5 Steps To Building Your Brand Online

So, you had an idea. You want to sell a product, offer your expertise in an area, or post content online about something you’re passionate about. But where do you go from there?

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1. Think about it.

  • Who are you? Write it out.

  • How do you want to represent yourself?

  • What are your goals?

  • What do you want to be known for?

  • How can you represent these abstract concepts in a concrete way?

Once you’ve thought about how you want to be perceived, ask yourself what you can do to ensure that your brand is translated to others. This includes visuals, content, marketing methods, and general business practices. Your brand should reflect who you are, and you should remain true to yourself.

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2. Create a website & visuals.

  • Purchase a domain name.

  • Develop a website that reinforces your personal brand.

  • Design a logo and color scheme that reflects who you are.

  • Use those visuals in your business card, resume, and cover letter.

People like visuals, and visuals are a key way to communicate your brand. If you love kids and want to open a fun after-school program for toddlers, your website shouldn’t be black Times New Roman on a white background. The design of your website, business cards, and other assets help establish your identity. You’ll also look a lot more legitimate and well-established, which will help you gain attention and business.

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3. Blog.

  • Create a blog on your website.

  • Put all your blog posts on LinkedIn.

  • In every post, link to others sites and other pages within your site.

  • Write about things you’re passionate about.

  • Include visuals, such as infographics, photos, charts, etc.

Blogging is extremely useful for boosting your search engine optimization (SEO). Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages. And you don’t necessarily have to write articles; you can take photos, write poetry, post videos, design graphics, etc. Do whatever comes naturally to you.

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4. Use social media effectively.

  • Post about your blog & other updates.

  • Use Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google Plus, Instagram, etc.

  • Posting on Google Plus is an effective and easy way to boost your SEO.

Social media is an excellent resource for you to use to increase your branding. Posting your blog on other sites (with unique descriptions for each medium) increases the amount of links to your post, which indexes it higher on search engines. Tailor what you post to each form of social media. For example, if you post an article about 5 tips for UI design, tweet one of the tips with a link to the rest. If you’re posting it on Facebook, write a short description of the blog post. And make sure you post on Google Plus! That will do wonders for your ranking on Google.

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5. Reinforce your brand.

  • Send your blog posts to websites that accept article submissions.

  • Comment on other blogs/websites with links to related posts you’ve written.

  • Continue to blog, and don’t forget to link to pages within your site.

While your branding should be intentional and well thought out, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that it’s genuine to who you are. Create and share content about things you’re passionate about, be honest with who you are, and be open and vulnerable with your writing. Good SEO, an awesome logo, and an interactive website won’t help you out if your content is dry and uninspiring. So, whether you have an established brand or you’re just starting out, remember that the most important thing (as cheesy as it sounds) is to just be yourself.

5 Simple Ways to Boost SEO Using Content Marketing

Your website can have the best, most interesting and engaging content on the entire Internet, but if no one sees it, what’s the point? Especially if you’re not an internationally known website, it can be difficult to obtain wide viewership on your posts. Luckily, you can use SEO (search engine optimization) to boost your content’s ranking on search engines and make it more likely that people will see it. Content marketing, creating and spreading content to increase traffic, is a great (and relatively simple) way to boost SEO. 93% of marketers use content marketing as part of their strategy.

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The tips below are just a starting point. For more in-depth research on boosting your SEO, check out some more complex guides that offer even more ways to change your website to improve its SEO.

 

1. Think about your keywords.

Organic search is responsible for 64% of web traffic. That means that your keywords (what people search for) are crucial. Keywords can be a great way to boost your SEO, but you need to think critically about them. If you open an ice cream shop in Seattle, keywords like “ice cream” and “Seattle” won’t get you as much traffic as more specific keywords. If you sell lactose-free ice cream, then “lactose-free ice cream Seattle” should be one of your keywords. It’s more specific, so it’ll get searched less, but when people do search for that, you’re going to be much more likely to appear on Google than you would if someone just searched “ice cream Seattle.” To find analytics on your keywords, Google Adwords offers a free “keyword tool” that shows the search volume and competition for any keyword. You can also use tools such as KeywordSpy, which shows what keywords your competitors are using and how effective they are.

 

2. Use links.

The more times other people link to your content, the more reliable it seems in the eyes of Google. Think of it as a celebrity endorsement: if a popular website links to your blog, then your credibility gets a huge boost. Internal links are also a great way to boost your ranking: link to other pages on your site to boost your ranking. This is one reason Wikipedia does so well; every page has countless links to other Wikipedia pages. Also, note that sharing a page on social media counts as a link back to your site.

 

3. Post your content multiple ways.

In addition to posting on your website, you should also post on various forms of social media, which increases the audience. Also, don’t forget about Google+. Obviously Google will index your content higher if it’s shared on Google+, so make sure you post on Google+ as well. LinkedIn is also hugely important. As shown in the chart below, LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually.

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4. Use social media sharing buttons.

This one is really, really simple: to make it easy for your viewers to share your content, add social media sharing buttons on the top and bottom of all your posts. This gives people a simple, quick way to share your post, which will drive more traffic to your site and ultimately help boost your SEO.

 

5. Consistently add content.

Create posts on a blog to drive traffic to your site, and post consistently. Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages. And B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. At the same time, though, don’t write content just to have content. Everything you post should have a purpose and should be something you’re interested in and passionate about, because that yields the best content. Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people connect with brands on social media. And, as shown in the chart below, make sure you’re using a variety of tactics for your content: videos, infographics, podcasts, etc. Articles with images get 94% more views.

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These tips will give you a good start on content marketing and boosting your SEO. For more stats about content marketing, check out these 50 awesome stats about SEO and content marketing. Good luck!