Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t a term often heard outside business environments — and that is because few consumers have much use for manipulating search results. Yet, as the job market fills up and creativity becomes more important for landing a coveted position at a top employer, you might be wondering whether you can take advantage of SEO tactics to boost your personal brand.
The quick answer is: Yes, you absolutely can! However, the more realistic answer is: Yes, but as with every SEO endeavor, it will take work. Here are a few tips for taking even more control of your personal brand through SEO.
Identify Your Personal Keywords
Keywords are terms or phrases that search engines use to identify the topic of a piece of content and connect that content with search queries. In the past, effective SEO entailed stuffing content with as many keywords as possible to trick search engines into ranking particular content higher. These days, search engines are smarter, and keyword stuffing isn’t as effective — but it remains useful to know which keywords apply to your content and brand.
When it comes to identifying important keywords, businesses have it easy — all they have to do is modify industry terms and phrases to suit their unique needs. When you are developing and boosting a personal brand, it can be much more difficult to know which words are important to optimize. Though you can use free keyword research tools online, you might do better to utilize an SEO agency for this incredibly important task. Not only are SEO professionals more likely to know exactly what keyword trends are key, but they will also be able to point you toward more effective application of your keywords to obtain SEO results.
Cultivate a Social Presence
Using social media is perhaps the easiest way to build a personal brand in the 21st century. That’s because social media makes it easier than ever to produce content, share it and manage a following. You can even take advantage of social media management tools, like Hootsuite and Buffer, to organize your posts and schedule your uploads.
Different social platforms attract different kinds of brands, so it is important that you only spend time on those platforms that adhere to your stated brand goals and strategy. Otherwise, you could produce an inconsistent image that confuses users and makes your brand ineffective. When you use social media, you need to commit to engaging regularly with your following to maintain positive support. Social media success can take time and effort — or your brand could explode in a matter of minutes — but you should follow the rules in either case.
Build and Rebuild Your Personal Website
If you don’t have a website to promote your personal brand, it’s time to make one — and if you already have one, it might be time for a website audit. Social media is a powerful branding tool, but with a personal website, you have more control over the visual aspects of your brand and more opportunities to post various kinds of content. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to create and modify a personal website thanks to website building tools like Squarespace and Wix.
Once you have a website, you need to optimize it for search. Here again, you can use the services of a professional SEO team to ensure efficiency and efficacy. There are dozens of website features that affect search rankings, from page load speed to site hierarchy to metadata and more. What’s more, you will need to work to maintain your personal brand website because SEO requirements change every few years, making many previous practices moot. At the very least, your website should have a professional logo, a value proposition, professional photography of you, links to your social media and a clear call to action, so visitors know what to do next.
Maintain Your Personal Blog
If it has been said once, it’s been said a million times: Content is king. The more content you produce and publish, the more opportunities you have to attract visitors to your web assets and the more likely you are to accomplish your brand’s goals. However, not just any content will do; you need to create valuable, high-quality content unlike what web users can find elsewhere. The content should be relevant to your brand, showcasing your unique knowledge and skills. You can leverage your social media platform to generate interest in your blog posts, but you should ensure that you offer different kinds of content, so your followers have a reason to visit your site, your blog and your social media pages at different times.
Over 90 percent of internet traffic goes through search engines, so if your personal brand isn’t ranking in search results, it is likely that your brand isn’t doing all it can to accomplish your personal and professional goals. By learning more about SEO and taking steps to improve the assets you have around the web, you can rank in search results and enjoy greater success.