You might have read or heard about Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. While it’s not the focus of my consulting practice, it is one of the areas in which I offer advice. In a nutshell, it’s about getting found. I mean, when one thinks about how much STUFF is out there on the interwebs, climbing to the top of the results pages people get when they search for various information is kind of important. After all, when was the last time you made it to page 3 of the search results?
So that’s kind of the answer to why one might want to practice SEO. But I think some basic SEO principles apply to you as an individual and not just to your digital life. Let’s see if you’re with me.
The goal of SEO is to drive targeted traffic from the Search Engine Result Pages. This happens because the search robots understand that your page is related to some search term and that your page is an authority on that topic – other sites about the same topic link to you, etc. SEO mavens may claim I just totally oversimplified it, but I don’t have 10,000 words here.
To make those two things happen, you need to be understandable on a technical level to the ‘bots and get good connections to your site. And isn’t that good personal advice too? After all, people want to know what you’re about. How often has someone complained to you that “Bill is a mystery” or “Sally sends out mixed messages?” People are like search engines – we like to be able to read and understand the subject matter or we move on.
On a similar note, the quality of the relationships we have affects our appeal to others. We hire folks based on where they’ve worked, to whom they’re connected, etc. There’s an entire search engine based solely on that – LinkedIn.
If you practice transparency and authenticity as well as take the time to build relationships with people, I think you’re practicing personal SEO. You pop to the top of people’s mental searches. What do you think?