One of the buzzwords for 2009 already is SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. In general, SEO is all about increasing a Web site’s page rank. In terms of Google, the higher the page rank, the higher the site will appear in a search. That’s the simple definition of something that really isn’t that simple.
Everything you would ever need to know about becoming more optimized you can find on the Google Blog. You can also download their SEO guide on that page. Although your site or blog might only be for personal use, it’s good practice to make sure what you are creating is optimized. It’s been my on-going project with this site.
Here are some of the top tips I’ve pulled out from my research this afternoon, and a lot of it relates to basic public relations principles.
- Key Messages. Think like a PR practitioner and prepare key messages. That is, make sure your content is relevant to your topic. Also, in naming your blog and preparing the subhead, think about who will be reading your blog. Is your content interesting? Does your content connect with your audiences?
- Brevity. The shorter and more concise the name and headlines of your page, the more likely it is to show up in a search. Again, relate it back to key messaging and make sure everything ties together. With that said, try to keep it unique and differentiate it from other pages with similar purposes.
- Network. Get to know bloggers online and share their content before you expect them to share yours. Sure, good content will always be appreciated, but building your network ensures that you will have an audience.
- Know how to write. A huge turnoff is bad grammar, spelling errors, and more. Make sure you proof your content before you embarrass yourself. Yes, I have embarrassed myself. I read through my stuff before I post it now.
- Consistency. More than just with your blog or Web site be consistent with all of the social networking sites you’re on. I’m “nicklucido” on pretty much everything, and because of that, my profiles for these sites will be up on a google search of my name. You don’t have to have your name if you’d like to stay anonymous, but whatever you choose, keep it consistent. And avoid names like hotlips69, especially if you plan to connect with professionals.
Honestly, the best way to increase the Google PageRank of your site takes more than just your own desire. But overall, if you create good content and have a strong enough network that will share your content, your rank will increase. Here are some tips on how to increase this number. Below are some ways to monitor and increase how SEO friendly your page in.
- Is your blog registered on Technorati? It should be. You can also check the authority, which is the number of blogs linking to a Web site. Some think this is a good measuring system, and others don’t. Find out for yourself.
- Digg it. The more diggs you get, the more popular your Web site or blog is.
- Stumble upon it. This allows users to rate Web pages, and the most dugg stories appear on the front page of the site.
- Yeah, it’s del.icious. Make sure you bookmark your blog, and if you create content that’s worthwhile, you’ll be lucky to find people think it’s worth sharing.
- When you do all of this to your own blog, find other bloggers and do the same to them. They will usually return the favor. Even better, you can start building the relationship with them.
For students, recent grads and professionals, making yourself findable is key on the Web. I’ve been working on making myself findable, and if you google “nick lucido,” you’ll see that 8 of the first 10 pages are me. Cool! I’m even ahead of the Nick Lucido that grabbed nicklucido.com before I could. Ha!
Last thing to remember: if content is king, make sure your good content is findable.
Some other SEO resrouces:
- A Knol on SEO
- Shannon Paul shares her thoughts on SEO and lists resources here
- Some useful SEO tools
- Use Google Webmaster tools for tips and advice