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.
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.
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.
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?
Welcome back Susan Silver of Cirquedumot.com, contributor today.
Keeping up with the Google penquin update
There is a lot of SEO advice out there in a world since the Google Penquin update. Much of it repetitive. If you have been blogging or writing online, then you have heard some of the solid advice that already exists. I think the real challenge is sorting through the fads that are out there. The link schemes and new tools that could get you in hot water down the line when an update like Google Penguin update or Panda updates occur.
Today I want to talk about strategies that focus on long term results, not short term gains.
It may seem that Penguin punishes us for link building activities. It is the opposite, the focus is on spam links that are too heavily optimized. The targeting feature being a lack of diversity in anchor text.
Lesson: Understand that links are dynamic. A natural link profile will have some silly looking links. For example, when people link to my blog they write Cirque du Mot. In french this is correct. I prefer Cirquedumot.com, but I cannot control what text people link to the website with. It does seem to change my search results.
One aspect of SEO that not many people understand is that the source of a link matters. Low quality websites are “bad neighborhoods”. Check your link profile for these guys. To clarify, just having a link to your website won’t hurt your ranking at all. It is clearly explained in this post from SEO Moz. The danger is for new websites and those who have participated in black hat exercises already. On average these bad links disappear on their own due to being devalued by Google. This may hurt your rankings if those websites suddenly disappear, but you will be better off for it.
Lesson: When you link to websites make sure they are trust worthy. Do not just choose the first link you find in a Google search. Choose one the same way you vote for a political candidate. When you link to another blog you are literally giving them your vote as a trusted site to the search engines.
Long Tail Keywords
Focus on long tail keywords and evergreen content. The tool ubersuggest is a great way to find them. It will give you plenty of ideas related to your websites keywords and the search phrases people actually use to find them. This tool really is a blogger’s friend.
Lesson: Writing on the latest hot topic is less important than writing relevant content. Maybe that post goes viral, but it won’t necessarily convert to more readers or purchases. Exposure is not what is key to your blogs livelihood, but content that draws in readers.
What advice have you heard about SEO? What was the best advice? What seemed like the worst? Has the Google Penguin update affected you?