Why Your Comic is Failing Online
You’re Not Being Indexed By Google
Too many times have I been asked to audit someone’s web site to ask why they cannot come up on search engines. Usually the answer is something simple like “You just don’t have optimized content”. When it is something simple like that, I can usually point out 5 or 6 basic things you can start doing to your content for you to rank. For instance, I started this site a week ago and I’m already ranking on the front page of Google for certain keywords. You need to know what to look for and how to fix errors. This is the kind of thing that can be learned and honed over the course of a dedicated SEO campaign. However, every now and again I’m greeted with something totally bizarre.
Recently I audited a site of an exasperated owner who could not get his comic to show up on search engines. He pleaded with me to check out his WordPress site. WordPress sites perform extraordinarily well for SEO and you should get WordPress for your comic. I performed a site audit before I got the login credentials and realized he had no robots.txt file. I knew that I needed to fix that first thing when I got a login to the site. When I did get into the site, I found this:
Now the consequences should not surprise anyone. The first thing you need to know about SEO is that you need to tell search engines to look for your comic. If you are running a WordPress site — follow this in your dashboard: Settings >> Reading . Tell the search engines to index your comic site! It’s important! That’s the number 1 reason why your comic is failing online, check out the others for a more in depth look.
You’re Not Optimizing Your Images
Comics are a visual medium, you absolutely need images on your comic site webpages. However, what does that really mean? Can you just throw some ALT-Text into an image and call it a day? No — that’s why your comic is failing online. You need to create good, optimized content that goes along with your comic and complements it.
Think of it this way: if you have a 40 dollar steak, you don’t want to eat it with cheap french fries. You want premium potatoes! For your comic website, the images are the steak and the content is the potatoes and we all know how they go together. Your webpage for your comic should have original content that cannot be found anywhere else on your site or on the web. That means you need to type, type, type. Don’t just throw in needless text though, you need to make sure you are using keywords that boost and optimize your content and comic. That means you need a strategy. Part of that strategy is making your webpage easy to find when a reader enters your site. They should not have to struggle to find your content and struggling will cause them to leave.
You Haven’t Done Any Backlinking
How is a comic created? Have you thought about applying the same strategy you used to create the comic toward running your comic’s website? If you haven’t, you desperately need to read this next part. Comics are a collaborative effort and that means you need multiple people on the project, in most cases, to make it work. If you’re running your website and comic property alone, chances are you’ll be the only one looking at it. Hate to say it, you’ll be forever alone and that is why your comic is failing online.
You need to create a network of creators that you like to talk to and appreciate. These relationships will make it easier for you when you ask to write a guest blog about comics on their website. Writing guest blogs are so valuable to SEO that it’s almost unfair. It does three things in one foul swoop: provides content, raises visibility, and creates credible backlinks to your site. Backlinking is not as important as it once was but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it either. You’ll need all the help you can get. The first part of that is building a guest blogging network.
The Comic Isn’t Being Posted In The Right Places
Okay so you posted the comic to Comixology and Amazon — that’s great, I’m proud of you! What else have you done? Did you prepare teaser content for your site? You should. In fact, you should add all of that absolute edition material to your site that you can’t use in the comic. Add snippets of your script, sketches from the artists or notes you made while preparing the property. All of these bits and pieces of content and morph together into one cohesive webpage that makes your comic tantalizing to the reader. It will make them want to read more! Give them more!
What about social media? Are you putting the same material on your site as your social media? Where’s the incentive for the reader to go on? Why would they remain loyal to your property? All of these questions should be given proper thought and you’ll need to devise a successful social media strategy. You don’t need a billion followers to gain popularity, you just need a few that care. That’s what really makes a difference. Your comic is failing online because you are not focused on the correct things you need to succeed.
You Have No Social Media Presence
Again, I’m not talking about your inability to build thousands of followers. The followers you have are the followers you have, but you need a strategy that will help you keep that number moving in a positive direction. Part of that strategy is knowing you cannot be everywhere all at once. If you have a group that can all take part in the social media experience, then you have a leg up on most other creators. Otherwise, you need to find a way to manage your profiles that reaps rewards. Your comic is failing online because you don’t have a plan. That means you’ll need to go through the dry work of building a social media itinerary and learn how to use it to your advantage.