Tracking Book, eBook & Audio Book Rankings in SEO

Most people don’t think much about using digital marketing for book promotion, but actually can be quite an effective way to drive purchases and downloads for your book, eBook, audiobook, or even whitepaper. Part of the difficulty with doing this is that Google often includes a Knowledge Graph at the top of the result, pushing other websites down lower, frequently out of view of most searchers.

There are a number of difficulties related to tracking search results these days – mostly that numbers are no longer representative of the most compelling information in the search result, which is often provided by Google in the form of Knowledge Graph and other special formats of information. You can see in the image below that Knowledge Graph results include a lot of information, including images of the cover, ratings and reviews, links to buy or download the book, and even information from libraries about if and when the book will be available to borrow.
Grit Book - SEO for Books

None of the SEO tools that we know about actually help SEOs and digital marketers track what is included in the Knowledge Graph, and what real search results look like below that. To fix this, we have created the MobileMoxie SERPerator, to allow you to test mobile search results in the same way you would on a regular phone, but our phones can be anywhere in the world, work with all language settings, and can auto-capture images of the search results over time, so that you can compare the results, to help answer questions that normal numeric tracking in analytics might not answer.  This tutorial will walk you through the steps that you need to take to set up a test that will track these kinds of results over time:

1. Start by logging into your MobileMoxie account, and click on the top tab on the left that says SERPerator, and then click below to see the Live Testing view. If you don’t have a MobileMoxie account yet, you can register for a 7 day free trial here.

Mobile SERP Checker - MobileMoxie SERPerator

2. Next, add the address that you want to test from. This can be a full address, down to a specific street address, or it can just be a city or postcode/zip code. If you leave the postcode and street address blank, we will just measure from the geographic center of the city. If you don’t have a specific address or postcode that you want to check, you can just choose the city name, and we will use the geographic center of the city for the test. Don’t forget, the SERPerator works for testing in most countries in the world, so if you are doing business in different countries, it might be a good idea to set up multiple tests for each country or major location.

Test Search Results in a Different Country

3. Add in the query that you want to test for your book-related query. Remember,  search results, for book-related content can change based on the language setting of the searcher, so just select the language that corresponds to the most-likely phone language of your users, and you are done.

The only search engine currently available in the tools is Google, so leave that as it is.

Testing Mobile SERP Features - Step 2

4. Now just choose the phone or phones that you want to test on, and hit ‘Run Test’.  We recommend testing with two phones – one iOS device and one Android. If possible, it is also a good idea to choose one large phone and one small phone; this will give you the strongest sense if there are changes in the way results are displayed between the different OS, and the different size phones. The phone OS usually won’t make a huge difference in these kinds of searches, but the size of the phone could. Google does not seem to change Book Knowledge Graph results much based on phone size or OS.

Testing Mobile SERP Features - Step 3
5. Check out the results! You can see in the images below, that some queries are more normal, with website rankings, like the search on the left for ‘Grit Audio-book’ whereas the one on the right, a query for ‘buy Grit book’ is much more dominated by Google Knowledge Graph content, with links to buy digital versions of the book from a number of retailers. Results like this one, especially if they are new to the rankings, could explain a drop-off in offline purchases of the book. Similarly, results like the one on the left might focus on where people were purchasing the audiobook – if Audible dominates the ranking, it will likely dominate the online sales too.

SEO for Books and Publishers

6. After that, you can click the ‘save’ icon below each of the phones – Each test, aka each phone, must be saved separately, so it is fine if you only want to save one of the results, to test on a regular basis. When you click the ‘save’ icon, a modal will pop up with options. You have the option to re-run this test daily, weekly, or monthly, and you can specify things like the day and time that you want it to run.  You also have the option to run the test, not just in the address or location that you specified, but in a radius around the area, to see if the result changes. If you choose non-local, you will only test in the one location, but if you choose ‘local’ the tool will test with 12 different addresses in a 20-mile radius of your main address.

When you are done here, click ‘Next’.

MobileMoxie SERPerator - Re-run test functionality
7. Next, you can replicate this test for another city, state, or country location. If you have other addresses saved to your account, you will be given the option to run the same test in multiple locations outside of the 20-mile radius. This is great if you want to compare how this test looks in different cities, states, or countries that you serve, or if you want to to the same test at multiple store locations. (If you want to run this test in multiple locations that are not already set up in the tool,  go to the ‘Dashboard’ CSV uploader, then come back to this step if you need to.) Click ‘Submit’ and then you are done. The test will be added to your dashboard, and you can see the progression of your tests there.Test mobile SEO results in multiple locations with the MobileMoxie SERPerator

Ranking well and driving traffic for book-oriented queries can be quite difficult – especially when Book Knowledge Graph results are present. Authors and their promoters can use traditional SEO rankings to drive traffic and awareness, but there may also be opportunities to influence the content in the Knowledge Graph. The first step to optimizing your presence in the Knowledge Graph or monitoring your visibility in search results is setting up a system to help you evaluate and compare real search results over time using the MobileMoxie SERPerator. If you are no a MobileMoxie subscriber yet, you can try a free version of our Google SERP test tool, the SERPerator. We hope that this tutorial has been helpful in getting you to the next level of Search Engine Optimization!