When building your digital footprint, there are a few steps you can take to make sure the information that’s being presented to the world is consistent, and in your best interests. Strengthening your social media presence is a big one; so it crafting a website that gets your own, personal message out there. One of the most important, however, is a method employed by blogs and websites the world over: search engine optimization, or SEO.
There have been a lot of articles written about personal branding and how people should be aware of their digital footprint, especially if they are going to venture out into the corporate world. Despite the numerous reminders, there is not a lot written on how you can actually manage your personal brand online and enhance personal SEO.
Let us start by doing a Google search for your own name. What came up? Try searching for your name with the industry that you want to get into. In this age of digital technology, employers have to go with the flow: by this, we mean that employers do Google search their potential employees. Your digital footprint will then come up, and this can make or break a career. Where you can, make sure to boost your personal SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of content creation and enhancing it such that it will be visible on the Internet when someone targets the keywords that you are using. In personal SEO, the keyword is, simply, you.
The Importance of Personal SEO
Every now and then, the algorithm of search engines change. This is done to avoid “black hat” SEO techniques, rendering them useless. Building your online presence will take some (worthwhile) time.
There are “white hat” SEO techniques that you can use as you build your reputation over time. Personal SEO is very important, because you can somehow control your search engine rank, and what will be shown.
In order to understand SEO and avoid negative SEO results, one must understand how personal SEO works. This means that you have to consider the design of your page, credibility, and content.
How to build personal SEO
If you want the results to matter and make a difference, you can start by influencing the way Google comes up with the search results, to your advantage. Here are some simple steps you can follow.
Engage in social media
There are millions of people on LinkedIn today. Make sure to provide relevant and helpful content and sharing of posts and you will have the potential to be noticed and go viral in a good way.
If you are targeting a particular industry where you want to work, blogging is a proven method in building a strong online reputation. Establish yourself as an authority in a subject area, and you will notice that people will start looking you up on the Internet.
Guest blogging is also another thing to try, especially if the blog where you will be guesting has a high traffic. This can further enhance your online reputation as the blog will be listed under your name during Google searches.
Business social networking
Network with those who are in the same industry as you are. LinkedIn is a very popular business networking site where you can find employees, make sales, and the like, provided that you have a complete and visible profile containing relevant information about yourself, achievements, and skills.
General SEO tips to keep in mind
There are practices that will make or break your personal brand. Here are some useful SEO tips that you can use every single time you post something.
You have probably heard that content is king. Despite the numerous times that the search engine algorithm has changed, it remains that the content in your website or blog must have quality and appropriate length. Do not duplicate content, as Google can spot this trick. Pay attention to the grammar of your content, because poorly written content can harm your site.
Make sure that the content on the blog or website is updated to show that your site is still active. Write about current events when applicable.
The layout of your page must be one that will send the right message to the visitors. Create a sitemap and structure your page to be user friendly. Websites and blogs that have heavy graphics tend to load slowly, and as a result, you will lose visitors.
Utilize proper keywords and place them subtly so as not to overstuff your site. Overusing a keyword can harm the site, because they are being used unnecessarily.
Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from another webpage that direct to your page. The use of too much backlinking has been penalized by Google’s update because incorrect information arises from inappropriate inbound links. If you are serious in building your online presence properly, make use of the organic backlinks to your website that come from authoritative sites.
Personal SEO will take time. Services that promise fast results will get you blacklisted. The best practice is to be updated with the latest and diligently build your online reputation through time. Keeping this in mind, personal SEO can be a strong tool that will keep your online presence polished.