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How to Use Keywords to Structure and Promote Your Nonfiction Book

You collected data on all the possible search queries out there related to your book – what people want. You evaluated the strength of your competition – if any. You just conducted your online marketing research using keywords!

If you still feel excited and positive about your book’s prospects, then take your hard work to the next step.

Your Book’s Title

Go back and review all those great questions you discovered in your keyword analysis. Find the one that represents the overall purpose of your book, the one that resonates strongest with your readers. Find a phrase with a high monthly search volume, low competition, and a phrase that contains other possible keyword variations within it.

Use that phrase as your book title!

You can easily turn a question into a title. Even the title of this article, “How to Use Keywords to Structure and Promote Your Nonfiction Book” could be the search query, “how to use keywords to promote your book?”

Did you find two or more excellent phrases? Maybe you can use one as your subtitle?

Make sure the keywords you use for your book title attract your best target audience and, in a broader respect, represent all the sub-topics your book will cover. And yes, do still spice up your title as well!

Your Book’s Chapter Titles and Parts

Start to map out your best keyword phrases. With the title at the top of the tree, create branches underneath of all questions that relate to your title – all the parts that address the overall question of the book. These new branches can be turned into your book’s chapter titles.

Each chapter title will represent a specific question people search for online (with solutions!). When your potential buyers preview your book, they will be reassured you address and solve their unique needs and problems.

Can you branch out even further? Each branch of keywords related to your chapter titles can be used to highlight parts of the chapter.

An Outline and a Pre-Marketing Tactic

Take a look at what you just did! Amazed?

Your keyword research can serve as a rough outline for your entire book! An outline that ensures each piece will create actual value for your potential buyer. Book Coach Judy Cullins calls this an author’s pre-marketing – and aptly so. With this strategy, the actual layout and language choices you make based on your keyword research builds a huge portion of your book marketing right into the copy.

If you made it this far, you already:

  1. Gave your book a title that gives it the best chance of being found by your target audience online.
  2. Gave your book chapter titles and headings that will convince readers your book will solve their actual problems and persuade them to buy.
  3. Gave yourself a researched book outline that concentrates on the essential topics your readers crave.

Do you feel more motivated and amped than if you just jumped in blind? Of course you do! This focus will keep you going as you flesh out all the content.

But wait! More to look forward to…

Book Marketing

With keyword research, you don’t need to be a marketer to promote your book!

Authors love to write, but most hate to market. If your keyword research rejuvenated your passion toward your book project, embrace your new found power! Realize that your author marketing muscles grew simply by learning more about the topics you love and the way people engage them. Your marketing intelligence will continue to develop just by falling back on this research.

In other words, you will become a better marketer for your book by becoming a more conscious author.

Let me clarify. You do need to market your book, but to do so, you will merely share information you already wrote – information you love to share!

The following promotion avenues presume you will be self-publishing or you at least own the rights to your book’s content. Most of these routes require little else than your time and persistence.


You can take one of your short chapters, or chapter parts, and repost it on your blog, as a guest blog post, or as an article. Use the title or main heading as the post title. Guess what? You already performed all the essential search engine optimization (SEO) when you used your keyword research to write your book!

In your post, include a call to action like, “Did you enjoy this excerpt from YOUR BOOK TITLE? Click here to get the entire book now!”

Of course, you can use all that wonderful keyword research to write new related posts too.

Don’t forget to share these publications with your email lists! You savvy content marketer you.

Social Media

I’m sure you included all kinds of tip infused headlines, topic sentences, and one-liners throughout your book. Use these bits as tweets and updates across Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and your other social media accounts. Every-so-often, throw in a link to your book’s sales page.

Use services like Canva to place some of your insightful book text on top of image posts. Graphics with imposed text receive 5-10 times the amount of engagement!

Need high quality, royalty free images? Check out:

Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

You used Google Ads, a PPC service, to research your book’s keywords. You performed the same work you would if you wanted to research your audience and language for online ads. If your budget allows, go ahead and use your best keywords to create targeted ad campaigns. Link these campaigns to your book’s sales page, your author website, or whatever online platform you wish to engage potential readers on and grow your audience.

Now How Do You Feel About Starting Your Book?

Energized? Revitalized? Powerful?

Traditional publishers utilize a multitude of resources to conduct market research and promote. Self-published authors may feel handicapped without the same kind of resources – but not you!

Take advantage of the value keyword research offers. Whether you spend the time to master this skill on your own, or bring someone on board to help along the way, you won’t regret it.

Warren Samu
Last edited on
May 31st, 2020