research:

Understand your book’s genre and theme

Start by identifying the genre and theme of your book. This will help you narrow down the keywords that are most relevant to your target audience. For example, if your book is a fantasy novel, potential keywords could include “fantasy fiction,” “epic fantasy,” or “magic adventure.”

Research popular keywords

Use keyword research tools to explore popular keywords related to your book’s genre. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can provide insights into search volume, competition, and related keywords. Look for keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t overly competitive.

Analyse competitor keywords

Study keywords used by successful authors in your genre. Visit their websites, read their book descriptions, and analyse their metadata. This can give you an idea of the keywords that resonate with your target audience and help you differentiate your book.

Incorporate long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that target niche audiences. While they may have lower search volumes, they often have higher conversion rates. For example, instead of targeting the broad keyword “romantic fiction,” consider using long-tail keywords like “contemporary romance set in New York” or “historical romance in Victorian era.”

Leverage reader language

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers. Consider the words and phrases they would use when searching for a book like yours. Reflecting their language in your keywords can increase the chances of your book appearing in relevant search results.

Utilise Amazon and Goodreads

Amazon and Goodreads are popular platforms for book discovery. Explore the search bars on these platforms and pay attention to the suggested search terms that appear as you type. These can give you valuable insights into common search queries.

Analyse book reviews

Look for patterns in book reviews for similar books in your genre. Note the terms and phrases that readers use when describing what they liked or disliked about the books. This can provide additional keyword ideas and help you understand readers’ expectations.

Use keyword analysis tools

Several tools specifically cater to book keyword research. Examples include KDP Rocket, Publisher Rocket, and Kindlepreneur’s AMS Keyword Tool. These tools provide data on keyword popularity, competitiveness, and potential profitability, helping you make informed decisions.

Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between relevance, popularity, and competition. Select keywords that accurately represent your book and align with readers’ search habits. Regularly monitor and update your keyword strategy to adapt to changing trends and optimise your book’s visibility in search results.