Posts Tagged personal branding

Simple Tips for Increasing Your Web Traffic

New York Times Gadgetwise blogger Azadeh Ensha wrote a post earlier this week on the 10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Site.  I felt this was an appropriate blog topic for several reasons.  First, as a small boutique agency, we’re always looking for new ways to ramp up our own blog; and second, the majority of our clients are young international tech companies looking to increase their visibility or start out completely new in the States.  We also work with clients like ASI to build corporate blogs. 

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Here’s a 100-foot rundown of Azadeh’s tips I found the most useful, with a bit of my own commentary here and there:

  • Self promote – add a favorite or bookmark option, as well as an “email this” and “share” tab; add your blog or Web site to your email signature, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Write useful, original content – write regularly and make sure everything is well-thought out; think about your headlines and make sure you include simple key words – This is one tip I could not agree more with.  Most companies have a blog now a days, and if they don’t, they’re probably thinking about it.  Sure the ideas are going to be similar, but you can make it your own by adding your own personality and your own ideas.  More importantly, make sure you’re writing appropriately for your audience.  People are so inundated with information and with options to get that information that you have to stand out to keep a following. 
  • Bring on guest bloggers [with an established name] – This tip is fairly self-explanatory, but is a great idea, particularly for smaller companies looking to gain awareness.  Include the person’s name in your entry title and post it on Twitter or have them link the post to their blog.  Having that recognizable name associated with your company is sure to drive at least a few new people to your site.
  • Link and tag – Link to other sites within your post and submit your site to blog directories; make sure you’re using appropriate headers, titles and meta tags for SEO – Cheapflights comes to mind as a great example of a company that has really embraced the idea of optimizing their site for SEO.  Anyone that does a Web search on “cheap flights,” the Cheapflights.com Web page is always at the top of the list.
  • Engage the reader – Promptly answer any emails or comments; show your personality – let the readers get to know you; create an online poll or survey

For a complete list of tips, visit here. 

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Stop tagging me, Dad!

The statistics Nate reflected on earlier this week should come as no surprise to those of us in our mid-twenties who have found ourselves, of late, frantically untagging Facebook photos posted by our parents in which we look unspeakably hideous and embarrassing. Yes, it’s inescapable – “old people” are on Facebook now. Related discussion of the generation gap among Facebook users (and reactions from some “old people” themselves!) has been ongoing this week at The XX Factor.

My own Facebook nightmare arrived late in the game… it was barely two months ago that I suggested to my father, jokingly, that he should be on Facebook. My fiancé’s parents are on Facebook, I explained, and it’s adorable! His immediate reaction was begrudging consideration. “I just don’t know what I would use it for.”

Within two hours my dad had posted his first Facebook photo album: Fish I Have Killed, the contents of which are exactly what you’re imagining. Within 24 hours my stepmom had a Facebook account, then my two aunts, then a variety of my parents’ friends and neighbors, all posting on each other’s walls with wild joy and abandon… and intense frequency.

Then came the mortification. Photo albums filled with family pictures of me at my most awkward, worst-dressed, and ill-maintained – all several years old and now at the top of Facebook’s “Photos of Me,” flouting proper chronology and pushing more current, flattering photos down the queue, provoking both my vanity and obsessive-compulsion in one fell swoop! Come ON, Dad!

In fact, the whole thing’s still kind of cute. But it does demonstrate a permeating fact of the social web age: it is becoming less and less realistic to break your public image into facets for each audience, and to hold back artifacts inconsistent with your desired branding. The answer, again, is to stop scrambling for control and start building. Identity is a constructive process, and the only way you can come close to controlling yours is to be the primary purveyor of content about you. Especially now that your Dad and all those fish are on Facebook.

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Googled yourself lately?

From Seth Godin this week: Personal Branding in the Age of Google.

It surprises me a bit to see Godin writing about such a well-trodden subject. Hasn’t it been the “age of Google” for almost a decade now? While his post is about all of the well-known ways Google search results can hurt you in the professional sphere, there’s been far less attention paid to how the relative permanence and authority ranking by Google can help your branding – as an organization or as an individual.

A quick Googling of my own name turned up about fourteen pages of results filled with (in order of appearance):

I’d say this is a pretty accurate and fair representation of who I am, what I’ve done, and where my professional and personal expertise lies. And for a person with a relatively uncommon last name, I have a fairly long Google record. This is unsurprising; I live a lot of my life on the Internet, and don’t expend too much effort trying to keep things from showing up in Google results… as Godin advises, “The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you’re on Candid Camera, because you are.”

I am predicting, however, that the matter of maintaining one’s own Google presence will become both more urgent and more complicated in the future. Employers, prospects, and customers will start being as concerned about what isn’t discoverable about you on Google as what is. Claim to be an expert on a subject, but Google can’t find any articles you’ve written on it? Advertise that your company has top tier customer service, but it has no presence on social networking sites, and no visible responses to conversations about your product? While there may have been perfectly valid excuses for these scenarios five years ago, this is not the case today.

It’s tough (and in some cases impossible) to erase the online record of things you wish you’d never done or said. But it’s never too late to start doing the opposite – leaving a long-term trail of realistic, flattering, and credible evidence to support the values of your brand.

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