Over the last few months, I’ve been building up my profile a fair bit (in RL that is), speaking at conferences, helping running workshops, training people and so on. While I’m currently employed (in a safe job) and there is no immediate need therefore to ‘sell myself’, I have been wondering whether now is the time to create a ‘proper’ website with all the stuff I’m good at / have done career wise and that also aggregates some of my social profiles (not this blog naturally, as it’s my safe haven and therefore anonymous! Hopefully you won’t know who I am 😛 ).
Let’s look at the PROS and CONS:
‘personal branding’ – (wank term, hate it). finally everything about me in one place
medium-long term marketing of my services (if I ever go down the self-employed route, a website with a history will look better)
improve tech knowledge – would be great to run wordpress on my own server for a change
digital marketing – I know all about this as that’s the area I work in, so could set it all up with Google Analytics etc. and use myself as the ‘project’. I.e. it would be a good showcase.
can’t really be fucked. takes time and effort (I’m working on average 65 hours / week already)
I’d rather play games or read in my spare time
once it’s up, it’ll need updating. to be taken seriously and for SEO, I probably need to start blogging on there
I wouldn’t know what domain to get (I did have one in mind but that’s already taken)
I don’t actually need it right now – I’ve got an effective Linkedin profile that already does some of what my own website would do (tie in social accounts and so on)
I think I’ve finally understood SEO. I’ve always known the importance of SEO and especially, natural search (e.g. importance of title tag, always provide meta description and keywords), but in practice have never really had to bother with stuff in the header tag, or felt it necessary (e.g. I have a website relating to my PhD thesis, but neither want nor need a lot of traffic).
Seeing however that I now have a target (KPI) for web traffic to a specific site, it’s in my keen interest to optimise natural search. Thus, yesterday I had a look at a competitor site that ranks high in Google (I think it was no. 1 or no. 2) and copied over the title, meta description, and meta keywords for all their navigation top level pages into a word doc (the navigation structure and the site’s subject matter are quite similar to ours).
I’ll modify these slightly and will then replace our current data with the modified ones of the successful competitor, and I’m hoping to see us rising in Google over the next few weeks months (?).
Note that the key to this was my ability to be able to read html source code, which is a ridiculously easy thing for those in the know but looks overly complicated and techie for those who don’t (most people at my work don’t even seem to know that sites have a ‘source code’ that you can look at in your browser).
In fact, stealing from others’ source code was one of the first things I learnt in a ‘Internet and Gender Studies’ course 12 years ago at the University of Cologne. We used to do it more with nice layouts and such, not regarding SEO (I don’t think we knew much about SEO back then, there certainly wasn’t a big science to it if I remember correctly).