I ain’t forget about you doh! Tech Tuesdays (or Thursdays or whatever day I actually get to hitting the publish button) is back at. #JouelzyTech is ready to roll. I’ve been unduly slacking, but I loves you and so this tech video is finally one for all peoples, just not YouTube content creators. We’re talking the basics of SEO and how the term “online branding” is a swindle for folks trying to make a quick dollar off of useless webinars. You know I’m always out here to save you coin and empower to being a smart consumer. Now off to empowering you to utilize the internets to it’s full potential for your business. Shall we commence with 10 Tips on the Best Basic SEO Practices…we shall
1. The term ‘Online Branding’ is a misnomer.
Technically speaking online branding is nothing more than a slang term. The whole idea of branding oneself online is about making their business more visible on the Internets. Generally speaking for most people the internet equals Google, the demi-gawd of things www.
2. Therefore it’s really all about your SEO.
The goal is to make it easy for people to find, share and contact you. Even if this crosses over to social media presence the base of online branding still starts with discovery.
3. What is SEO?
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Not only is that inclusive of how you appear in searches, what keywords are associated with you but also hashtags, content strategy and link building. SEO is a business and the technicality of it has a far reach.
4. Google generally speaking sets the standard for SEO practices based on their current algorithms.
Google’s current algorithm for search & the features that comes with it is Google Hummingbird. Hummingbird was released in September 2013…remember the abrupt switch to requiring a Google+ page for YouTubers? Yeah all that was Hummingbird, as Google makes a push towards content over meta. While the G+ integration was a pain, Hummingbird offers high engagement and more accessibility towards personalizing how one discovers your brand online.
5. The more you say it, the more we believe you.
We being Google or every other search engine/social media outlet.
Hi I’m Jouelzy, I’m a 4C Natural Hair Vlogger and this is my post on 4C Natural Hair because I love providing style tips for 4C Natural Hair because I have 4C Natural Hair.
Now can you identify the 3 keywords that represent what I am about? This effectively lets you know what I am about. 4C Natural Hair. To take up it another level, sharing adds value. It’s the power of a co-sign.
6. Shared content ups the value of your content.
Let’s say it again, it’s the power of the co-sign. Just like a recommendation at work, the moment someone else reiterates what you are about, the more “we” believe that is what you are about. If you’re just starting out and still building your business or brand then it’s up to you to share you content across different outlets to heighten your digital value. If you are a YouTuber, establish a blog where you repost your videos, including a short summary about the video or actually crafting posts around the videos.
This is why social media is so valuable and while people have gotten a bit out of hand with #hashtags, they a great when strategically used for SEO.
7. Social Media matters…
Not only because it allows you to share your content across multiple verticals but also because a lot of the URLS rank higher than our own personal websites. Google Jouelzy (after you clear your cookies & log out of Gmail, lol — Google really does rule the world), and you will see that my Youtube, Facebook and Twitter all rank at the top (unless your internet usage suggests there’s a site you visit more frequently it’ll pop up on the first page).
Do not feel bad about not using each and every social media account. As a rule of thumb, I sign up for everyone just to claim my name. But pick at least two and work towards building your audience and strategically sharing your content on those outlets. Facebook is my top pick, because of the search feature, they rank the highest, hashtags are linked, and people can easily share you’re content from Facebook. Instagram has a nofollow on links, so there’s no ability to click through to another site on the platform. Twitter, you have to master the art of the 140 character limit and Pinterest, I haven’t been good at it, but many others love it. Oh and Tumblr…for young and/or Black woman.
8. Choose your Keywords wisely and use them!
Pick 3-6 Keywords that describe what you are about. “4c” “natural” “hair” “smart” “black” “woman” are example of keywords that I would choose for myself. Most people associate keywords with meta tags or meta data in general, but they also should be used throughout your content, page/post titles, and hashtags. So when people do searches with those keywords you populate. The better/more you use these terms the more you will rank. This is something I need to work on for 4C Natural Hair as 4CHairChick currently has me beat, but she’s a good example of how well it works. “4C Hair” is in her name, the page title and she has a very popular Facebook page where her content is constantly shared (the power of a co-sign!) ranking her and her content at the top for a “4C Hair” and “4C Natural Hair” search. You see me in the banner of her FB page doh? Hey hey now!
9. Don’t be messy — Organize your ish!
Categories and playists better help Google define what you are about. Someone who does this really well on the blog side is Awesomely Luvvie, who’s site has an accessible and cleanly listed Archives, Categories and XML Sitemaps page, that allows Google to populate the different Categories from her site when she shows up in search. For WordPress users there are several plugins that help you to keep your Sitemap up to date and clean, Yoast SEO Plugin is by the best one. Sitemaps are so often overlooked because people don’t understand their functionality or don’t know to ask their webmaster to ensure it’s there. Which reminds me that I need to get it done, I ain’t shit — check back to make sure my Sitemap is up to date, by Sunday — promise.
10. Own your name!
This is not only about keeping it simple but it’s so overlooked as many of us start brands haphazardly without thinking of the potential we have to grow those brands online. Your username will matter if you create a following that you want to be able to move outside of their initial platform, like a YouTube or blog. It’s much easier for people to find me as Jouelzy and it ranks well in Google search letting people know all the ways that they can access me. So think about how you want people to identify you on the web before you shorten or add numbers to your username so you can sign up for Instagram. Keep it consistent.
- Google is the GodFather of all things SEO and they provide a plethora of tools to help you get started. Google Webmaster and Analytics is a start, with the later offering free workshops and video tutorials on how to optimize your website. Sign up for them (with that branded Gmail account you created for your business) to gain access to their tools.
- I’ve seen quite a few ‘Online Branding Webinars’ that I just rolled my eyes at, because folks either don’t have a decent following or they have a large following on one platform and they’re telling you simpleton tips like ‘post a lot of pictures’ without any regard to the actual technical tips that are best SEO practices. Then they have the nerve to charge you for it. Girl…bye. Test a person out to make sure they know what they’re about — ask them what a rel tag is how that was updated with Google Hummingbird…then #waitforit, lol.
Links to Check out:
Forbes Definitive Guide to SEO in 2014
Google’s Starter Guide to Search Engine Optimization [SEO] (PDF)
Moz’s Guide to SEO
Check out my previous #JouelzyTech Posts here:
Tips & Info on Joining YouTube Networks While Being a Brown Girl
Catch Up!: #JouelzyTech | YouTube, Networks & Google+
Tips on Building a Successful YouTube Channel & Growing Your Audience
Check my Tech Store if you’re looking to start a YouTube channel!