In this technological age the first place employers look to when hiring new employees is the almighty internet. The minute you send your resume to potential employers, your name is entered into the Google Lottery, and you better hope you’re a winner. One of the flaws employees of this generation often make is not maintaining their SEO and failing to create a strong personal brand visible to potential employers.
Over the course of the last 3 months I have been working to improve my personal SEO and PDI (Professional Digital Imprint) using various social media tools. When I began this endeavor I was already heavily involved in social media, however not at all in a professional manner. So In an effort to improve my PDI and create my own solid personal brand I made some significant changes to the type of content I was generating, how often I was distributing it, and in what places I was distributing it. To my surprise, it was a much smoother process than I had anticipated. In 3 short months I have made some significant improvements in the quality of my content, was hired for a challenging and competitive internship, and have built a much stronger SEO and PDI.
Today I am going to share with you with the steps I took to accomplish this task, with the hopes my advice will allow you to improve your very own PDI.
1. Start Small, Think Big. Select a Focus.
We all like to think big, but to get there you must start small. One of the initial problems I faced while improving my SEO was the fact that I was operating too many forms of social media. Because of this I had a large number of profiles which were not being updated regularly and that led to them receiving a poor Google ranking. Remeber to always be sure all of your profile are connected to one another and easily accessible for those navigating them.
One of the first things you should do is select a number of social media sources with which you feel confident you can produce the highest quality content on, in the most consistent manner. For me, these included the big 4; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Feel free to dabble and find out which areas you would like to focus on most. Whether its through Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Vine, or even YouTube, always remember to always keep content fresh and consistent to develop your voice and your brand.
Websites like WordPress and Blogger make creating your own personal blog a breeze. Not only is blogging an effective way to document your thoughts on the industry and improve your writing, It can be used to further develop your personal brand, and utilized as a great networking tool that will score highly on Google search.
A blog is essential to develop your personal voice and brand identity. Through this blog you should be demonstrating that you have a firm grasp over industry issues in the field of your choice that is of particular interest to you. This is also a chance for you to personally advertise yourself, creating a personal profile equipped with additional portfolios of your choice Presenting a personal website on a resume is a great way to stand out, especially if you have been posting relevant, quality content. Remember to always tag your posts and separate them by category for best effect. Check out some more tips for improving your very own blog!
For myself, the choice was sports, and I have worked tirelessly to translate that message through the content i produce and share via my blog. I have also included an advertising and photography portfolio to showcase my interest in the creative aspects of the marketing profession.
3. Linked In
Creating a LinkedIn is an excellent way to showcase your past and present careers, your recent achievements and build a strong network with industry professionals. There are also a ton of groups and discussions to join, as well as many jobs being posted regularly. Quite simply it’s a great online community to be part of and if you think of it like a professional Facebook, you’ll be alright. LinkedIn also scores very highly on Google search.
For me this meant revamping my entire LinkedIn profile. Although I had already created my profile, it was extremely basic, failed to highlight my personal brand, and did not showcase any of my work. Over the last 3 months I have steadily improved my LinkedIn account by including links to my blog and other social networks, using an appropriate picture, developing a strong bio and brand, as well as including things such as my education, courses, previous and current jobs, and some relevant projects I have completed in my recent years at school. In 3 months i have gained over 125 new valuable connections and improved my profile status from beginner to all star, I have also upped my profile views dramatically.
LinkedIn is an especially important social tool for you to have. Think of it as your online resume, one that employers will check regularly especially during the hiring season. Remember to always keep your LinkedIn content up to date, and make sure you only showcase your best work!
Twitter is rapidly becoming one of the most influential and important social media tools at your disposal. As it continues to gain notoriety it has become an increasingly important tool in building your personal and public SEO. Thousands of businesses and professionals in every industry use Twitter to broadcast current events, and industry news so it is a great source of information. Twitter can be used effectively as a tool to share your own industry thoughts and personal observations.
Prior to my efforts to improve my SEO Twitter to me was simply a social media tool for spitting out any nonsense that came into my mind, or communicating with friends similar to a text conversation. In 3 short months I have increased my following by 200, followed over 600 new and relevant accounts, updated my bio and profile, as well as greatly increased the quality and relevance of the content I share and produce. The majority of which is relevant to the sport marketing industry.
Twitter scores highly on Google search and provides legitimate benefits like unparalleled access to industry colleagues and businesses letting you know what they are thinking and up to. If used properly Twitter has the potential to be a really neat networking and personal SEO tool. Always remember that employers will check your tweets to try and find out more about you. So it is worth considering the type of content you are producing.
5. Google +
Although relatively young, and a small blip on the radar in comparison to Twitter and Facebook, Google+ will work wonders for your personal SEO. More and more organizations and individuals are beginning to utilize G+ as the benefits become increasingly apparent. After all, Google runs the world so having an account with them should seem like a no brainer for someone who wants to improve their Google search results.
Before my recent push for SEO I had zero content on my Google+, not even a picture adorning my profile page. Over the course of the last 3 months I have begun to utilize my G+ more efficiently, updating my profile and providing site links to my various social media profiles. As for content, I am aiming to improve and provide more personal content via my profile. I have learned to utilize Google+ as a means of promoting my blog to great effect and suggest you create a profile ASAP to get on G+ while its growing.
Google+ scores extremely high on Google search, and they will even create prime real estate for your posts to appear in other search results. Content you post here will stay around and gain page ranks quickly if it is received well by your community. Google+ is an excellent way to build, manage, and organize your professional network and allows you full control over who sees your posts.
6. Keep an eye on the numbers. Utilize analytic tools.
One of the most important things you MUST do to maintain a strong personal SEO is maintain a vigilant watch over the performance of your various social profiles. There are a number of tools with which you can measure your performance or your’e influence like Klout, Tweetlevel, Kred, Tweetreach, Blog Level, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and hundreds more. These sites will allow you to track how well your profiles are performing, as well as the number of people that are influenced by your content and interactions.
Over the last 3 months I have vastly improved my social profiles, and have managed to boost my scores on all of my required analytics tools. Over the course of the semester I have improved my levels as follows…
- Klout: Day 1: 28 — Today: 58
- Kred: Influence 696/1000 — Outreach level 6/12
- Tweetlevel: Score 54.0 — Influence Level Curator
- Bloglevel: Score 7.5
As you continue to produce content, and develop your personal brand it is crucial you keep an eye on your metrics, and maintain consistent performance throughout the lifetime of your profiles to optimize your personal SEO.