Have you ever googled yourself? You might be the most famous person with your name, but even if you are, odds are google doesn’t care. Search engines care much more about if someone with your name has content on the internet that people care about. This is one of the main reasons why my new little website ranks so low on google – at the time of writing this is result #9 on page 7 – yikes! I’ll post an update on this page when the rankings climb, the site is pretty new so lay off me. There are a few Daniel Woodward‘s out there including an elementary school in Canada that I once tried to buy a t-shirt from to a military general, so lowly me has a big hill to climb (it could be worse, I could be a Kardashian – shudder).
No one wants to be hidden, we want our work to be seen and to stand out. There are a lot of concepts and black magic behind getting your SEO rankings up, and a post detailing all that would be forever long so I am going to keep this to two quick tips that you might have left out on your quest to be the person with your name that ranks the highest.
1. Start Putting Quality Content Out There
This is seemingly a no brainer, but you would surprised how many people expect content that doesn’t exist to rank high. Remember, you need to have content that people care about. If there is only 1 page on the internet for blind hippos (if you want that term go for it – 2 of the top 3 results are from myspace!) then it will pretty much be guaranteed to rank high. If you do not have content out there, you really don’t have a chance to rank high. Get your facebook page custom url setup, start a google plus (for the curiousity factor and also for the amazing authorship search results detailed later) and start a blog someone – wordpress.com is great because you can grow into your own domain and then export that content to a self-hosted blog at some point. Write about what you do, what you love and what you would like to get paid to do, eventually if you have a style people appreciate you may end up with a good bit of traffic for those topics you care about.
2. Make Sure That Search Engines Can See Your Hard Work
Again, seemingly a no brainer, but how many wordpress blogs have forgotten to unblock search engines in their privacy settings (excuse me while I double check that again). You might be actively blocking search engines from even seeing you exist.
There are a lot of free tools to check to see how the internet sees your content, use the free stuff! Most of the time the free stuff is provided by content aggregates and search engine companies to help make their results better. They will prefer people using their tools and you will get an artificial inflation in your rankings. Google allows blog authors to use Google authorship to create rich snippets inside of search results (Quick tutorial using WordPress SEO plugin – Google Authorship with SEO Yoast). Look at that snippet below featuring a handsome man that really knows to make decisions (had to get a good anchor link for that phrase). You know that if you are scanning down some google results and you see a snippet like that in fact, most experts quote anywhere from a 38% to 150% boost in click through rate – at worst, its worth a try.
Also make sure to submit a sitemap (danielrwoodward.com/sitemap.xml is an example). Sitemaps help search engines get through your content faster, and though I can’t prove it, those nice little robots tend to reciprocate. If you are on wordpress (my current CMS lover) the wonderful WordPress SEO by Yoast can make that sitemap for you and save you from an additional plugin that could slow you down (a slow site gets penalized in the rankings kids).
Like I said there are a million different blogs about this topic, but these two concepts are at the root of most of it. Make content available that people want and search engines can see and you will eventually get closer to your SEO name domination.