Today, I spoke to a group of travel writers and travel-related public relations people on managing your on-line reputation. The group is called TMAC which stands for Travel Media Association of Canada. Members of that group, like many others, can benefit from being on the first page of a Google search.
Getting prominence on Google and other search engines is known as search engine optimization or SEO and has a lot to do with how your website or blog is set up. But apart from the technical details like Meta tags and HTML tricks, there are simple things that anyone can do to make their on-line presence more accessible.
1. Let Google Know About You.
Go to http://www.google.com/submityourcontent/website-owner/# and type in the URL for your website or blog. This will make it easier for Google to find your site. If you sign up with Google, you can also use Webmaster Tools to enhance the visibility of your site. If you’re not comfortable “opening up the hood”, ask your web person to add the Meta tags needed to optimize your site. This will also allow you to gather information about visits to your site and to further enhance how search engines will find you.
2. Link Your Site With Others
If other people are putting a link to your blog or web page on their site, Google takes notice and you are more likely to move higher in the rankings. You can help others by putting links to them on your site and asking them to do the same for you. If you comment on or write anything for other sites, make sure the link to your site is included. If you tweet your new posts on Twitter and get re-tweeted, you also increase your linkage. Although links are a very effective way of raising your profile, beware of Link Farms which charge a fee and promise multiple links from “ghost” sites back to your site. Google frowns on the practice and pushes back down websites that use it.
3. Create New Content
If Google knows where to find you and you are linked to several other sites, the next thing you need is fresh content. It can be difficult to write regular blog posts but new content keeps people coming to your site and that makes Google pay attention. Try writing quick snippets on a topic or taking another run at a topic you’ve covered in the past. Recycle or revisit material that you may have prepared for another venue. If you’re stuck for an idea, write three tips on how to do something.