Today, this image most often comes from Googling your name. The results that come up tell an interested person (such as a potential employer) a lot about you.
Managing your personal brand consists of a two-pronged goal. First is to control the first page of results on Google. Second is to ensure any negative/embarrassing results are buried well beyond the first page.
It’s not difficult to accomplish this with a little hard work and know-how. The 8 SEO tricks below will help you dominate your personal brand and communicate the self-image you want people to see.
1. Personal Website
Start managing your online presence with your personal website.
You have complete control over your personal website, so make your efforts show off your best side. Ensure the writing is top-notch, the web design professional, and the SEO on par. Fill it with the information you want your audience to know about you.
Pay particular attention to the “About” section. Make sure it’s a separate page and includes your full name and picture.
Be sure to link all your social media accounts to your personal website’s About page.
Google+ is a heavy hitter in terms of search engine optimization.
Make sure your Google+ profile is professional and up-to-date. This is one of the first results anyone searching your name will see on Google.
It’s essential to include your location as well as your field of employment in your Google+ profile. These are some of the most common keywords those searching for you online will pair with your name.
“John Smith – Los Angeles – Online Marketer” will have much better results than simply “John Smith.”
Google Authorship is another tool that helps you improve your personal brand. It’s an effective way to link all the blog posts and articles you publish from across the web to your Google+ profile.
Aside from Google+, LinkedIn is the most common social media platform to appear in search engine results.
Fill your LinkedIn profile out completely and it will appear near the top of the results for a search of your name. Like your Google+ profile, be sure to include your full name, location, and field of employment.
LinkedIn offers a lot of options to customize your profile. Utilize all of them. Make your profile as descriptive as possible by including links to your website, your blog, and all your social media accounts as well as your full resume.
Be sure to customize your LinkedIn URL so that it includes your full name and set your profile to public visibility. Both of these tips help boost your LinkedIn SEO.
Facebook always ranks high in search engine results.
Your personal Facebook page is the place to start improving your personal brand. Even if it’s not for professional use, you should use a professional profile picture. You never know who’s going to see your personal Facebook account.
Along these same lines, be sure to set your account to private if you don’t want just anyone to see it (the private setting doesn’t affect SEO).
Creating a separate professional Facebook page is another way to manage what people see on the first page of search results for your name.
Like Google+ and LinkedIn, remember to make your Facebook profiles as detailed as possible. And don’t forget to add your location and field of employment.
Right behind Facebook comes Twitter in terms of search engine rankings.
Use a professional profile picture and write a stellar bio that includes a link to your personal website’s “About” page. Be sure to moderate your Twitter account so that it remains professional when people search for it.
Even though it’s an effective SEO tool, Twitter isn’t for everyone. Luckily, even just creating a Twitter account linked to your name is a powerful tool.
Set the account up, send out one Tweet, and reap the personal brand management rewards.
Vimeo ranks surprisingly highly for video hosting and sharing websites. It tends to outrank YouTube in terms of personal brand SEO.
If complete personal brand management is your goal, there’s no reason not to create a Vimeo account, even if you don’t plan to use it much (or at all).
Build out your bio with your full name, location, and field of employment. Add a professional profile picture, a link to your personal website, and claim a custom URL that incorporates your name.
Heck, you might even find that you want to add a video or two to further boost the personal brand SEO benefits.
Creating a Tumblr account is similar to creating a Vimeo account.
Even if you don’t plan to use it, Tumblr sites rank highly and help you manage the first page of results for your personal brand.
If at all possible, sign up for yourname.tumblr.com. Each account is set up as a subdomain by default so this is easy to do.
It’s easy to create and fill out a bio page on your new Tumblr account. Like always, include a professional profile picture, your location and field of employment, and a link to your personal website.
About.me is another very easy tool that allows you to control the results when your name is searched online.
Snag an account and build it out like your other social media profiles. Include your name, location, field of employment, and professional profile picture.
About.me lets you link out to as many places as you want. We recommend including links to all your relevant social media accounts.
Use a URL that includes your name (about.me/yourname) if possible as this further improves SEO.
Controlling your personal brand is important in the Internet age.
Utilizing the 8 SEO tricks outlined above will help you control what people see when they search your name on Google. All of the accounts/websites rank high on search results so make sure you look into them all.
With just a little effort, you can control what people see on the first page of search engine results for your name and manage your personal brand in the process.