Finding books when you know the title is easy. On the other hand, finding out about books when you don’t know the title can be difficult. As an author, your book’s title has to be memorable, descriptive, and sometimes catchy. These same characteristics also often apply to keywords and phrases that are used in search engines, like Google. So, doesn’t it make sense to use the same concepts used in search engines to title your book?
Keywords and phrases are used in web copy to steer people to websites and to increase a website’s placement in search engine rankings. First, it’s necessary to determine the most commonly used keywords and phrases related to your particular product or service, then develop copy around those words. The more closely your keywords are aligned to the most popular ones, the more likely it is that your site will come up in an Internet search. The same concept can be used by authors to name their books. By exploring different titles, you can determine how many times that title, or something very similar, has been searched. The title with the highest search ranking will receive the most exposure on the Internet, because when people use those keywords or phrases in search engines, the results will also produce your book.
Google Adwords provides the avenue for this type of search, and it’s very simple to do. Simply go to Google Adwords (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS) and input potential titles in the “Word or Phrase” box and then ask for results. The title with the highest number of searches is most likely to generate more visibility and sales.
What if your titles don’t produce the search results that you hoped? In that case, you might want to rewrite your book title so it correlates to commonly used keywords in your niche. Do some experimenting and find the keywords or phrases that people are using to find information in your industry, and then use those keywords or phrases in your book title. The results are the same as inputting in a title, but in this case, you’re working backwards, finding a keyword and developing a title around it—rather than developing a title and then determining how popular it is.
This strategy to boost the power of a book title has been used by many bestselling authors, including Tim Ferris, author of The Four-Hour Work Week. Initially, Ferris was leaning toward naming his book “Drug Dealing for Fun and Profit.” However, it was market research to see which title performed the best in search engine results that changed the title to one that has sold millions of books.
Below you’ll find a screenshot of the Google Adwords page, which shows just how simple it is to conduct this type of research. By tweaking potential titles and/or narrowing your search to include different categories, you’ll find a combination that produces the best results. When your book’s title or subtitle uses these words or phrases, it will be included in searches for a target audience that is already interested in finding information related to it. The best way to sell books is to receive massive exposure—with Google Adwords and a bestselling book title, you’ll receive it.