Digital Footprint (Part 4): Your personal branding and SEO

personal branding and seo

Your digital footprint today is your personal branding and SEO plays a vital role in ensuring good branding.

What you do online leaves a trail for your future potential employers to see. So take these few steps to make sure what they found on you is consistent and reflects well for you.

Strengthening your social media presence is major.

Same goes to crafting a website that gets your own, personal message out on the net.

However, if you want to do a professional online personal branding, you will need Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

There have been a lot of articles written about personal branding and how people should be aware of their digital footprint. Particularly, 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.

And when that happens, your digital footprint will come up. It can potentially make or break a career.

Therefore, make sure to boost your personal branding using SEO.

What is SEO & Personal SEO?

SEO is the process of content creation with specific target audience search intent and matching content direction.

With a few tweaks to ensure the search engine algorithm pick your content to be displayed when a target audience search about the matter.

The search intent is decoded using keywords.

That means, for the case of personal SEO, the keyword is your name.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

SERP is the term for the pages display resulting from searches.

Meaning, when you type a search keyword on the search bar, the result page is referred to as SERP.

The Importance of Personal Branding and 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 insert certain deliberate control to improve your search engine results page ranking, and what will be shown.

In other words, your website, or name search results are being displayed on the first page and at the first few links.

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, search intent, content delivery, and more.

How to build your personal branding and SEO?

If you want the results to matter and make a difference, you can start by influencing the search engines, perhaps Google, to display the desired 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. But unfortunately, Linkedin Feeds are not allowed to be indexed by Google.

This means activities on LinkedIn will not be picked up for the search engine result page (SERP) display.

That being said, employers may directly head to Linkedin to search up your names if you’re a potential candidate.

Facebook, on the other hand, has allowed Google to index content going back to at least 2007. This means your social activities on Facebook is searchable.

Make sure to provide relevant and helpful content on your feeds.

Sharing relevant and good posts and you will have the potential to be noticed and go viral in a good way.

So never the less, all your social engagement and postings should be well considered before posting.

For example, consider hiding any rowdy party photos from public view unless that’s a necessary image for your next job.

Blogging

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 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.

You can find employees, make sales, and the likes, 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.

Content

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.

Update

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.

Site Design

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.

Google engine also penalize web page errors and heavy sites. Hence, your site may be given low ranking score that hurts your SERP.

Keywords

Utilize proper keywords and place them subtly so as not to overstuff your site.

Consider using LSI keywords or phrases that are semantically related to the topic or focus keyword you’re writing about.

There is also a long-tail keyword type you can build on.

This means, expanding your focus keyword so it makes sense while not seemingly flushing the same keywords that may harm your score.

Overusing a keyword can harm the site score because they are deemed hurting to read for the readers.

Google engine is an AI system that has become smarter over time.

Therefore, it can detect content intent and how well your content is helping your readers.

Backlinking

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 comes from authoritative sites.

Personal branding & SEO take time

Services that promise fast results will get you blacklisted.

The best practice is to be updated with the latest info about SEO. And diligently build your online reputation through time.

Keeping this in mind, personal branding by SEO can be a strong tool that will keep your online presence polished over time.

Eventually, your content and activities will work for you instead. So it is worthwhile to spend the time and effort to build a positive persona branding online.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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