But what is SEO?
To my fellow students in MTG 391, here’s a secret no one may have told you yet: you’re going to need to know SEO. I’m curious as to how many of you even know what SEO is, let alone how to do it.
Whenever I throw around the terms “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” with people not already familiar with SEO, I get confused looks and questions. Simply, SEO is trying to improve the rank your web content has on a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.).
When representing a brand, anything you create and put online needs to be optimized! Every piece of copy, videos, photos… everything! This is regardless if it’s on your own website, or on a social media site.
There are a LOT of factors that contribute towards your rank on search engines, and they change even faster than social media trends. One simple way of that you can start doing to affect your SEO is identifying keywords that you want to be ranked for, and using them in your content.
Optimizing for Nathan Lorentz
My brand is Nathan Lorentz. I want to be discovered online when people search for Nathan Lorentz, and I have to compete with everyone else’s content who would rank for Nathan Lorentz.
Unfortunately, my brand is not yet strong enough to rank higher than an international baseball player (but I’ll surpass him one day… right?). There are at least two major reasons why he ranks higher than me in Google:
- More people are intending to search for the baseball player than for me
- That person’s name is on websites that have higher PageRank than sites I am mentioned on
Fortunately, I optimized all of my content across the web, and if you search for “Nathan Lorentz” along with another term such as “web”, “marketing”, “social”, “blog”, etc, all of my content ranks higher (generally taking spots 1 through 4 or 5 in most cases).
If you notice, my profile on Jump still tends to rank higher than my personal site. Even though my personal site is more optimized for my personal brand than it is on the Jump website, Jump still has a larger number of visitors and other factors that affects its PageRank.
Resources for SEO
If you’re using WordPress, I highly recommend adding the Yoast plugin. I use it on my blog, the Jump blog, and the Kwikee and Creative Outlet blogs I wrote for during my previous internship at MultiAd. (Side note: I no longer rank for Creative Outlet’s blog, since they changed the name on my account to a generic “Marketing Intern” after I left ).
Yoast gives you tips to optimize your blog based on a keyword. Just don’t get caught up on the keyword too much – it’s still more important to have a catchy headline than it is to be limited by a obscure and long word or phrase. (Oh the pains of writing headlines for the medical industry sometimes.)
Also, Google knows that “schedule” and “scheduling” are the same word. Yoast does not. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start to give you a general idea of how well you will rank for that word.
Finally, there are several websites, social accounts, and blogs out there to help you with the latest SEO trends. I recommend Moz, as they’re one of the industry leaders and are always on top of the latest changes and trends.