Your online identity is going further, faster and with more impact than ever before, yet many of us miss out on the seemingly obvious SEO power of our personal and company biographies. It may be a headsmacker, but it’s a good one – use your bio!
Personal/professional bios appear most frequently in four types of online sources:
- Your Company/Personal Website – for example, I have a bio on SEOmoz and here on my personal blog
- Events, Conferences and Webinars – here’s my profile on the Searchfest site, on OMS and SMX
- Content or Causes you Author/Contribute to – here’s an old piece on the Y! Advertising Blog, some content I contributed for Brightedge’s blog and an interview I did with Mixergy
- Social/Web Profiles that Enable Full-Featured Bios – here I am on TED Conversations, on LinkedIn and Quora and
In many of these scenarios, I’ve not been strategic or smart about making the bio sections more useful for readers or optimal for SEO.
The image below shows some of the potential opportunities you can capture:
There’s a few best practices to take away:
- A great bio should have links – it’s not just for SEO; users want to know, too! If I love a post or a piece of content or am inspired/interested by a line I read about someone, I should have the opportunity to learn more. That’s why those links exist.
- Co-citation is potentially important here. If I use the words “SEOmoz” and “SEO Software” together, there’s a much better chance that over time, I’ll get Google/Bing to recognize that the two are related. Currently, thanks to our history, they’re much more likely to think that SEOmoz is a consulting company (I almost made “consulting” an image, just to over-emphasize that point).
- Quantity of links and where they point is up to you. In the example above, I’ve got a lot of links – maybe too many, but because they’re not aggressive with anchor text or clearly just there for search engines, it doesn’t come across poorly (plus, as an SEO guy, folks might get suspicious if I didn’t try linking in my profile!)
- Length is often flexible – you may wish to work on several versions from the very short, one sentence snippet to the several paragraphs often afforded you on some sites/spaces.
I’m certainly not suggesting that we should all go stuff our profiles with obviously-SEO-intended links, using idealized anchor text for search engines to the point where it’s barely readable. But, I would suggest that having an SEO review the strategy of evangelists, speakers and contributors of folks across your organization is likely a great idea. This is one of the most white-hat, natural and powerful forms of link building — it’s just poorly executed much of the time.
Recognize the opportunity – be as aggressive as you feel is appropriate with third parties who post your bio (to get the description you want) and be sure to think carefully about branding, co-citation and keywords.
p.s. Linkscape’s web index just updated! New stats are below:
- Pages: 41,806,430,494
- Root Domains: 111,479,320
- Subdomains: 387,061,888
- Links: 423,876,083,081
- % of Links that are Nofollowed: 2.18%
- Average # of Links/Page: 61.69
- % of Pages w/ Rel=Canonical: 7.02%
p.p.s. It’s been a while since I did the last headsmacking tip (#16) way back in November of 2009! Hopefully this will spur me to re-visit the series more often.