The Ultimate Personal SEO Checklist for 2013

Your Personal SEO

This is the reality of SEO in 2013. Google believes that you are an accumulation of your activities online. When you have a Google profile, you are telling the search engine what you “own” and marking your online territory. It’s your personal SEO. If you have a generic name like Susan Silver this becomes important to distinguish yourself from others. You need to be auditing your personal search results in Google and Bing. I am going to make this task easier by giving you my personal SEO  branding checklist.

7 Steps for a Personal SEO Audit

1. Google your website and name.

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Track the results in a spreadsheet. In the picture you can see that I have done a sample search for “Cirquedumot”. I would note the position of each result and what pages appear. This should be part of your weekly SEO review.

2. Log your social media profiles and social networks

Perform a social media audit to find all those apps you signed up for and never used. Delete them if you can, clean up your social media mess!

3. Add Your author archives and social networks to your Google profile

Your Google Plus profile is chock full of personal SEO goodness. Don’t neglect the links that appear at the bottom of your profile; “Other Profiles”, “Contributor to”, and “Links”. In particular the contributor section should link to the author archive from blogs where you have guest posted. This will lead to rich snippets for your guest posts in search, if you have added the “rel=author” tag to the Google+ link in your bio.

On WordPress they take the form http://blog.com/author/yourname. It can also be found by clicking on the “written by name” on a published post, which usually goes to the archive page. This does vary by blog.

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4. Create a Hub for your personal SEO

Your hub is the foundation of your SEO work. This really should be your main blog as building on anything you don’t own is liable to disappear or change their user agreement in an unfavorable way. Make sure that your blog is shareable, usable on a multitude of devices, and links to every important aspect of your online daily life. Keep as much content as you can on your blog. Instead of sharing a pin from Pinterest, embed it in a blog post and share that instead. Always prioritize driving traffic to your hub. If people follow you in other places consider it something extra nice.

5. Create a branding kit

I have a little file folder on my computer. Its contents; avatars, long bio, medium bio, short bio, one sheet of accomplishments, various elevator pitches, and a spreadsheet that lists my best work samples with their corresponding bit.ly links for tracking. Everything you need should always be available only a copy &  paste or upload away.

6. Rewrite your social media profiles for consistency

You know a lot about yourself now and you have a branding kit at your disposal. You want to make sure that all your social media profiles point to your hub and contain your top keywords. This will change and evolve over time, do a review every 3 months to update.

7. Tweet only the best things when you self-promote

Automation is great, but using a plugin like Tweet Old Posts is not efficient in my opinion. For one thing, you can only share what has appeared on your blog. What about all those great guest posts that you did? Or that one pin that drove all that traffic back to your website? The spreadsheet in your branding kit should include all the urls that matter for your personal brand.

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I use IFTTT to add these links to my buffer to be tweeted. You see, this means that they are always optimized for timing (another thing Tweet Old Posts cannot do). I never have to touch the tweets again if those times change. I just update my buffer schedule and they still go out at the right time!

Personal SEO, like all work in search, is about maintenance. These steps should get you ready to tackle most of the hurdles you will face optimizing your personal brand. I always say… prepare what you need before you need it.

Cheers to a stress free and an SEO friendly 2013! Have you checked your own personal SEO out yet? 

Susan Silver

Susan builds all the things; communities, websites and apps. She is the community manager for Gygax Magazine. Sometimes she talks to herself on the internet via her blog Cirquedumot.

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