SEO is an online marketing channel. Most experts will separate search-engine-specific online marketing into two categories: Paid and Organic . Paid online marketing is also referred to as “SEM” or Search Engine Marketing. Organic online marketing is called “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization.
Both SEO and SEM are incredibly effective ways for your business to sell more products and or services online. Whether SEO or SEM makes more sense for your business depends on a number of factors. Often, the answer is that businesses should pursue both channels.However, when it comes to personal marketing and promoting yourself as an individual professional - it’s almost always the case that organic, SEO-style online marketing is the best and most effective approach. Here are some ways individuals can apply SEO techniques to help build their personal brands.
When it comes to personal marketing and promoting yourself as an individual professional, organic, SEO-style online marketing is often the best and most effective approach. You can use SEO techniques to help build your personal brand in a number of ways:
Effective personal marketing starts with creating useful content. Great content comes in many forms - it could be a blog, article, white paper, infographic, video, online course or any content "medium" that you are comfortable with. If you know a lot about videos and video editing then focus first on creating content that leans into your existing skills.
Whatever format you choose, make sure your content is high quality and informative. The key when it comes to an effective content strategy is to provide as much free, easy-to-access information as you can out of the gate. The content you create early-on will establish trust between you and those who are consuming your content. And establishing a creator-consumer relationship on the basis of actual quality and value is always the best, most organic approach.
Remember, you wouldn't walk into a room in the physical world and immediately start passing out business cards. It's the same thing online. You have to introduce yourself to people gradually. First establish trust and respect with the creation of high quality content. Only after you've done this consistently for at least a matter of months should you be thinking about asking people to take actions like to "subscribe" or "follow" you.
A personal website is one of the first places people will go to learn more about you and what you do.
If you don't have a personal website, it's time to set one up. If you're not sure how, there are plenty of resources and tutorials online to help you get started. Once you have a personal website, make sure to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) on each page. These CTAs could be something like "subscribe to my newsletter" or "follow me on social media."
In addition to a personal website, you should also have a digital business card which links to a page where people can access your contact information as well as social media profiles and other online points-of-interest. If you have both a digital business card and a personal website, you have everything you need to come off in a professional way. Other avenues like social media followings can make a big difference as well when it comes to personal branding and marketing.
A substantial social media presence is a valuable but not necessarily essential part of establishing and growing your personal brand. It all depends on where you get the most value - for some people this will be online networking, for others in-person networking is more important, in which case all you really need is a digital business card - even a person websites because "nice to have" rather than "essential" if you're primarily and in-person networker or marketer.
The next step is to make sure your content is easily found by those who are looking for it. This means optimizing your content with SEO techniques. There are a number of ways to do this, but here are some basics:
Another great way to get your name and your work out there is to collaborate with other content creators. This could mean being interviewed on a podcast, writing a guest blog post for another website or creating a joint video project. Whatever the format, collaborative content is a great way to reach new audiences and grow your personal brand.
Not only does collaborating with other content creators help you to reach new audiences, but it also helps to build relationships with other professionals in your field. These relationships can be beneficial both professionally and personally, and they can lead to even more opportunities down the road.
Collaborative content also includes things like PR and link building. Getting your name in the press or having your website linked to from high-quality websites helps to improve your personal brand and grow your business.
Getting on a consistent content creation schedule is essential for SEO success. This means publishing new blog posts, articles, videos or other pieces of content on a regular basis. Google (and other search engines) love fresh content, so the more frequently you can publish new and relevant content, the better.
In addition to being consistent with your overall content strategy, it's also important to be consistent with how you present yourself online. This means using the same name, photo and bio across all of your social media platforms and other online properties. Consistency helps people to easily find you and your work online, which is essential for personal branding.
There are a number of great SEO tools available that can help you to grow your personal brand.
Some of our favorites include:
The SEO landscape is always changing, so it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. But at the same time, you don't want to be too quick to change your entire strategy every time Google makes an algorithm update.
Some SEO changes are here to stay (like mobile optimization), while others are more temporary (like keyword stuffing). The key is to be aware of the changes but not to flip your entire strategy too easily.
SEO can be a complex and ever-changing topic, but these tips should help you to get started with growing your personal brand online. Just remember to focus on creating quality content, promoting it effectively and being consistent with your overall strategy. If you do those things, you'll be well on your way to growing your personal brand with SEO.