If you haven’t built yourself a foundational strategy yet, then go back to Day 1 and do that first.
Assuming you’ve already done that, it’s now time to register your social profiles and fully optimize them to be search engine-friendly. We’re going to set things up properly today so that you can reap the benefits in the months to come.
I already wrote a great post on the 6 Steps to Optimize Any Social Profile for Maximum SEO Value, and I’m going to distill that information here. As a general rule, try to FILL EVERYTHING OUT.
→ Follow the following steps for every social media profile in your link diagram.
1. Reserve Your Custom URL
Search engines look to the URL as a sign of what the online property is all about. If you want my Twitter profile to rank well for my name, it’s wise to have your name in the URL slug.
Protip #1: Don’t get twitter.com/rickross if people know you by Richard Ross.
Protip #2: You may run into trouble getting the exact name you want. That’s okay -- the same thing happened to me. You just have to get creative. Ryan_erskine and erskineryan were also taken and I’m not one to add numbers at the end of my username. I finally decided on ryanerskineNY.
2. Put Your Name in the Title
This is self-explanatory. Put your name — or whatever you’re trying to rank for in search results — in the title. Search engines still take title tags seriously and I would be wasting a useful spot for my name if I didn’t put ‘Ryan Erskine’ here.
3. Upload Your Profile Picture
Some social profiles automatically rename your picture -- as Twitter does here -- but it’s worth remembering to always rename your image’s file name as the full keyword.
It’s a good habit to get into because some places will use your file name, and why not give those images the best chance of rising up in your image search results?
4. Input Your Location
Take your public location (from Day 1) and use it consistently across your social profiles.
Yes, there will be overlap when people search your name from different locations, but the city you input will be an important factor for search engines that tailor their results according to geography.
5. Link to a Property In Your Campaign
Refer to your link diagram if you need to remember where things are going. My diagram is super simple -- I’m just going to link everything back to my main website, ryanerskine.com.
6. Write a Unique Bio Using Your Name
Your bio is another prime opportunity for you to use your full name or keyword. You might be able to use your whole bio in a place like Google+, but you’re going to need to have smaller variations for ones like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Branding Note: This is a good point to mention a caveat. You have to pick your battles when working in the world of SEO. Sometimes what’s best for SEO isn’t best for the online branding campaign. In this case, I couldn’t fit my name because it was more important for me to have the association with my company and my author profiles. These 6 steps are all important defaults but they are just that — defaults. Feel free to break the rules when it makes sense for your campaign.
7. Fill in as Much as You Can
The more sections you fill out in your social profiles the more likely they are to rank for your name in search results. We cannot perfectly control search results, but we can put things heavily in our favor. Flesh out your profiles as much as you can and remember to naturally use your name in the third person.
→ Follow the above 7 steps for each social profile in your campaign.
→ Add the username, email, and password for each profile to your excel document.
→ Protip: Make yourself a BrandYourself account. The online tool is a useful way to track your links as they move up and down in search results. The free account will allow you to track 3 web properties and the premium version will allow you to track unlimited links (among other things).