Steps to SEO your Professional Brand

As HR professionals working in the social media age, it’s absolutely critical that you at least have the most basic understanding of how your personal brand is showing up to potential candidates. It may or may not surprise you that as high as 77% of candidates are Googling not only your employer but YOU before speaking or at least interviewing. Here are some simple things you can do to be a professional brand ambassador.

1.Google yourself

Start with a basic understanding of the way you are showing up. Having a positive digital representation can be the difference between whether or not people want to do business with you, talk to you or work for the company that you represent.

In addition to Googling yourself, be sure to search your name in the image feature of Google to ensure there are not any unflattering pictures. If there are, please see our article on how to remove unwanted images

I’d also suggest using other search platforms like Bing or DuckDuckGo to get a more complete view of your digital self as Google has unique search results for each individual. Once you have a baseline of how you’re showing up to candidates, let’s go to work!

2. Have your LinkedIn profile show up #1

Why? Because LinkedIn is a professional representation of your digital self. Research shows that the first organic search results is clicked almost 50% of the time.

Some of the basic things you can do to get your LinkedIn profile to rank # 1 is to customize your LinkedIn URL, use effective keywords, use keyword finding tools to leverage most searched upon terms. Other things you can do to rank higher with your Linkedin profile is to interact often with articles, posts, shares, and comments and also be sure to connect your Twitter profile with your LinkedIn profile. Here’s more information on how to do that.

3. Find keywords that describe your professional brand image

What is your brand? What words define you? What’s the best way to define you? True it’s harder to rank for some keywords than for others, especially if you try to rank for a single keyword rather than for a long-tail keyword. For example, it’s harder to rank for “Recruiter” than for “Innovative Recruiter for Software Engineers. Identify the long-tail keywords that define you and your business. There are many tools available that can help you in finding the best keywords to optimize your site.  You could use free ones like Google’s Keyword Planner Tool or The Hoth.

For this reason, I look at my LinkedIn profile as valuable SEO real estate for keywords and I try to avoid common, non-valued added SEO words as much as I can. For example:

4. Develop Your Social Media

I like to use this image when attempting to describe your “virtual presence”. Every time you ‘like’, Tweet, comment, share, connect, write an article, you grow digitally.

There are so many great articles out there that give tips and tricks on how to (grow your social media presence) but the basic tips I’ll give you are creating good content, be authentic, dedicate time many times a week, use pictures, memes, and comment, like and share. Be strategic on what platforms you’re using and know that’s it’s getting harder and harder to separate your digital personal life from your professional life. SO, every time you post anything ever, be sure to give it a second thought and assume someone in your professional life will view it at some point.

5. Besides good copy, include vivid pictures, memes, links and tags

Besides the obvious that a great picture adds a great deal of context and character to a post, it also helps search engines like Google, Bing and others to rank higher. Some basic tips are to use original, high-quality images, have a reason for your images, and use alt tags. If you are going to be writing original posts or articles on any social media platform, I strongly suggest you take time to read up on image SEO best practices.

Conclusion

As recruiters/hiring managers/brand ambassadors of a company, it’s your job to be aware of how you are showing up to candidates online. It does take work and it’s not an overnight fix. Take a little time each day to nurture your digital presence and soon you’ll be showing up very well to anyone you interact with online.

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