What is personal SEO?
It's what a potential client would see when they type your name into the Google search box.
It’s best to have at least 5 out of 10 results lead to you, but that will take time and we will cover more of that in future blogs. For now let’s focus on getting you the first link.
To do that you need to know what is going to be your core site. That’s the one you realistically can get to the top of Google because it has SEO strength and the one that will likely convert a referral to the next step in the process.
Have one core site
Have a think about the main site you want your referrals to find? If you are in the job market or running your own business I would suggest you focus on LinkedIn. It’s the easiest way to get you to Number 1, with the least effort and lowest cost.
Appearing as the first link is getting really important now that Siri, Google assistant and others will only read the first name in a search result. So as these artificial intelligent searches become more popular, particularly on mobile, the more vital it is to be at the top.
After working in the industry for over a decade, we know that when someone searches on a person's name, 80% of the time, LinkedIn will be the first search result on Google. The reason is that LinkedIn has a huge amount of evergreen content dedicated to individuals. By evergreen, I mean it doesn’t disappear like a Twitter or Facebook newsfeed post, it stays on your profile for Google to crawl and prospects to see.
Use LinkedIn better
The only sites that trumps LinkedIn are Wikipedia, which is for celebrities or people ‘of note’, and a personal website, one that is dedicated to your name. e.g. www.yourname.com.au
Other exceptions can be found if you have a weak LinkedIn profile. Then Facebook, news articles or a website you are featured on may show up first. The issues with these options is they are not the best way to move a prospect forward to contacting you for a job or new business. They can be great supporting information, but the first link is critical.
Therefore, for most people, the best chance of getting the first link in Google is going to be LinkedIn. This is great news as many people are already on this platform, yet most people really are not using it properly to convert referrals.
Fear not! We will cover how to use LinkedIn in more detail in upcoming blogs or you can check out our free eBook on LinkedIn here.
What’s your name?
One item we need to mention regarding SEO is that it all depends on the search term. If your name is the term we want to appear for, it is critical that you spell your name the same way every time. That means not mixing up nicknames (such as Andrew and Andy), last names remaining consistent and not using stage names on LinkedIn. The name people will use to refer you to others needs to be the name that Google is looking for in LinkedIn.
For example, you are known as “Andy Ford”, or “Fordy”, and on LinkedIn your name is Andrew Ford, that isn’t a direct match. Similar, but not the same. Try both searches and see the difference!
The final tip for your personal SEO is to name your images. When someone googles your name, it generally will have an image bar in the results with photos, so you can find that specific person. Google is smart, they know you are looking for a person and sometimes you need to see their face to recognise them.
To make it easier for Google to find you, name any images you use online with your name and business name to increase SEO on your photos. In SEO’s language, it’s called optimising your Alt and Title tags, which you can read more about here.
There is a lot to learn about personal SEO and we only scratched the surface on how to ensure you appear on top of Google. Feel free to ask us any question on your name search results, such as how to remove negative articles and how to beat famous people with your name.
P.S. If you are looking to boost your career or business in 2017, download our “E-ttractive Personal Brand Calculator” to measure how e-ttractive your current brand is and how to improve it