by Matthew Russell - Posted 2 years ago
Welcome, my CryptoComic Compatriots! Getting your comic out there is vitally important to the marketing and sales of your comic, but how do you navigate Google and their search engines? Today we discuss that in great detail.
I once heard it said that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of the search results. According to Netcraft’s Web Server Survey in January of 2020, the number of registered websites on the World Wide Web hit the 1 billion mark in September if 2014.
With blog entries, Google has reported that there is a new blog post worldwide every 17 seconds. This means that existing sites are still growing.
The average internet user spends roughly 6.5 hours online per day. Granted, much of this is being taken up by menial tasks that the end-user is probably not even aware of; the smartwatch is using GPS for location. Phone or tablet syncing with an online server to update an app, Google Drive, or Dropbox syncing with your laptop to store any new pictures you took.
Hell, my washer and dryer go online to see when the best time to recharge batteries so that when I wash my clothes during peak power times, I am not being charged extra. Yet, all this time online counts towards that 6.5 daily hours.
So what does all this mean for you? Well, there was a movie a long time ago that stated “If you build it, they will come.” Many people think this is true about the internet. That may have been the case in the early ’90s but it sure isn’t that way today.
When you create a comic your job isn’t even halfway done. I have heard it say that coming up with the comic is the easy part. Personally I disagree, but that’s just because I exist in both worlds.
To put it as basic as possible, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. This is the lifeblood of the internet, how you get found online. This directly impacts sales.
For the sake of this publication, let’s assume that you do not have a publisher. You have created the comic all yourself and now want to do this for a living. So what now?
There are 2 very different tactics that you can do here. You need to build a website, but do you want to pay someone or build it yourself? What particular language do you want to build (or have it built) in? Is there a premade platform that is right for you?
All of these things have to be considered. Let’s say you take the cheapest route and build it yourself on the WordPress platform. Much of it can be done without any coding knowledge. In fact, when looking at various statistics online I have seen claims that 50-60% of sites online are built with WordPress.
Well, first after your website is built, you can submit it to Google for registration into their search engines. Google will scan it using “Crawlers”. Think of them as little spiders that crawl across your website and look for things like keywords, links, images, page hierarchy, and so much more.
Once they scan your site, it will be graded and indexed by Google. So, when someone puts in a request to Google (searches for something online), Google will add you to the search results.
The problem is that they will add new websites to the very end of those results. If you were to look up “Comic Books” how many results would you get? There are only about 9-15 results on a page before you have to hit the next button.
You just spent the better part of a year creating the first issue of your comic, then you spent several months creating the perfect website to house your baby. So, why then does it end up on the last page!?! How do we fix this?
Once you have your site built with various things like a gallery, a list of comics, an about page, and several other pages, you’re done, right? Um, not even close. Google doesn’t look at you as the ultimate authority until you get at least 200 - 400 pages. This means that you better have a blog or something. Get yourself more content.
Just because Google scanned your site once, doesn’t mean that it is a one and done situation. They will come back to scan it again. If they find something new, they will come back sooner and scan the new content. The more new content you add, the sooner they will come back.
By constantly adding new and improved content Google will start to love you. If you write 1 blog post a day, you will hit that 400-page mark sooner than you think. The trouble is coming up with things that pertain to your comic, and that you can write about. Good luck with that.
On a side note, Google claims that it isn’t all about pleasing them, but let’s get real. No one sets out to be the number one site on Bing.
Now before you decide what you need to do, you better have some keywords in mind. These are words that you want to rank for. This means that when someone searches for a word or phrase, you will show up in that person’s search results.
There is a surprising amount of competition in the word or phrases; “comic”, “comic book”, “webcomic”, or “webcomics”. So how do you get found?
Try another term like action comic or "adventure webcomic". These do not have near the competitive edge so if you start to place well within those searches, you will start to naturally get found in the others.
Well, in the content of the site, of course. There is a trick, most comic pages are a single jpg or a pdf. This means that the words within the comic itself are nothing more than a picture. Google doesn’t read pictures and it needs to read everything on your site so that it can decide for itself, what the keywords are.
You will want to add these keywords into everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING! If you have a profile picture of yourself, name it comic_creator_so_and_so.jpg or something like this. Google will see the keyword “Comic Creator” and that will go a long way.
Make sure that every title or subheading on your blog contains some keywords. When I first started in the Web Design field, I was a lowly intern for a web marketing company. My very first assignment was to go through every one of their client’s sites and make sure the heading on their articles all matched a list of approved keywords.
For you, this means blog post. The written content about your comic book. Talk about the challenges of coming up with a webcomic, give a tutorial on various products that you use to create your comic (I use Procreate on the iPad Pro).
This step is one of the hardest. Get active on social media but be careful. I recommend linking every social media post back to your comic site. This will count as an incoming link (which Google likes) as well as it gets in front of actual people, not just Google.
Get people talking about your stuff. Ask different groups to critique your comic. Join different groups that promote each other. There are a million good ones.
Be warned: There are some absolutely horrendous groups out there too. I first found that out when I was signing up for a bunch of different groups throughout my time on social media. Yes, that goes back to the days of MySpace. I joined some groups and had to leave feeling that I needed a shower to get all the hate off me. This is why I rarely use Twitter. Venom!!!
Twitter can be a great place if you look for the good in people. Just don’t get offended if someone starts describing all the degrading things they will do with your mother in detail and then starts to rip your comic to shreds. That’s just the culture of some groups. Avoid bad ones.
I say that with a little tongue-in-cheek, but it is actually pretty true. Once your comic is done (or even if it isn’t, we have a work-in-progress option when uploading), create an account, and submit it to the Marketplace. Its free to you. Get to know us. We promote the hell out of everyone we see.
Still do the social media thing, even if you are going to forgo your very own site. It will help you tremendously. Get your name out there. We will be watching out for you!