The most important thing for many is landing a job. Whether you have a college education, went to trade school, or just need something fast to get you on your feet, finding a job is arguably one of the most important things for someone who is trying to get ahead. Unfortunately, such an up and down economy has made this difficult. Most need every little bit of luck and every connection possible to try and piece something together. One thing that many could use, however, is a little bit of SEO. In today’s world many companies and individuals hire someone to take care of SEO for them. While this is great for larger corporations and individuals with a solid personal brand, this isn’t always an option for those just starting out. Because of this fact, it seems that many are unaware of what SEO even is or even means. This puts those just getting involved in the job market a bit behind.

How SEO Works for Business Branding vs. Personal Branding

SEO is a term used to refer to optimizing a webpage for Google search engines. If the page is optimized correctly, Google bots can index this page and then rank the page in comparison with the other webpages available on that topic. The goal is, of course, to get your webpage to page one of a Google search engine results page (SERP). Professionals usually take care of this for companies and high-profile individuals because there is a lot of work involved:

  • Keyword research and understanding where to place these keywords.
  • Analytics and understanding how to track your efforts.
  • The importance of internal, external and backlinks.

Naturally this is overwhelming to most, but SEO doesn’t have to be as intense as major corporations make it. Using SEO techniques for a personal brand uses the same principles on a smaller scale. For example, it would be a good idea to use the idea of keywords on your social profiles. If you are a journalism student, use the word “journalism” in your title and description on your LinkedIn profile. This will help your LinkedIn profile show up when an employer is searching on that network. In other words, optimization isn’t always about Google.

Top 3 Reasons Understanding SEO Will Work to Your Advantage

Getting your social networking pages ranked well is much easier than ranking well for generic terms in Google. In fact, according to Forbes, Eurocom Worldwide found that almost one in five technology industry executives say they use social networks to find quality candidates or decide if they should hire a candidate (and the number has grown since!). Below are three reasons that understanding SEO will work to your advantage:

  1. Your profiles will gain visibility. As discussed above, social networking is a great way to improve your personal brand. Understanding SEO and how to optimize these pages will help your profiles gain visibility.
  2. Website/Blog will gain visibility. If you have your own blog or website, understanding SEO is crucial to success. Employers will be impressed regardless if you are highly ranked or just beginning, but being well versed in SEO will help employers see this website in the first place.
  3. Companies like someone who understands the Internet. With the Internet growing quickly there are more and more jobs that focus on SEO and understanding search engines. Showing that you know something about SEO could help differentiate you from your competition.

Taking that initiative to realize that understanding SEO can be helpful to a personal brand is the first step. Most then come to realize that SEO doesn’t have to be overly difficult—it is simply just another layer to help you improve your personal brand. You can learn more about how SEO works with social profiles here. Have you put time into optimizing your sites to help your personal brand? Do you feel it has made a difference? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.