As a blogger or digital persona, what is your most important keyword? Your name! In the digital age personal SEO is now more important that ever. If you want to control your online identity and brand, you need to ensure that you are ranking in the right way.
Googling Nic Tuxford tells you the following about me:
- I’m an SEO expert – my number one search engine result is my beginners guide to SEO for bloggers, featured on lifestyle magazine Honest Mum.
- I blog about digital marketing, time management, remote working, and being a working mum.
- I’m on Pinterest and Instagram!
- I’m a powerful woman in digital marketing – thanks to a collaborative article written with some of my female colleagues at Exposure Ninja.
There’s also a few other pages that aren’t related to me, but that’s ok. I’ll soon fill them, and it’s clear these posts are nothing to do with me.
Why is Personal SEO so Important?
Here’s the first reason:
80% of employers Google job applicants before interviewing them. Yep. 80%. So you’ll want to ensure that they see exactly what you want to portray online. You can bump up your Facebook privacy settings, audit your Instagram, and delete naughty Tweets, but what about selling yourself as an expert?
If the content isn’t there, there’s nothing to promote you
No results can be just as damaging as bad results. If you’re up against 10 other applicants with fantastic online personas and you have nothing, why would any employer even bother?
Don’t rest until the front page of the search results for your name is filled with your content. And ensure it’s good content that has come from you. I recently Googled an acquaintance, only to find a massive news site article that portrayed them as a spoiled brat. It’s hard not to be swayed by that type of content.
Personal Online Reputation Management
Start with a blog
There are a number of ways to build up your personal brand and improve your personal SEO. I recommend starting with a blog. And unless you’re a professional blogger keep your hobby blog separate from your personal brand blog. I’m a huge dog lover, but I’m fairly sure prospective employers are not interested in reading about my love for huskies and cute dog accessories!
Register your name as your domain name. It helps to associate your blog with your brand (again if you’re a professional blogger, this isn’t as vital). Write about your field of interest and share your knowledge. Don’t use it as a platform to insult others within your field. And ensure you keep the names of others out of your content. Keep your personal brand likeable and professional.
Any modern professional needs a LinkedIn profile. I use my full name Nicola for my LinkedIn profile, and it ranks first in the search engine results for my full name. Using LinkedIn allows you to have an awesome visible CV to potential employers. I’d even recommend it for professional bloggers, because it allows you to connect with PR executives looking to work with a reputable site.
Ensure you regularly keep your profile up to date. Share guest blogs and articles you write or contribute to, and connect with those you work with in your industry.
Give yourself personality with Instagram
Forget about sharing embarrassing nights out on Instagram. Utilise this platform to share photos of you doing the things you love because employers want to see someone who is stable, reliable, and a great person to work with. I love sharing photos on my personal Instagram account. Taking a look at it will show prospective employers that I’m caring (for my pups, husband, kids, and job), I like to relax with a glass of wine at home, I work and enjoy working, and I spend my free time with my dogs. I’m a human being. I’m real.
Make connections with Twitter
I’ve had some great opportunities through Twitter. Following people within your industry will allow you to build professional connections and learn from the content shared by others.
I recently interviewed one of my professional heroes, who I’d been following on Twitter. It was a fantastic opportunity which I’m so grateful for.
Twitter is also a great place to find like-minded people to chat with. Just ensure you stay aware of the lack of privacy. If you want a frank conversation, get on Skype and chat face to face.
Start Building Your Personal SEO Today!
Personal SEO is not something that can wait – you need to start now! If you can’t afford a domain name right away (although I’d check prices – as there are some pretty cost effective opportunities out there), then focus on getting your LinkedIn account up, your social media accounts cleaned up, and connect with those who can provide you with guest blogging opportunities.
If you’re a student, get writing for your university or student union blog. And if you’re employed, find out about blogging opportunities onsite. Work hard to build that personal brand and become recognised as an expert within your industry.